Bellarmine Bells ring at Carson golf title | NevadaAppeal.com
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Bellarmine Bells ring at Carson golf title

Dave Price

A round of golf on Eagle Valley’s West Course is known to be hazardous from time to time, regardless of how much experience a player has.

J.D. de Regt and the Bellarmine Prep (San Jose) boys golf team played well on their first visit to the West Course Thursday for the final round of the 12th annual Dick Stoddard Memorial – well enough to wrap up the team championship.

Meanwhile, a little hometown knowledge of the layout at Eagle Valley paid off for Dayton High senior Ryan Rodriguez, who shot 1-under par 71 to lead all players on the final day of the tournament played under ideal springtime conditions. And the home course advantage seemed to work out for the tournament-host Carson Senators, as their A team finished third, only eight shots behind Bellarmine, and their B team finished fifth in the 19-team field

“The tournament went real well,” Carson coach Rod Butler said. “The players had a good time, the coaches had a good time, we had great weather, and Eagle Valley did some wonderful things for us as far as putting this tournament on.”

Bellarmine won the championship with a 762 total – just two shots off the tournament record Carson set last year – while Eureka, Calif., finished second at 768 and Carson third at 772. Fallon was fourth at 782, the Carson B team was fifth at 790 and Dayton sixth at 796.

“Fallon had beaten us in our last two league events, so it was a little boost for us to beat them,” Butler said. “Everybody was consistent and all of our scores were all packed in close together.”

Between the two teams, 10 of Carson’s 12 players shot in the 150s. Jeremy Nielsen led the A team with his 153, while Jimmy Potter shot 154, Tyson Roser 156, Tim Hohl 156, J.T. Cockerill 157 and Scott Jenkins 159. Hohl shot 78 and Cockerill 79 to lead the Senators on Thursday.

Carson’s B team was packed in pretty close as well. Andrew Meyer shot 154, Chad Gilmore 155 (in just his first tournament of the season), Derek Zastre 156, Kyle Winter 159 and Bryan Upton 166.

That balance wasn’t enough to catch a Bellarmine team that recently finished second at the high-powered Joe Barry Memorial Junior Masters hosted by Jesuit in Sacramento, losing by only one stroke to Yuba City (Calif.). The Bells feature some tradition, having won two Central Coast Section championships in the last six years.

“We’ve had a pretty good year so far,” said Bellarmine coach Leo Ruth, who is in his 23rd season coaching golf and 34th year at the school overall. “We went to the Jesuit tournament and shot 754 for two rounds at Ancil Hoffman, then we came here and had two fun days, so I’m pleased with the way things are coming together right now.”

De Regt was impressive on his way to earning medalist honors with a 3-under par 141 during the two-day event. The senior shot 3-under par 69 on Wednesday and closed with a 72 on the West Course.

“I was happy to see J.D. play well. He struggled early in the season, but in our last league match, he shot 2-under on difficult course and on a windy day. And then today, he shot even par on a difficult course he’s never seen before, which was a real good accomplishment,” Ruth said.

Fallon’s Body Hammon, the tournament’s defending champion, finished tied for second-place on the individual leader board with sophomore teammate Scott Smith at 2-over 146.

Dayton’s Rodriguez nearly cracked the top 10 with his 1-under round that left him with a 153 total for the tournament.

“When he’s on, he’s on. It’s just been a matter of consistency as far as Ryan is concerned,” Dayton coach Brad Wick said of the year. “Yesterday, he shoots 82 and today he shoots 71 on a tougher course. I think part of the problem yesterday was that he got too excited when he saw that wide open East Course and tried to go for everything. Today, he just played consistent.”

The sixth-place team finish was another highlight for the Dust Devils, according to Wick.

“I’m proud of our kids,” said Wick, whose team is currently third in the Northern 3A regular season match standings. “Being a 3A school playing against mostly 4A schools, I’m real excited about the way we played.”

In addition to Rodriguez, Trent Wood finished at 157 and freshman Kevin Goles 159 for the Dust Devils.

This tournament served as good preparation for the two-day Northern 4A Regional Tournament, which will be played next month at Wolf Run in Reno.

“The guys are a little tired after playing the last two days and, before that, playing Tuesday at D’Andrea,” Butler said. “That’s a tough three days of walking, but they’re young so they should be used to it – and they know they’ve got to be ready to play well for two days at zone.”