Warriors in defense mode
Defending champs lead by 19 shots; Szendrey tied for top spot at 79
By Steve Yingling
Tribune sports editor
Whittell High School played like a defending state golf champion on Monday.
The Warriors, trying to win their second straight Nevada 2A state championship, opened a 19-stroke lead after the first of two rounds at Rivers Edge Golf Course in Needles, Calif.
Team scores through 18 holes were Whittell 414, White Pine 433, North Tahoe 434, BM 458, The Meadows 459 and Needles 477.
“Coming into state, we sort of felt like the underdog to White Pine, and I think we played with a little chip on our shoulder,” said Whittell coach Steve Maltase. “We’re a little surprised to be up this much, but it’s not over. We have to go out and do the same thing (today).”
Whittell junior Jonathan Szendrey fired an opening-round 79, which put him in a three-way tie for first place with White Pine’s Chris Robinson and North Tahoe’s Alec Griffith.
Szendrey, the Northern 2A regional champ, hit his opening tee shot into the water for the second straight tournament. Like regionals, he didn’t let it impact the rest of the his round.
“I started coming back after hitting it into the water on the first hole. I had no more double bogeys after that,” Szendrey said. “I hit it better. I may have slowed down my swing a little bit.”
The highlight of Szendrey’s first round was the 12-foot birdie putt he made on the 16th hole.
“I hit good approach shots,” he said.
Tyler Fairbank, a Whittell senior, is a shot back with Wendover freshman William Doudy at 80. They are followed by Whittell sophomore Michael Koskin, who is tied for sixth at 81; Warriors’ junior Geof Caliger, who shares ninth-place at 83; and Trevor Fairbank and T.J. Kolesnik, who stand 24th after shooting 91s.
The 36-hole tournament will conclude today. Tee times begin at 9 a.m.