Ridgefield High School senior Cade Bringhurst knocked in the final putt of his high school career at Mint Valley Golf Course in Longview on the afternoon of March 28, ending with a score of 65 strokes for the second day of the district tournament.
The putt was enough for Bringhurst to place second overall in the tournament and break a personal record.
“It was the final round of my high school career and it was cool for it to happen how it did,” Bringhurst said. “It’s the lowest I’ve ever shot.”
Bringhurst has been golfing for the Spudders for all four years of his high school career. For his first two years as a Spudder, he golfed alongside his brother, Kellen. In the summer of 2020, Bringhurst golfed in the Oregon Amatuer Golf Tournament with his brother as his caddy.
“It was awesome. It was the first time Kellen caddied for me,” Bringhurst told The Reflector last June. “It was different this time because he was on the bag and we were trying to figure out how to play this golf course together.”
Though he missed match play by a single stroke at the Oregon tournament last June, Bringhurst said he kept practicing golf “nearly every day” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic both for fun and practice. As for getting to play his senior season, Bringhurst said it was “awesome” to finally play for a team again.
“We weren’t sure whether or not we would get a season,” he said. “It was great to get out and compete and play some golf.”
COVID-19 wasn’t the only barrier Bringhurst needed to hop before getting on the course for his senior season. Two weeks before his first tee, he broke his collarbone in a snowboarding accident and missed the first two weeks of his final year.
“I definitely struggled a little bit at the beginning. … When I came back I was really rusty,” he said. “But, as the season went along, I got back into the swing of things and that final day I knew it was going to be the last round of my high school career and I wanted to give it my all.”
Bringhurst said his 65 stroke score in the tournament came from “playing really aggressive golf” since he “had nothing to lose.”
As for the final putt, Bringhurst said it “felt really good” to put the ball in and shoot the best game of his life with his grandparents, parents, teammates and coaches watching. However, the moment came with bittersweet feelings as he knew he wouldn’t be on the course as a Spudder again.
“It was a really good way to end my high school career and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Bringhurst said. “I’ve had a tremendous experience playing high school golf. I have the best coaches in the world and it was definitely sad knowing that I wouldn’t play another round. It’s been an incredible journey.”
After placing second in the district tournament, Bringhurst decided he wasn’t done playing sports just yet and signed up to play on the Ridgefield High School baseball team. Bringhurst said he quit baseball in seventh grade to “focus on golf.” However, since it’s his senior year, he decided “why not play?” and hit the diamond as pitcher and left fielder for the Spuds.
His golf skills help him play better baseball, Bringhurst said. The “swings are very similar” as both require you to use your hips and lower body for most of the power.
“(Through) golf, I’ve really learned how to stay patient because it’s a really slow game and you need to have patience,” he said. “And you need to have patience as a batter.”
After the baseball season, Bringhurst is headed to New York City to serve in a Korean-speaking mission of New York City. Following his service, Bringhurst said he plans to get back on the course again and compete in tournaments to possibly be picked up by a college team.
“While on my mission, I’ll be two years without touching a golf club,” he said. “I’ll come back and have summer to get my game back.”
While he has future plans to play golf, Bringhurst said he’ll never forget the time he spent teeing off as a Spudder.
“I’ve had an awesome time with high school sports. I know these are going to be some of the best memories of my entire life,” he said.