Deanna Salvatori was one of the most accomplished female high school girls golfers in Oregon before Tuesday’s Central Valley Conference tournament at Illahe Hills Country Club.
The junior from Sprague High School accomplished something new.
Salvatori shot a two-over par 76 to win the first CVC tournament of the season and it was the first time in her high school career that she had won a conference tournament.
Every CVC girls golf tournament in the past four years was won by either Ashlee Pickerell (now at Oregon State) or Salvatori’s older sister, Sarah, (now at St. Martin’s).
“It felt good,” Salvatori said. “I know I was always kind of in the shadow of my sister and Ashlee. It feels good to finally be on top for once.”
South Salem senior Abigail Heringer placed second with a round of 83, McNary freshman Cammie Decker placed third with a 90 followed by South Salem’s Emily Roth (96) and McNary’s Kristen Fauser (97).
Salvatori shot a 39 on the front nine at Illahe, then started the back nine strong with two birdies on the first three holes. She finished with a couple bogeys for a par 37 on the back.
“I think I just let it all go and I know on the front I was really, really tense and I was like, okay, you can’t miss this putt,” she said. “It’s for par and if I missed it I would get angry at myself.
“On the back I was just new nine, just play your best. I was even. I was two under, but I’m happy in how I’m finished.”
Salvatori placed second at the district meet last year and placed third in the state, but winning a conference meet was one of those few goals that had eluded her for most of her high school career.
The winner at the league meets this season likely will be decided in the first group between Salvatori and Heringer.
“I never really felt the pressure and just had to focus on my score,” Heringer said. “It’s a lot different this year. Without question Deanna is a great player. Even on her off days she always has a consistent round.
“The pressure is different, I think, but I guess I don’t feel. Deanna’s a great person to play with. We’re competitive, but we still talk and joke on the golf course. That’s nice.”
Led by Heringer, South Salem won the tournament with a score of 400, beating McNary by four strokes.
Sophie Clarke shot 103 for the Saxons, freshman Mady Martinez shot 113 and Maggie Flood shot 128.
Heringer closed with a 41 on the back nine and play consistently throughout her round, but had some drives land off the fairway.
Her placing of second equals the best finish of her high school career.
“It was kind of a struggle,” Heringer said. “My drives were all over the place today. I had a lot of tap ins and my putting was moderate.
“I wasn’t sinking putts, but I wasn’t missing them by miles either. My goal for the season was to break 80 every round, so of course I’m a little disappointed, but this is a harder course, so I can’t expect a whole lot.”
Decker, who played in the No. 1 group with Salvatori and Heringer, was playing in the second tournament of her career.
The younger sister of former 6A softball player of the year Hailey Decker, Cammie Decker doesn’t play intimidated and methodically worked her way through the course.
She sank a couple par-saving long putts on the back nine.
“It’s actually the weakest of my game, but I felt like I was having a really good game today,” Decker said.
At Illahe Hills Country Club
Team scores– South Salem 400, McNary 404, Sprague 431, West Salem 491, North Salem inc.
Individual results– Salvatori (Spr) 76, Heringer (SS) 83, Decker (McN) 90, Roth (SS) 96, Fauser (McN) 97.
Sprague– Salvatori 76, Eiter 105, Hagedorn 119, Queen 131, Ivie 132.
South Salem– Heringer 83, Roth 96, Clarke 103, Flood 128, Martinez 118.
West Salem– Masters 113, O’Bryant 134, Stevens 131, Nako 127, Trevis 120.
McNary– Decker 90, Fauser 97, Paul 102, Proulx 115, Kehret 131.
North Salem– O’Connor 116, Moore 126.