Truswell stars as Whittell fourth at state |

Truswell stars as Whittell fourth at state

Steve Yingling

For the second straight year Whittell High School has a golfer in contention for the Nevada 3A state title.

Keith Truswell, a sophomore, fired an opening-round, 6-over-par 78 to thrust himself into the individual championship picture Wednesday at Dayton Valley Country Club in Dayton. The final 18 holes will be played today in Dayton.

Truckee’s Matt Lundbec and Spring Creek’s Kevin Beckner and T.C. Simons share the 18-hole lead at 74.

Last year, Dustin Fox shot a first-round 74, but a tough front nine on the second day took him out of contention.

The key to Truswell’s good start was his consistency from tee to green.

“Keith didn’t do anything special, but he was accurate all day long. He hit most of the fairways and greens in regulation,” said Whittell co-coach Brian Rippet.

Truswell shot 39 on both nines and his worst score was a double-bogey.

“It’s the first time he’s broken 80 in tournament play. He picked a good time to do it,” said Whittell co-coach Frank Bruno.

Truswell succeeded by blocking out the distractions of being in his first state tournament.

“It was a solid round, but it didn’t feel very solid. I just went out and played. I didn’t think about what the other guys were shooting. I just played the course and didn’t play the other people,” Truswell said.

Whittell is also in good position in the team competition. The Warriors combined for 423 shots, putting them in fourth place – six strokes behind Division II champion Bishop Manogue.

“Our main goal (today) is to beat Manogue. We all want to have amazing rounds, but our goal beforehand was to finish fourth or better,” Truswell said.

Truckee, the pretournament favorite, leads Virgin Valley by nine strokes – 394 to 403. Other team scores are Spring Creek 425, Pahrump Valley 437, North Tahoe 449 and Boulder City 458.

Whittell also received solid rounds from freshman Ryan Salomon and junior Lars Hansen, both of whom carded 84s. Fox and Todd Echan completed the scoring with 88 and 89, respectively.

Other players just ahead of Truswell are Truckee’s Tony Neaudeau, Truckee, 75; Fede Gomez, Virgin Valley, 75; Mark Lundbec, Truckee 76; and Bryan Davidson, Virgin Valley, 77. Truswell and Andy Cummings of North Tahoe are tied for eighth at 78.

Consequently, Truswell will play in one of the final groups of leaders, with tee times commencing at 11 a.m.

“My goal is to do better than 78. I can’t expect to go out and shoot 74, because then things will go bad,” he said.

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