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Olympic College's women's and men's golf teams fared very well in a short fall season earlier this week

By George Edgar
For West Sound SportsPlus

At first, Bjorn Bjorke wasn’t sure if there would be a golf season for Olympic College, not with the current coronavirus pandemic going around.

But the golfers on the team wanted to play, so Rangers worked out a plan.

Olympic College just finished a short fall season by playing in three tournaments, including the Southwest Oregon Community College Tournament on October 26 in Portland, Oregon. McKenzie Lake, a Klahowya graduate, placed second in the women’s tournament with a one-round score of 93, while Colin Cavanaugh of Tacoma tied for third in the men’s competition with a score of 77.

Olympic College freshman Colin Cavanaugh watches his ball during the SW Oregon Invite earlier this week. It was the first competition the OC men’s and womens’s teams have played in since the coronavirus lockdown in the spring. Cavanaugh went on to finish third.
(Photo credit: Olympic College)

Before that, on October 23, the Rangers hosted their own tournament at their home course at Gold Mountain. Roger O’Hara tied for 10th in the men’s competition, while Lake placed fourth in the women’s competition.

“They were just happy to be playing,” said Bjorke, who is in his eighth year as golf coach at OC. He is also general manager at McCormick Woods in Port Orchard. OC golf uses both Gold Mountain and McCormick Woods for practices.

“Some couldn’t travel but that’s okay,” Bjorke said.

This season has been trying but at least there was a season, as the players and coaches found a way to participate in tournaments and stay within safety guidelines.

“It’s different,” Bjorke said. “We only practice two days a week, and everything’s outdoors. Sometimes indoors but not this year.” The team followed necessary protocols, including staying six-feet apart outdoors. “That made it easier. It’s not like football or baseball.”

“It was definitely different,” said Lake, a graduate of Chimacum High School. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We did take a trip to Oregon – with our masks on.

“You have to keep your head up,” she added, “and not be paranoid. Golf is an open-air sport.”

The team didn’t have to travel much. If they did, they went in their own cars to Federal Way for their first tournament back in September and to Portland earlier in the week.

Olympic College freshman McKenzie Lake takes a swing during the SW Oregon Invite earlier this week. It was the first competition the OC women’s and men’s teams have played in since the coronavirus lockdown in the spring. Lake went on to finish second.
(Photo credit: Olympic College)

“I really wanted to play,” Lake said, “and I’m glad I got to play. You have to remind yourself to space out. The chances of getting it is very low out in the open, as opposed to being in a room.”

At the tournaments, there was no exchanging of scorecards, as scoring can now be done online with smart phones.

“It’s working,” Bjorke said. “They have a competitive outlet.”

Bjorke said there will be no events until next spring, while they re-evaluate their situation over the winter.

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