Although the site of today's Northern 4A Zone girls golf championship - Silver Oak Golf Course - is not officially Carson High School's home course, the Senators certainly aren't complaining that the zone tourney is being held in their home town.
"It will just be more comfortable for us," said Senator coach Paul Croghan, noting his players won't have to worry about transportation or what to pack for the tourney. "We've been practicing one time a week at Silver Oak, including all 18 holes last Thursday, and have played the front nine several times.
"Three of our girls have played there a lot; definitely, we got more girls who've played there than the other schools. We're helped to a degree playing there."
A total of 58 golfers, including the top eight teams and 10 individuals not on a qualifying team from regular-season zone play, are entered in today's 18-hole tournament. The top four teams, as well as top five individuals not on one of the top teams, advance to the 4A State Championships next week Canyon Gate Country Club in Las Vegas.
Carson enters the tournament ranked No. 3 among qualifying teams. Croghan said he'd gladly take another third-place finish today from the Senators.
"It would be nice to win, but Galena (No. 1 in the rankings) has been playing pretty steady," said Croghan, whose Senators were fourth in zone and eighth in state in '98. "It'd just be nice to go to state."
The other teams participating in today's event are Reno, ranked No. 2 just ahead of Carson, Reed, Wooster, McQueen, Lowry and Elko. Douglas finished ninth in the regular season and failed to qualify as a team, but the Tigers do have several individuals playing in the tourney.
The Senator lineup today includes (listed with tee-off time): Cassidy Baxter (11:16 a.m.), Laura Borst (11:32 a.m.), Megan Mulvaney (11:46 a.m.), Christie Upton (11:56 a.m.), Sara Liveratti (12:04 p.m.) and Lissell Fitzhenry (12:20 p.m.).
Of the Carson players, Baxter appears to have the best shot of making a run at individual medalist honors. She ranks 10th among individuals entering play today, with no round over 89 this season.
"She's the first Carson golfer to shoot in the 80s for all six of her matches since Lynda Upton (now a scholarship golfer for Nevada)," Croghan said. "She shot an 82 at our practice round at Silver Oak and could break 80."
Other individual favorites include Fallon's Mandy Chapell and Galena's Chandeni Gill.
Notes: Carson High's official home course is Eagle Valley The Northern 4A Zone tourney is the second large tournament of the week hosted by Silver Oak. The first, the Wolf Pack Collegiate Invitational, was completed on Tuesday The zone tourney was originally scheduled to run 36 holes over two days, but was reduced to a one-day tournament by the NIAA to make the Northern tournament the same amount of holes as the Southern Tournament.