Athlete of the Week: Owen Tunstill

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Athlete of the Week: Owen Tunstill

Tunstill shot his lowest round of 74 strokes at Mallard Creek this past summer.

Tunstill shot his lowest round of 74 strokes at Mallard Creek this past summer.

Reilly Smith

Tunstill shot his lowest round of 74 strokes at Mallard Creek this past summer.

Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith

Tunstill shot his lowest round of 74 strokes at Mallard Creek this past summer.

Emily Hawkins, Editor

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Junior Owen Tunstill has been teeing up golf balls since he was two years old and has been on the varsity boys golf team since freshman year.

“My dad [is] a pro [at Columbia Edgewater Country Club] so he kind of introduced me to the game,” Tunstill said.

With golf season having just started on Feb. 25, Tunstill has made a goal to qualify for state as an individual and lower his scoring average to below 78 strokes this year. His current scoring average is about 80 strokes, and his handicap is 10.3, making him one of La Salle’s top golfers. 

His favorite courses to play are Mallard Creek Golf Course in Lebanon and Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland. Outside of school, he plays in some Oregon Junior Golf (OJG) tournaments.

Tunstill says that his favorite part about golf is that “it’s always different.” He likes that each course is unique, and even if you do play the same course over and over again, it will never be the exact same experience.

He shot his lowest round of 74 strokes at Mallard Creek this past summer.

“I kind of get the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve accomplished something and knowing that I’ve helped other people accomplish something as well, and just that whole team dynamic,” Tunstill said.

He says that “keeping a level head within a round” is the hardest part about playing golf. “If you hit a bad shot and you make a bad score on a hole, [it’s a matter] of not letting that affect you and the rest of your round,” Tunstill said.

When dealing with adversity during a round of golf, Tunstill said that “the worst case scenario is [that] I would get a double bogey… [and] adding two strokes to a hole isn’t that bad, and I can recover from that.”

The JV and varsity boys golf teams have matches every Monday, with JV playing nine holes and varsity playing 18 holes. They all get Tuesdays off. They practice at the driving range on Wednesdays and Thursdays. On Fridays, they play at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City. In addition, Tunstill usually plays golf on the weekends, and occasionally on Tuesdays.

“It’s fun… being around people who like to do the same thing as you and… I love playing golf,” Tunstill said. “[The golf team is] a way for me to play more golf, more often with other people at our school.”

He is motivated by his love for the game and wanting to continue improving. His dad taught him how to golf, and he is still the source of most of his lessons.  

“I’m not sure if I’ll go to college for golf, but I’ll definitely continue to play golf in college even if I don’t play for a college,” Tunstill said.

The boys golf teams play in their first league tournament on Monday, Mar. 18 at Wildwood Golf Course near Scappoose.

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