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Bagdade bags title, but Irish just short.

Byline: Adam Jude The Register-Guard

WOODBURN - A record round and an individual state title were little consolation for Sheldon junior Philip Bagdade at the conclusion of the OSAA Class 6A boys golf championship Tuesday afternoon.

Although Bagdade won his first individual championship, for the first time in his prep career he did not celebrate a team victory with the Irish.

Instead, Jesuit held off Sheldon's furious rally in the final round and held on for a two-stroke win at the OGA Golf Course. The Irish had won the previous two titles.

"I care more about the team," Bagdade said. "I'd take dead last if we won."

He'll have to settle for first alone. Bagdade tied the state 18-hole record with a 6-under 66 and finished at 3-under 141 for the tournament, edging Canby's Robbie Ziegler by two shots.

"This has been a big goal of mine, for sure," he said. "To get it really going today was a lot of fun. I'm the state champion - it's a pretty cool thing to say."

Playing in the final group, Bagdade entered the final round in 11th place, five shots behind first-round leader Arthur Kim of Tigard. After opening with a birdie, Bagdade bogeyed two of the next three holes before tearing off seven consecutive birdies, propelling him and the Irish toward the lead.

"Seven in a row - that was pretty incredible," said South Eugene freshman Bobby Monaco, playing in the final group with Bagdade.

Bagdade finished with 10 birdies on the day to claim medalist honors, but Sheldon's final-round 293 wasn't enough to make up a five-shot first-round deficit.

Jesuit had three golfers place in the top 10 to claim the trophy, finishing at 596.

"When it got down to it at the end, (the Irish) played wonderfully," Sheldon coach Todd O'Neal said. "The bottom line is Jesuit didn't throw any scores away. ... We threw everything we had at them, with the exception of the back of the bus."

Senior Joe McCall tied for ninth at 149 for the Irish. Nic Polski tied for 24th at 155 and Brent McKee tied for 36th at 159.

"I'm very proud of my boys," O'Neal said. "The special thing about Sheldon golf is we're more than just six guys. We had 19 players this year, and 12 different kids played varsity events this year."

Sheldon beat Jesuit by nine strokes last year to win its second straight state title. Jack Dukeminier shared medalist honors as a junior, but he sat out this season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in a skiing accident.

Bagdade had a forgettable tournament last year, finishing tied for 47th.

"I played really poorly at state last year, but the team won, so I could (not) care less," he said. "It's the complete opposite of what I'm feeling now."

South Eugene, tied for second with Sheldon after the opening round, finished tied for sixth at 626.

Monaco, the Southwest Conference champion, tied for ninth at 5-over 149.

"I was hitting my irons pretty good, and I played pretty good overall," Monaco said. "I had some bad luck, so the score didn't turn out very good. ... But I'm pretty happy."

Fellow freshman Cole Weinhold tied for 19th at 8-over 152, and Austin Sharp (156) and Tristan Diehl (169) rounded out the scoring for the Axemen.

"We'll try to do better next year," Monaco said. "Winning state is obviously going to be a goal for the whole team."

Sheldon senior Kendra Little entered the 6A girls tournament with expectations of winning it.

She finished fourth.

"It's really frustrating coming in here knowing that I could shoot 80 and win it," she said. "I got off to a decent start (in the final round), but I wasn't able to ever get it going. It seemed like no matter how hard I tried, I kept digging myself a deeper hole."

Little, who has signed to play at Oregon, had four bogeys and two double-bogeys en route to a 44 on the front nine Tuesday. She rebounded with a 40 on the back nine for a 84. She was 20-over at 164 overall, two shots behind co-medalists Avery Sills of Lincoln and Amy Beth Simanton of Lake Oswego.

"It could've been worse," Little said. "I was hoping to win the thing, but you don't always get what you want. It's just going to motivate me that much more to win the next one."

Junior Sophie Elstrott tied for seventh to lead South Eugene to ninth place. She shot 85 in the final round to finish at 169.

St. Mary's won the team title by 31 shots over Jesuit.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Sheldon junior fires record 66, but Jesuit clips defending champs by two strokes
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 16, 2007
Words:772
Previous Article:Denker done as South's girls basketball coach.
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