Mazzoni tames wind, qualifies for state finals
When the winds kicked up in the Carson Valley on Tuesday afternoon, all of those golf rounds that Kyle Mazzoni has played in the wind came in handy.
The South Tahoe High senior kept his game under control and became the first Viking boys’ golfer to ever collect a medal at the Northern 4A regional tournament at Genoa Lakes.
“Fifth place overall is pretty exciting,” Mazzoni said. “My score wasn’t what I expected, but my overall placing I was happy with.”
Mazzoni shot a second-round 79 and finished with a 156 total, only four shots behind winner Ren Wilson of Spanish Springs.
Mazzoni is the fourth STHS player to qualify for the state tournament. He will tee it up in Las Vegas next Monday and Tuesday at the TPC Canyons course.
On the final stretch of holes as conditions worsened, Mazzoni played steady golf. He parred the final three holes when other players around him were dropping strokes.
“It was gusting 50-60 mph. I couldn’t wear a hat,” said STHS coach Mike Patterson. “The wind bothers everybody. Kyle actually hits it pretty low. He played in the wind so much this season, he’s a good wind player.”
Mazzoni said Patterson kept him calm.
“It was crazy wind conditions, and my putting sucked,” Mazzoni said. “My coach helped out with concentrating because I got mad a lot.”
Some of the tension went out of the final round when a Bishop Manogue player in Mazzoni’s group argued with a rules official. Patterson said the player may eventually be disqualified.
“The kid just erupted; it was crazy,” Mazzoni said. “Honestly, him going off like that, it made it not so serious. I think I played much better after it happened because I was almost laughing.”
Spanish Springs’ Zach Beebe, the only player to shoot 72 on Monday, slipped to second place after firing a second-round 81. Scott Kelly of Spanish Springs made one of the biggest moves of the second round, shooting 77 for the second straight day to ascend from eighth to third at 154. Douglas’ Thomas Wicker was fourth overall (first individual not on a state qualifying team) at 155, followed by Mazzoni.
STHS senior Kyle Garrett also made a significant move in the second round. Garrett shot an 84 after scoring a first-round 88.
“He was probably a little more relaxed,” Patterson said. “I told him this morning that he had to shoot a 63 to make state. I think he had a better time out there today than he did yesterday.”
With the top-three individuals, Spanish Springs easily defended its team title. The Cougars finished with 786 strokes, 32 better than runner-up Galena. Both teams qualified for state.