Golfers set sights on state
Division I-A state golf
The Division I-A state golf tournament begins Monday at noon at Old Greenwood Golf Course, while Tuesday’s final round commences at 10 a.m. at The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing. Both courses are in Truckee.
Admission is free to spectators.
Like a lightning bolt, a freshman crashed his way into the state tournament.
On the heels of an 87 at Truckee on Wednesday, Fallon golfer Kelvin Cann cemented his bid into Monday and Tuesday’s Division I-A state tournament in Truckee.
Monday’s action tees off at noon at Old Greenwood Golf Course, while Tuesday’s final round commences at 10 a.m. at The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing.
Cann’s meteoric rise has come as a surprise, a pleasant one, to coach Rich Evans. Cann didn’t play in the Greenwave’s first two tournaments of the season, but soon became a fixture into the lineup along side fellow state qualifiers Corbin Waite and Raymond Plasse.
Since Cann earned a roster spot, he hasn’t shot higher than 89 and finished as the Northern DI-A’s No. 6 individual from non-qualifying teams with an 87.2 average. He tees off at 2:15 p.m. Monday in the final pairing.
“He’s really stepped up this year,” Evans said. “He likes to step up and swing with the best of them. It’s been along time since Fallon has had a freshman qualify for state.”
Waite, meanwhile, has been Fallon’s steady force all season shooting a 78 and 82 in the final two matches of the season at South Tahoe and Truckee, respectively. The senior is the region’s No. 3 qualifier with an 82.2 average and tees off at 12:36 p.m.
Plasse, a sophomore, has been just as consistent with low rounds of 79 and 80, although he finished the season with an 87 and 88. His first round begins at 1:48 p.m.
However, Waite and Plasse were named second-team All Northern DI-A.
Despite the Wave finishing fifth in the team standings — only the top three clubs qualify for the team tournament — Fallon is well represented at the state tournament.
Elko won the league title followed by Spring Creek, Truckee and Lowry.
“I’m pretty optimistic about the tournament,” Waite said. “I’ve been avoiding getting too high or too low. I’m just keeping the head level.”
Evans, though, is confident and excited about his player’s chances at state. The two mountain courses fit each player’s games and having just played in rugged conditions recently, they won’t be shocked by the weather.
One issue to overcome, however, is the lack of experience at the state tournament. All three are first-time qualifiers, but Waite said having a pair of teammates to warm-up with is reassuring to ease into the moment.
“We’re all pretty nervous, but it’s fantastic to have teammates coming,” Waite added. “It’s always good to have teammates and friends there.”
As for their game, Evans said Waite’s strength is his ability to keep the ball straight and avoid hitting off the fairway. With a bevy of tall trees littering the edge of the fairways, Waite’s game is suited to navigate the potential pitfalls.
Waite added he has been playing much better in the past week including a second-place finish in a field of more than 170 players at a nonleague tournament at Edgedwood Country Club in South Tahoe. In addition, his putting has been on point allowing him to tap in for pars and birdies instead of double bogeys.
“He can shoot in the low 70s on challenging courses,” Evans said. “He usually doesn’t get himself into trouble. If you spray one off the fairway, you’re in the big trees and that can be pretty damaging to your score. He stays pretty true and straight.”
As for Plasse, Evans said the sophomore’s demeanor on the course is his biggest advantage. Cool, calm and collected, Plasses never plays too high or too low and is able to shrug off bad shots and refocus on the next one.
“He keeps emotions under control,” Evans said. “I’ve seen so many players at state blow up because of emotions. Nothing seems to bother Ray too much. He’s a smart, conservative player and isn’t always going for it, which is good for him on these courses.”
Cann, meanwhile, has softened his swing substituting accuracy for distance. The results have paid off, Evans, said.