By Adam Young White Pine High School
The last several weeks have seen White Pine High School’s golf team travel from the tips of the Silver State’s boundaries to compete in both league and non-league tournaments. The team, which is returning five from last year’s squad (including 2012 State medalist junior Ty Pickel), is hoping to improve upon its third place finish from last year. In addition to Pickel’s triumph, 2012 also saw strong showings at State from current senior Nick Marich, who placed seventh, and current sophomore Christopher Young, who finished ninth.
On April 12, the athletes traveled to Battle Mountain for a league tournament. Battle Mountain’s course is a par 71 featuring many dog-legs and just recently reconfigured greens. Pickel won the tournament with a one under par 70. Young finished second with a 72, Marich next with a 74. Senior Donnie Hiatt fired an 89, and junior Nick Johnson rounded things out with a 94. The Bobcats won the team title, shooting a combined 399.
After bad weather postponed the team’s home tournament the following week, the athletes traveled to Bullhead City, Ariz., to compete in the River Valley Invitational. This tournament has schools from Southern Nevada, Arizona and California and features two days of competition on two different tight desert courses.
Day one of the competition saw several competitors shoot low scores, including Young at 72 and Pickel at 73. Day two brought blustery winds and a more challenging course.
Young finished in fifth place and low for the team at 154. Pickel finished sixth at 156.
The team finished third behind Needles after the two schools’ two day tie had to be broken by counting the fifth man’s score.
Returning to Ely, the Bobcats hosted their home tournament on April 23. With the White Pine Golf Course looking better than it has in years this early in the season thanks to green covers, early watering, and hard work by the grounds crew, the team was looking to continue its dominance in league play.
Pickel and Marich did not disappoint, firing 71 and 75 respectively and finishing first and second. Young struggled on the greens to close with an 83. Hiatt and Johnson rounded out the team with 86 and 94. Sixth man competitors Kasey Carson and Xavier Guardado continued their neck and neck competition to better each other.
On April 25 the team competed in its final league tournament in Wells. This course is a par 70 that great putters always appreciate as the greens roll true.
Pickel continued his excellent play with a blistering two under par 68. Marich and Young finished second and third with 70 and 71. Hiatt and Johnson rounded out the team with 83 and 86. Johnson’s 86 was personal best in competition. The team finished first again with a season low 378.
Last weekend, senior Nick Marich led the entire field of Division III and Division IA players at the Edgewood Invitational in Lake Tahoe, shooting 74 from 7,000 yards. Playing in this tournament helped team members become familiar with one of the golf courses upon which the State Tournament will be contested.
The Bobcats are coached by White Pine golf professional Randy Long.
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