Season of firsts takes STHS stick-and-ball golfers into zone today
Carson, Galena, Reno and Elko have dominated the Nevada Cup point standings throughout the season, but the prep golf teams have to be edgy going into today’s zone tournament at Ruby View Golf Club in Elko.
Only four of the eight schools advance to next week’s state championships, giving teams like South Tahoe and Reed possibilities the higher-seeded teams feel belong to them.
“I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility,” said coach Mike Patterson of the eighth-seeded Vikings. “I’d like to think we have a shot at state, but we’re going to have to play better as a team than we have all year to have a chance to finish in the top four.”
If the Vikings don’t make their first trip to state as a team, Patterson feels three of his players have the talent to extend their postseason as individuals. Sean Fannan, James Peterson and Patrick Curtis rank among the league’s 42-best players.
Based on his play in the latter part of the season, Fannan, a sophomore, has the best chance. Fannan finished 10th in league scoring for six matches and comes into zone after firing a school-record 2-over-par 74 in the season’s final tournament at Rosewood Lakes in Reno. Fannan tied Travis Whisman, the world’s third-ranked junior, and two other players for the day’s best round.
“Sean’s really playing well and has a chance to finish in the top 5 or 10,” Patterson said. “It will probably take something in the mid-70s to make it as an individual, or maybe even low 70s.”
Elko and Lowry players may have decided edges in that the proliferation of players hasn’t toured the long course as often.
“I’d make Elko the favorites on their home course, but Reno and Carson have been tough all year. It’s going to be tough to break into the top four as a team, but we have a chance,” Patterson said.
Peterson, one of two STHS seniors, believes he and his teammates have that chance because of the younger players’ development.
“This year more than any year the younger guys shot well, especially Sean, Hunter and Patrick,” said Peterson as the team celebrated qualifying for zone for the first time last Tuesday.
The team left for the 18-hole championships at 6 a.m. Monday in hopes of getting in a little extra preparation before the school’s first zone appearance.
“I don’t think they were looking forward to getting up at 5 a.m. Monday. Besides that they’re pretty excited,” Patterson said.
Zone tee times start at 9 a.m. today.
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