Carson golf wins third straight
Appeal Sports Writer
SPARKS – There is no stopping the Carson High golf team these days.
The Senators, despite a sub-par performance by J.T. Cockerill, won their third straight Sierra League tournament with a team score of 421 Tuesday at Wildcreek Golf Course.
Carson won by 11 shots over Reno, which was led by medalist Andrew Amadin. South Tahoe was third with a 458, Douglas was fourth with a 465, Wooster was fifth at 493 and North Valleys was sixth at 495. Damonte Ranch took seventh at 512.
Cockerill, the winner of the past two tournaments, shot an 81 as did teammate Matt Mitchell. Zack Rispin finished with an 84, Scott Jenkins 87 and Spencer Brinson 88. Jimmy Potter had a non-counting 91, which included a chip-in eagle and an 11 on No. 18.
“We’re trying to win them all,” Jenkins said. “It would be nice to go undefeated.”
Coach Rod Butler agreed, but he’s not quite ready to proclaim his team the best around.
“I’m trying to keep them reined in,” he said. “Things are going well, but that’s just in our league. I like to look and see how the other league (High Desert) does. That’s how I determine how well we did. We shouldn’t have won today. I’m surprised that Reno didn’t pass us.”
The blustery wind made it tough for anybody to make up ground on the Senators, and Amadin and Wooster’s Bobby McCracken were the only golfers to shoot 80 or lower.
“The wind was tough to play with,” Cockerill said. “I was having trouble judging it. I would hit what I thought was a good shot, and was leaving shots short or long (all day).
“I didn’t get up and down like I have been. I don’t even know what happened out there. I try to play well so I can help the team do well. I feel like I let them down today. It’s pretty disappointing.”
Things started to unravel on the par-5 18th when Cockerill used a 3-wood and missed his target by at least 40 yards, landing in a hazard. He ended up with a double-bogey 7.
“I wasn’t trying to clear it (the hazard),” Cockerill said. “I was 60 yards to the right of my target. The second one I just got lucky.”
Cockerill found water on No. 1, leading to another double bogey.
“I actually hit a good shot,” Cockerill said. “There happened to be water down there.”
He had the opportunity for birdies on No. 5 and No. 15. On the fifth hole, his approach shot was short and he three-putted. On the 15th, he drove the ball 20 yards short of the 352-yard par-4, but a bad chip shot forced him to settle for a par.
Cockerill has carried the Senators over the past couple of years, and it was time for somebody else to step up. Mitchell and Rispin were equal to the task.
“I thought Matt played pretty well,” Butler said. “I expect him to shoot somewhere between 76 and 82, and he did that. Zack shot what I expected. I expect him to shoot between 80 and 86. Those two stayed in their range.
“Spencer played in his first tournament and shot 88. That’s fine, and his score counted. That’s a good thing.”
Mitchell recorded one birdie on the par-5 7th thanks to a good drive and a nice 8-iron that landed in the back of the green. Mitchell two-putted from there.
The only blips in his round were double-bogeys on No. 3 (bad chip shot) and No. 9 (bad drive).
Rispin birdied No. 18, hitting three irons to reach the green in regulation and then draining a 10-foot putt. He did have three double-bogeys.
“I scored well on the back (40),” Rispin said. “I hit only two bad shots that last nine.”
Jenkins played with a heavy heart. His grandmother passed away Monday night, and his thoughts were obviously on her.
“I didn’t play really well at all,” Jenkins said. “I had a lot of things running through my mind all day. I had to play today. I didn’t want to let the team down.
“I played good the first nine holes. I let it slip away and never brought it back.”
Jenkins’ score was amazing when you consider he took a 10 on the par-4 first hole. Jenkins, who started on No. 5 in the shotgun format, deposited three balls into the water hazard.
Jenkins had one birdie, that coming at the par-5 seventh when he hit driver and 5-wood and two putted.
The series of tournaments continues next Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Rosewood Lakes in Reno.