In his first state championship tournament appearance last season, Canby sophomore Sam Krauss felt nervous as he walked up to the first hole tee box in front of a sizeable crowd.
This year, he felt more comfortable with his surroundings and confident in himself.
And the results matched his mentality.
After finishing tied for 48th in state via a pair of 80s last year, Krauss shot a 76 and a 79 in two state tournament rounds this year and placed 16th in state May 15-16 at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.
Krauss felt he could have played better but is happy with his performance.
"I was pretty happy with it. I was glad with how much I moved up and wasn't too disappointed in myself at all," he said.
For the second consecutive year, Krauss put forth one of his best rounds of the season at the regional tournament. In the tournament a few weeks ago, Krauss shot a 73, placed tied for second overall and qualified for state for the second consecutive year.
"I really wanted to play in state this year. It was just clicking. I didn't feel a ton of pressure. I just thought I'm going to hopefully have a good round of golf and I did," he said.
And he continued his exceptional play in the first round at state. In the opening nine holes, Krauss birdied two par fives and shot one over par. Krauss feasted on par fives throughout the tournament.
"They weren't very long par fives so I almost reached the green in two, hit approach shots to a close distance and made the putts," Krauss said.
Krauss then went three-over par in the next round to finish with 76 strokes. Through day one, he resided in 13th place.
With violent gusts of wind, day two was a more arduous day for all golfers. To compensate, Krauss pressed his hands forward in order to decrease loft on his shots.
"It was almost a guessing game trying to figure out what club to hit. I tried to keep it lower to hit it out of the wind," he said.
The Canby sophomore struggled on the front nine – accumulating 42 strokes – but bounces back with a 37 on the back nine to finish with 79 strokes.
Krauss says he's better at regrouping following bad shots and bad holes than he was last year and that this factor helped him on the second day of state.
"I'm better at staying more in control of my game, being able to know how to turn it around after a bad shot and being more mature with my game," he said.
With nine of the 15 players who finished higher than him graduating, Krauss could have a good chance of finishing in the top 10 next year.
"He played mostly with all seniors and as a sophomore he put up respectable scores. He's playing well. It wasn't like he missed the elite by that much. Three strokes less and he would have finished in the top ten. To post two scores under 80, that's great as a sophomore," Canby head coach Greg Larrison said.