Golfers shoot for state tournament bid
A compressed start followed by a month-long break is an advantage for the Fallon boys golf team.
The Greenwave tee off with their preseason icebreaker on Friday, but follow with tournaments on March 12 and back-to-back events on March 18-19.
Fallon doesn’t return to the links until April 16-17, but coach Rich Evans said it’s an opportunity for his golfers to take advantage of the hiatus and work on their game before the stretch run.
“That’s going to be a really good opportunity to hone in on the game,” Evans said. “I kind of like that because you can have a couple tournaments to see where you are sitting and where you need to improve. Then you get a month to improve on it.”
Leading the way for Fallon is a talented group spearheaded by returning state qualifier Jeff Evett and Corbin Waite, both seniors.
Waite, though, has taken his game to another level after missing the state cut by three strokes last year. He competed throughout the summer, and after completing his final year on the soccer field, returned to work on his game in preparation for a run at the state field.
Evett, meanwhile, finished 34th at state last year, but teammed with Waite, Raymond Plasse, Nick Smith, Jake Kirsch, Mike Richards II and freshman Kelvin Cannis, Evans said qualifying as a team is the goal.
“We had a pretty good offseason,” he added. “He (Evett) is looking pretty good and has a lot of potential. We are also pretty hopeful for Corbin Waite.”
Waite’s continuous play has pushed him into the No. 1 role for Friday’s icebreaker in Hawthorne.
“We’ll see, you never know, but I’m optimistic,” Evans said.
It has been four years since the Wave finished in the top three to qualifying as a team for the state tournament. That squad won the state championship, although this year’s chase for the crown will be even tougher.
Lowry, Elko and Spring Creek are always tough, while Faith Lutheran returns its six golfers (only the top five score) from its 2014 state title team.
Nevertheless, Evans is confident his bunch can turn the corner and compete for at least the third spot in the North, if not higher.
“I would love to fit into the top three,” he added. “Lowry and Elko are right up there at the top. The rest of us, we will see how we fall.”
To lower scores, Evans said the focus has been on course management, which includes knowing when to put the driver away and hit a safer club to ensure putting the ball in the fairway.
In addition, chipping and putting are always an area of practice as a solid up-and-down game drastically lowers scores.
“Being conservative is usually the best way to go, when you are going for the best score,” Evans said. “It’s not about how far you drive the ball, it’s about staying out of danger.”
Of course, the elder statesmen on the team has come to terms with holding back their egos, Evans said, but the tough part is teaching the underclassmen how to recognize the safe play.
“Incorporating that into the young kids, we will always be doing that as coaches,” he added.