Viking golfers have large squad, claim 1st place at Dayton |

Viking golfers have large squad, claim 1st place at Dayton

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Birdies, bogeys, and blustery winds were par for the course last week for the South Tahoe boys’ golf team as they opened the 2023 season with a victory in Dayton and fourth place in Fernley.

The first-place finish in Dayton on Monday was quite an accomplishment based on the limited amount of practice time the team has been able to have. The weather has essentially closed local courses for the season, necessitating creative planning for the players to have an opportunity to play.

“Fortunately, I have long standing positive relationships with the courses off the hill,” said Vikings Head Coach Greg Kuntz. “Genoa has always opened their arms to both the girls in the fall and boys in the spring. And with Dan D’Angelo, who’s at Carson Valley Golf Course, being an alum of STHS and a huge advocate for youth golf, we’ve been welcomed to use the facilities at his course. We’re very appreciative.”

The team travels by bus one day a week off the hill to practice and play a qualifier round to see who earns the right to travel to tournaments. The squad is the largest it’s ever been, as Kuntz has not cut any of the 26 kids who came out for the team.

“It’s a huge squad, no doubt,” Kuntz laughed, “But we’ve got kids who are brand new to the game. They really don’t have a chance to qualify for tournaments this year. If those guys get cut, we’d likely never see them again. The beauty of golf is that, as Ben Hogan said, ‘The answer’s in the dirt,’ so I provide a chance to practice and participate this year in the hopes that they catch the itch to work at it enough to maybe help the team in the future.” 

Things got off to a great start in Dayton with sophomore Sean Molesworth, the third Viking to play on the golf team from the family, shooting an 83, which was the second lowest round of the tournament, behind Jacob Holmes from Fernley who shot a 72. Sean’s brother, Liam, was the lone Viking to qualify for the State Tournament last year.

Luke Laub, a first-year player on the golf team after three years of baseball, placed second for the Vikings with an 85. Braedyn Mooney and Jonny Womack were the other two Vikings to contribute toward the winning score of 345, as they shot 86 and 91, respectively. Returning player Colin Wildman, with a 92, and freshman Cameron Irwin, with a 97, rounded out the scoring for the Vikings.

“It was a great day,” reported Kuntz, “That’s the first time in my four years with the boys and 12 years with the girls that a Viking team has had all six players break 100.” 

Tuesday in Fernley was not as favorable for the Vikings, as only Jonny Womack improved on the previous day’s score, shooting an 84, which was good for second place honors in the tournament. The team’s score of 377, 32 shots higher on what Kuntz describes as a much easier course than Dayton, gives an indication of what 25 mile per hour winds can do to a round of golf.

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