Senator golf takes the lead
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – The monster that is known as Somersett Country Club brought the best high school golfers in Nevada to their knees Monday.
Not a single golfer broke par in sunny, but windy conditions, and only 10 golfers shot 80 or lower.
When the day ended, Carson High shot a 417 found itself with a two-shot lead over Palo Verde after the first day of the NIAA 4A tournament.
The tournament continues today starting at 8 a.m.
Palo Verde is at 419 followed by Bishop Gorman and Spanish Springs, both at 420. Coronado is fifth at 427 and Green Valley is sixth at 428.
“Not bad,” Carson coach Rod Butler said. “I wasn’t expecting to be leading. I was hoping we’d be third or fourth. All six teams are within nine shots of each other. That’s less than two shots a player. That’s nothing. I was hoping for a 410. The course was tougher than I figured it would be.”
Zack Rispin led the way for the Senators with 76, followed by Kevin Goles 80, Isaac Holt 85, Jon Singer 87 and Sam Staub 87. Levi Taylor finished with a non-scoring 101.
Goles and Rispin said the course was extremely hard, and the wind didn’t help matters any.
“It was the most difficult course we have played all year,” said Goles, who struggled on the front nine en route to an 8-over-par 80. “The hills, the winds and the greens (were fast). The pin placements were not that tough.”
“You have to get your tee shot in play (here),” Rispin, who might have challenged for the overall lead had he not finished triple-bogey and bogey. “If you don’t get your tee shot in play…”
Rispin played extremely well from the outset.
He birdied No.4, the 472-yard par-5. Rispin hit driver off the tee and popped a wedge to within 5 feet of the cup and drained the putt. Rispin finished the front nine at 3-over-par 39.
Rispin birdied the 347-yard par-4 11th. He hit a driver down the middle and lifted a sand wedge to 5 feet and made the putt. His final birdie came on the par-5 575-yard 14th when back-to-back 3-wood shots left him in the greenside bunker. He blasted out to 10 feet and made the putt.
“I’m very happy with that (round),” Rispin said. “I lost focus for five minutes on the front side and five minutes on the back side. That’s when I made a double and triple-bogey.
“We walked the course. Some of us walked the front and some of us walked the back. We got pretty good info. Coach (Butler) told us where to go off the tee.”
Goles parred the first three holes, but ran into trouble when he hit his drive into a hazard on No. 4, a par-5 472-yard par-5. He made a nice chip, but missed a short uphill par putt.
After a par on No. 5, Goles double-bogeyed the par-3 195-yard sixth after hitting a shot into the hazard. After a par on No. 7, he finished bogey-bogey to finish the front nine in 5-over-par 42.
After another bogey on No. 10, Goles strung together five straight pars before bogeying the par-4 16th. Goles, who never carded a birdie, parred 17 and finished with a bogey on No. 18.
“I started to get it together (on the back),” Goles said. “I started making pars. I’m still wasn’t hitting the ball well. I was trying to scramble around.”
If Goles had shot his normal 74 or 75, the Senators would have a pretty healthy lead going into today’s final round.
“If I hit the ball like I did all year, I can get in the high 60s,” Goles said. “It’s going to take a lot of patience. I didn’t manage the course well.”
Singer was only 1-over par after four holes, but ran into trouble on No. 5 thanks to two bad chips and three putts.
The Carson left-hander found himself 5 yards from the green on the par-4 fifth, but chunked a chip shot. On his next chip attempt, he skittered the shot across the other side of the green. His bogey attempt went past the hole and he two-putted from there.
Singer followed that up with two straight bogeys, and then tripled the par-5 eighth. He hit his second shot into a hazard, took a drop and then hit his fourth shot into the trap. He blasted out over the green, chipped on and two-putted.
Singer recovered and played a solid back nine, recording six pars en route to a 5-over-par 40.
Holt struggled on the front with a 7-over-par 44, but rebounded with a 41 on the back. Holt’s only birdie came on a No. 4, a 472-yard par-5.
Staub also recorded one birdie in his round, a tap-in putt on No. 5 after his approach shot landed a foot from the cup.
The co-medalists were Coronado’s Scott Lewis and Gorman’s Richard Pawlsek, both of who shot 2-over-par 74s.
“I like the course,” Lewis said. “It’s a good test of golf. You have to hit a good variety of shots.”
FERNLEY SITS IN THIRD
Fernley’s golf team had three players in the 80s en route to a 446 and a third-place in the standings after the first day of the 36-hole event.
Brandon Dalton shot 80, Kyle Thompson 86 and Kevin Leestma 87 to lead the Vaqueros, who trail Boulder City (437) and Faith Lutheran (422). Dayton’s Andrew Palmer fired an 81, five shots in back of medalist Charlie Harrison of Faith Lutheran.