May 11, 2022 - On Friday, May 6, Siuslaw freshman Ryan Klampe introduced himself to Special District 3 in dramatic fashion by taking the individual title in Siuslaw’s first year fielding a golf team in over ten years.
When the school year started, Siuslaw did not even have a golf team — making Klampe’s accomplishment even more impressive and probably quite stunning to the competition, who didn’t know they would be competing with Siuslaw until just a few months ago.
The OSAA 4A Special District 3 Championship was held at Eagle Point Golf Course. Weather was nice for day one.
Klampe played well right out of the gate. For his first 18 holes, on May 5, he scored a 2-over par 74 to take a 7-stroke lead over his closest competitor, Cruz Kilborn of host school North Valley (Grants Pass).
“I thought I played really good on the first day,” said Klampe. “I made a couple mistakes but overall, I did really good.”
Klampe’s teammates struggled a bit on the first day at a new course. After one day of competition, Siuslaw was sixth out of seven teams with 492 strokes. Host school North Valley was the leader with 366 strokes followed by Henley, of Klamath Falls, with 377.
Joining Klampe on the Viking boys golf team at the district competition were seniors Kayden Lane and Zion Jones and sophomore Talin Loomis.
For Klampe, day two was quite a challenge.
First, his back was bothering him during the first nine holes. Then the weather turned.
“The second day we had some really nice stretches,” said Johnson. “Then the wind picked up and the rain came. Here on the coast, we’re used to the rain hitting us in the in the ear, but man, when those heavy drops came down, they're hitting us right on the top of the hat, that’s a little different for us. But our kids just handled that really well. Ryan had some rough stretches, and the last three holes were miserable, but he maintained that lead.”
With a 7-stroke lead after day one, Klampe knew, if he played conservatively, the district title was his for the taking. He did just that.
“Ryan was making pars and birdies,” said Johnson. “Then, if he did have make a mistake, it was never worse than a bogey. I think Ryan, for a freshman, was very brilliant. Just knowing after day one that the tournament was his if he just made pars — and that’s pretty much what he did.”
Along with a sore back and some really bad weather, Klampe started feeling flu like symptoms about halfway through day two.
“On the back nine I started feeling really sick and couldn’t really maintain focus,” recalled Klampe. “I think I played kind of bad. Luckily, I played well enough to win the tournament.”
He most definitely played well enough.
Klampe took the Special District 3 title by a remarkable 13 strokes over Kilborn. His day two score was 80 (+8) giving him a score of 154 (+10) for the tournament. After Kilborn’s 167, next was Keola Brown of Phoenix with a score of 180, then Isaac Barnes of Klamath Union with 181.
Almost as impressive as Klampe’s district title was the drastic improvement shown by all three of his Viking teammates between day one and two.
Lane shaved 10 strokes off his score going from 124 to 114. Loomis dropped from 150 to 138. Jones made the biggest turnaround. He scored 144 over 18 holes on day one but took 24 strokes off to score 120 on day two.
“It was very impressive what my teammates did,” Klampe said. “Zion improved by over 20 strokes, which is really good. Kayden played way better. Talin took off 12 strokes. They all did really good. I was really proud of what they did on the second day.”
Coach Johnson was also quite impressed by his entire team.
“You know the thing I love about those kids is they said ‘we’re not going to settle for this’ after day one,” he recalled. “They decided they were going to go out and do better. They literally took 40 strokes off their score from day one to day two.”
North Valley took the team title with a two-day score of 756. Next was Henley with 797, then Mazama in third with 819. Siuslaw was seventh with 944 strokes.
“I’m sure a few eyebrows were raised when little Siuslaw showed up and had the individual winner,” said Johnson. “The group of fans that followed Ryan and watched him play was very complimentary of his skill and the way he handled himself. When people down there found out he was a freshman, they were in disbelief — and not only because of how he hits a golf ball, but also his mature demeaner.”
Next up for Klampe is the OSAA 4A State Championship at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks on May 16 and 17.
The Siuslaw girls golf team competed in their district tournament on May 9 to 10, after press deadlines. Look for coverage in the Siuslaw News.