LB - 360 Automotive 0822

Home | Classifieds | Place Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Kudos | Obits | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | Villager | Health Directory | Contact Us
The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : sports : local August 24, 2016


10/17/2013 3:04:00 PM
Pressure on golf to make state
Golfers ready to rise to challenge, earn first team bid to state in four years
Ryan Sullivan is two qualifying scores away form making it to the state tournament. Sullivan missed out on the tournament in 2012. VVN/Travis Guy
Ryan Sullivan is two qualifying scores away form making it to the state tournament. Sullivan missed out on the tournament in 2012. VVN/Travis Guy
Gary Baker earned his second state bid at the Mountain Ridge tournament in Flagstaff. Now Baker is doing his best to help his team earn a bid to state. VVN/Travis Guy
Gary Baker earned his second state bid at the Mountain Ridge tournament in Flagstaff. Now Baker is doing his best to help his team earn a bid to state. VVN/Travis Guy

Travis Guy
Sports Reporter


With two more opportunities to make the cut for state, the Mingus Union golf team is in a position to hit its goal of qualifying as a team for the tournament.

The golfers most recently traveled to Flagstaff for the Mountain Ridge Invitational Oct. 11-12. Divided into three flights spread out over three courses, the Marauders participated in the second flight at Flagstaff Ranch Golf Course.

Playing at a new course, it took the golfers a day to get used to the links, but on the second day, three Marauders picked up qualifying scores.

"I thought we played very well on a very tough golf course," head coach Craig Mai said. "Gary [Baker] did a fantastic job leading the way. He ended up fifth in our flight, and Ryan held in there tough. Had a birdie the last hole to get a qualifier with his back against the wall, and he came through. It's nice and he knows that under the pressure when he has to do it, he can. Orlando played solid. A.J. struggled the first day and came back the second day really well. And then we had Keagan Lamb. A little freshman did outstanding for us. Shot 88 the first day, 86 the second day, so I'm excited."

Senior Gary Baker was able to alleviate some of his pressure by notching his fifth qualifier, making him the first individual eligible for the state tournament. Baker shot a 38 on the back nine. Fellow senior Ryan Sullivan and junior Orlando Machado each picked up their third qualifiers.

"Yes and no," Baker said about whether the pressure has been lifted. "... I still need to come out and do well because we've still got a chance to qualify as a team. We have to qualify both days to qualify as a team for state, and I can't just hold back and do whatever right now. I've got to focus up, do as good as I can to help my team get qualified."

Because of the solid play from those three, as well as senior A.J. Valenzuela and freshman Keagan Lamb on the back nine, the Marauders added a third team qualifier by shooting a combined 160, 6 under the required 166.

Over 18 holes, the Marauders shot a 345 the first day and a 331 the second. The improvement was just what Mai and his golfers needed.

Baker led the team with a sixth place finish on the second day and an eighth place finish on the first. Overall, the senior shot a 155, 11-over-par.

While the first day was one stroke kinder to Baker than the scoring day, the rest of his team was able to improve considerably between days. Machado finished the second day in 16th with 83, five stokes under his day-one score. Sullivan shot a grisly 91 on the opening day in Flagstaff, but rebounded with an 84. Lamb shaved three strokes off his score, shooting an 86 and Valenzuela hit a dismal 108 as he learned the course, but chopped 20 stokes off his score to end the day with an 88.

"I really struggled on the first day, couldn't do anything right and had a lot of trouble hitting the greens, making putts. Just all-around it was terrible. In the trees a few times," Sullivan said. "Then the second day, the only thing that I was wanting to do was go out and get that qualifying round that I needed and I did that. After that, I kind of took a little siesta and wasn't really into it for the second nine. After I qualified in the front, I was kind of taking it easy."

With the team in the final week of the regular season, a match on Oct. 17, followed by the Johnny Uidenich Memorial Invite today, Oct. 18, hold even more importance to the Marauders.

"I think that there was a lot more pressure up there on the course that I'm not familiar with, to get a qualifying round, than there will be out here," Sullivan said. "Easy home course. We're familiar with it and have both done really well, so I don't feel like there's any pressure. I just need to go out and shoot a halfway decent score and I'll make state."

If they can rise to the occasion and handle the pressure as a team, Mingus will qualify for state for the first time since 2009. This will be an easier task if both Sullivan and Machado (who is in his first year on the team) are able to tally qualifiers on the two days.

"I think if we were somewhere else, it might be tough, but they know, they're comfortable, they're familiar with the course and they know how they can perform here," Mai said. "I think they'll rise to the challenge. That's my expectation, but we'll see. It's golf. It's tough. You never know what's going to happen one swing to the next."

ICT - Taylor Waste

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Mother turns to legal cannabis extract CBD to ease daughter's epilepsy (8357 views)

•   Camp Verde man arrested for screwdriver stabbing in VOC (4888 views)

•   How Cottonwood Goodwill turned a life around (2261 views)

•   Man identified from Camp Verde house fire (2064 views)

•   Cornville man arrested for burglary, disorderly conduct (1864 views)





Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - Sports Facebook Button
HSE - We want to hear from you
Find more about Weather in Cottonwood, AZ
Click for weather forecast





Submission Links
 •  Submit your feedback about our site

Find It Features Blogs Celebrate Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place Ad | Galleries | Kudos | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Find Verde Jobs | Contact Us
LB - 360 Automotive 0822

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Verde Independent is the information source for Cottonwood and Verde Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Verde News Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, verdenews.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Verde News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved