State Prep Golf: DEEP, ROUGH – Conditions keep county golfers from top spots
Metro-area residents weren’t the only people flummoxed by the overnight rain and early-morning snow Tuesday. The Los Lunas boys golf team didn’t found the weather to be rough as well.
The Tigers shot a two-day total of 681 to finish a disappointing fifth place in the six-team tournament, which finished Tuesday afternoon in Albuquerque.
LLHS’ tournament opposition was also deep and talented. Albuquerque Academy beat out St. Pius X by a single stroke, 648-649. Los Lunas’ terrible Tuesday resulted in a fourth place, just one stroke behind third-place Piedra Vista.
“The weather was an issue, I don’t think any of us were putting very well. Things were tough today,” said senior Colby Kerr. “After the rain last night, the greens changed a lot.”
The Tigers finished Monday’s first round of the Class 4A State Golf Tournament in fifth place, just four strokes behind third place Artesia and hoping to make up the difference and more Tuesday.
But overnight rains made the greens at UNM’s Championship Golf Course soft and spongy and the cold that came with the snow flurries made for poor playing conditions that contributed to Los Lunas’ fall in the final standings.
“It was really tough conditions,” said LLHS coach Marty Zeller. “We had 15 holes of nothing but terrible weather. The guys were wearing five layers on the front-nine.”
Kerr, a senior, and eighth-grader Chesten Browning both paced Los Lunas with identical two-day scores of 168, 24 over-par. They also shot the same scores each day — 81 on Monday and 87 on Tuesday, finishing tied for 16th overall.
Belen’s Martin Campbell rallied on Tuesday to finish the next highest among county golfers in the event, shooting a 27 over-par total of 171 for 20th place. Campbell, a senior, shot an 87 Monday but improved with an 84 on Tuesday.
Los Lunas’ Dylan Gonzales finished in a tie for 21st with St. Pius’ Christian Hess with a total of 172. LLHS’ Tigers’ Jose Montoya and Gabriel Gamboa finished with 173 and 206, respectively, to finish 23rd and 38th.
The Tigers return Browning and Gonzales, who will be freshmen next season, as well as Montoya, a freshman, and Gamboa, who will be a sophomore.
“We just need to keep working, try to qualify and stick with the process,” said Browning.