Golf controversy could affect KingCo 3A title | Update

UPDATE: The KingCo athletic directors ruled in favor of Sammamish. The Totems have been awarded the win over Mercer Island.

Later today, a panel of neutral parties will hold a hearing that could determine the KingCo 3A boys golf champion.

The hearing will determine the course of action following a protest on the result of last week’s match between undefeated Mercer Island and Sammamish – the two teams vying to win the conference crown.

The hearing stems from a situation that occurred after both teams ended the match – hosted by Sammamish – tied at 195.

The teams followed tiebreaker rules from the KingCo manual, specifically policy No.12, said Sammamish coach John Pat Bourassa. Because no player from either team had an X on their scoresheet (a score of 10 on any hole), the squads gathered for a one hole playoff.

The KingCo rules state that all five varsity players with counting scores in the match that caused the tie will participate. After the playoff, all scores are counted and the team that finishes with the lowest score wins.

Bourassa said he began to collect those qualifying players and repeatedly stated he needed those golfers. Bourassa said Mercer Island coach Tyson Peters heard it, but claims he didn’t understand it.

Mercer Island’s five golfers in the playoff hole finished 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th on the hole and won the playoff (and the match) 24 strokes to 25 for Sammamish.

But one of Mercer Island’s golfers in the playoff hole participated when he was not in the five scoring players for the original match, Bourassa said, and the Sammamish coaches noticed this after the playoff. Because of that fact, and because of the rules stated in the KingCo handbook, Sammamish’s position is that it should be awarded the win in the match and remain at 5-0.

“I’m not trying to indict Tyson or the Mercer Island players,” Bourassa said. “They were never in poor conduct. We’re not protesting any conduct because both teams were at the highest level of play and the highest level of sportsmanship.”

The athletic director’s for each school will make a presentation at today’s meeting, Bourassa said, and the committee will vote on a course of action.

Bourassa reiterated that there was no animosity between the players or coaches and that all conduct on the day of the match was “professional.”

“We think we’re 5-0 currently,” he said.

Sammamish plays its final match today against Mount Si. The committee’s decision should be announced late this afternoon.