Tue07292014

Sports

Finishing strong


Photo By: Courtesy of Dave Buchanan
Photo Courtesy Of Dave Buchanan

Andrew Buchanan shot an even-par 71 at the CIF/CGA State Boys Golf Championships, good enough to tie for eighth place.

Although Andrew Buchanan fell short in his bid to claim the individual title at last week’s CIF/CGA State Boys Golf Championships – finishing five shots behind the winner – he couldn’t have played the final hole of his high school career much better.

The Los Altos Hills resident, who started his round on the 10th, capped it with a birdie on the longest hole at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel.

“It was a nice finish to my high school golf career, and it felt good to birdie the par 5 ninth hole, which was my last hole today,” Buchanan said after the June 5 event.

The birdie on that 541-yard hole was his fourth of the day, guaranteeing the Menlo School senior an even-par round of 71. That was good enough to tie three other golfers for eighth place.

“He was certainly hoping to shoot a couple of strokes better at state – and had two short putts lip out – but everyone has a story about what could have been,” said Dave Buchanan, Andrew’s father and Menlo’s coach.

Quail Lodge is a short course (6,449 yards), so Buchanan kept his drivers in the bag most of the day. He used drivers on only two tee shots, according to his dad.

Buchanan got off to a solid start, bagging two birdies and just one bogey at the turn. That left him 1-under par with nine holes remaining.

Buchanan posted just as many birdies on the front nine, but his three bogeys bogged him down. It took that birdie on the ninth hole to save Buchanan from slipping to 12th place.

The tournament featured a field of 54; qualifiers included the top nine individuals and top three teams of six from each regional final (North and South). Buchanan also shot par at the NorCal tourney, tying for fourth.

“I guess the thing that stands out to me about Andrew’s postseason this year was that he did not shoot over par in any round (state, NorCal, Central Coast Section finals and CCS regionals),” Dave said.

During the regular season, Andrew led Menlo to an undefeated league season. He was either medalist or co-medalist in every match.

“It has been fun to watch Andrew grow up during his high school career, and I really respect his commitment to golf and putting in the practice times that he did,” Dave said.

Andrew graduated from Menlo Friday and will next play for Southern Methodist University on a scholarship.

“It is definitely bittersweet to be leaving Menlo,” he said. “I have really enjoyed my teammates and I am looking forward to playing for SMU in the fall.”

Before that, Buchanan is scheduled to compete in a slew of summer events, starting with the 102nd California State Amateur. The tourney is slated to begin Monday at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

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