Elko course gives Vikings some trouble
Only Kevin Fannan had played Ruby View Golf Course in Elko prior to Tuesday’s first round of the Northern 4A regional tournament.
That unfamiliarity with the 7,000-plus-yard layout and its fast-paced greens became a big factor as the Vikings struggled to eighth place.
South Tahoe, which finished second in two Sierra Division matches during the season, averaged 88.6 strokes per player and stands seven strokes behind seventh-place Douglas with 18 holes to play.
“They’ve got the course set up really long. They’re playing the gold tees and they are as far back as they can put them,” said STHS coach Mike Patterson.
Fannan was most comfortable Viking at Ruby View, shooting a 12-over 83 to remain in contention for a state berth.
“It really wasn’t the length. I kept miscalculating my approach shots,” said Fannan, who is in 16th place. “The greens are so fast, I three-putted a bunch of times. You expect some three-putts when you’re putting from 40 feet all day long.
“The difference between my round and a round I would have been satisfied with was four shots. I can think of 10 shots I could have saved.”
Junior Teddy Kosciolek wasn’t far behind Fannan, parlaying a front-nine 39 into an 85.
“The back nine got away from me a little bit,” said Kosciolek, who double-bogeyed two holes on his inward nine. “But I’m pretty happy with an 85. It’s the best round I’ve had in a regular tournament. But my personal goal is to make it to state and (that round) isn’t good enough.”
The top two teams and the five-best individuals not on state-qualifying teams advance.
With Andy Hicks firing a even-par 71, the low round of the first day, and Scott Smith a 72, the Fallon Greenwave (370) opened a commanding 19-shot lead. Spanish Springs is second at 389, followed by Galena at 393, Elko 400, Carson 404, Reno 410, Douglas 437 and South Tahoe 443.
The High Desert teams dominated the opening round, placing first through fourth. Sierra Division champion Carson struggled to find the form it demonstrated during the regular season.
“Carson hasn’t shot 400 all year. Every one of their rounds has been in 370s and 380s,” Patterson said. “I’m really surprised they are as far back as they are after the first day.”
No other Vikings broke 90, although Joel Morris was on that number. Kyle Garrett shot 92 and K.J. Allister 93. Dru Blair’s 94 didn’t count toward the team’s total.
Kosciolek and Fannan will have to go really low today to have a chance to make STHS history. Only three players before them Ð Fannan’s older brother, Sean; Kenny Craig; and Dan D’Angelo – have qualified for the state tournament.
“My experience is that scores go up the second day,” Patterson said. “To have a chance of moving on, they are gonna have to be around even par (today).”
Although not out of contention in 28th place, Kosciolek has already made qualifying for state a goal for his senior season.
“I want to get my name on the board at school and it will be there forever,” he said.
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