Laguna Creek leads Carson in record day at Dick Stoddard Memorial
It was a record day at the 11th annual Dick Stoddard Memorial Carson Invitational boys golf tournament held at Eagle Valley Golf Course on Wednesday.
Laguna Creek High senior Tom Bingham shot 7-under par 65 and his teammates combined to put a 364 on the board, both tournament records and good enough to emerge as the leaders in the opening round of the two-day tournament on Eagle Valley’s East Course. Tim Hohl came in at 1-under 71 and the host Carson Senators were only a stroke behind in the team standings with a 365 total on a cold and rainy afternoon.
Even though the field of 15 teams finished in a light but steady rain, the weather conditions were actually improved from the day before when a difficult wind challenged players in a Northern 4A conference match at Eagle Valley.
“It’s cool, but all things considered, it’s not too bad today because it’s less windy,” Carson coach Paul Croghan said. “We had some pretty good scores today, but we’ll have to see if they hold up tomorrow.”
The tournament shifts to the more challenging West Course today — weather allowing — with a shotgun start scheduled for 9 a.m.
Wednesday’s scores were noteworthy even on the player-friendly East Course. Start with Laguna Creek (Elk Grove, Calif.) senior Bingham, who beat the tournament single-round record by at least three shots, according to Croghan. He made it sound simple, too.
“I just hit it it good and made a lot of putts,” said Bingham, who is headed to Sacramento State next year.
Berkeley’s Taka Holmes was second on the leader board at 2-under 79, followed by Churchill County junior Brody Hammon and Laguna Creek’s Tim O’Hair at 70.
Hohl was 2-under for the front 9 for Carson, highlighted by a 40-foot putt for birdie-3 on the fourth hole, but the junior still felt he could have finished better.
“I shot 34 on the front nine and I thought I was going pretty good,” Hohl said. “I had the momentum going my way, but then it just went away.”
Four shots separated Carson’s five scoring players. Chad Gilmore shot 72, J.T. Cockerill 73, Andrew Meyer 74 and Jeremy Nielsen 75 to complete the team scoring
Croghan was impressed with the scores posted by Hohl, and by the team as a whole.
“I think that’s the first time we’ve had anyone break par in this tournament,” Croghan said. “And our 365, that might be a school record. I’m going to have to check on that.”
Berkeley was third in the team standings at 378, one shot ahead of Deer Valley and defending tournament champion Eureka in a race between traditionally strong programs in California’s North Coast Section.
Carson’s second team was also seventh with a 388 score and the Senators also fielded a third team that finished 11th at 425. It was a successful day overall for the program because the 18 Senators combined to shoot an average of 79.7 for the round.
“I think that bodes well for my replacement,” said Croghan, who is retiring at the end of this season. “We only have four seniors in this group, so there’s a lot of good young kids. It was neat, too, because most of these kids haven’t been able to play in many tournaments.”
Sophomore Tyson Roser shot 73, Derek Zastre 75, Bryan Upton 77 and Shawn Heintz 78 for the second team. Senior Conrad Burt shot 79 and Evan Thayer 81 to lead the third group.