Wind drives Vikings out of state golf tourney
Going into day two of regionals at Hidden Valley Golf Club in Reno, it looked like South Tahoe High School was ready to drive to the No. 3 spot and advance to the state tournament for the first time in the school’s history.
It turned out it wasn’t day two that kept the Viking golfers from the state tournament, it was day one.
The Vikings improved by two strokes from their opening-round score, but it wasn’t enough to make up the four-stroke difference from Monday and the six-stroke difference Tuesday that put them in fifth place out of eight teams.
“Only having four solid scores (Monday) really hurt us,” said team coach Mike Patterson. “Not qualifying wasn’t today, it was yesterday.”
However, Dan D’Angelo managed to hold on to the number eight spot as an individual with a combined score of 161.
In doing so, he qualified for the state tournament, and will head to Las Vegas next week.
The team shot 421 on Tuesday and finished with a combined score of 844, 10 strokes behind McQueen, which took the third-place spot.
McQueen barely edged out Carson, which finished one stroke behind to take fourth. The Vikings were nine strokes behind Carson.
Leading the day was Reno with 800 and Galena with was the runner-up with 804.
Individually, Reno had two players in the top five with Jay Childers shooting a combined 154 as the third-place finisher, and Chris English tied for fourth with Greg Wenzel from Sparks at 156.
Jonathan Merry of Douglas was the tournament champion with 150. Trailing by one stroke was Galena’s Bryson Young.
D’Angelo, at eighth, and made a clutch 15-foot putt on the 18th, a bogey which was critical for him, coach Patterson said.
Kenny Craig shot 83 for a combined 36-hole score of 165, Hunter Harris shot 83 for 167 combined, Sean Fannan shot 87 for a total of 168, Ryan Kraw shot 88 for 183 and Andrew Wysong shot 94 for a two-day total of 190.
“We’re pretty disappointed,” Patterson said. “We didn’t play as well as we could, but we played better in tougher conditions.”
It was just as windy and cool as previous day, which made driving and putting difficult.
“When the wind is blowing 40 mph across the fairway it makes the game really different,” Patterson said.
Only D’Angelo managed to hold on to a similar score as the day before.
“I was putting a lot better. (Monday) I three-putted a bunch, and four-putted a bunch. You couldn’t put it close (on Tuesday). The wind would knock it down 15 yards short.”
D’Angelo said fatigue wasn’t a problem on Tuesday; it was simply a matter of battling the elements.
“If you weren’t close, it was hard to put the ball anywhere on the green. I probably hit half as many greens today but was chipping a lot better,” he said.
D’Angelo added that he hit a lot of knockdown shots to keep it under the wind. Or, if the wind was behind him, he hit a three wood and let the wind take it.
“You either had a 200-yard drive or a 350-yard drive,” he said.
The last hole of the day turned out to be the most exciting.
Knowing he was close to qualifying as an individual, D’Angelo said he hit a good drive on the par-five18th, but then hit the water about 60 yards to the right of the fairway. The water wasn’t part of the 18th hole, it was such a bad shot, he said.
After taking a penalty drop, the situation went from bad to worse with the fourth landing in the bunker.
For the fifth stroke, D’Angelo chipped to the green, but was about 15 feet from the hole.
“It was a huge right-to-left break. It probably broke about a foot, and it probably would have gone about a foot or two past the hole, at least,” he said.
D’Angelo sank the putt, and earned the team’s only berth in the state tournament set for May 13-14 at Paiute Golf Course in Las Vegas.
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