Spanish Springs had four players turn in scores of 86 or higher on its home course of RedHawk Golf Club. And the Cougars’ 447 team total was good for second place, just two strokes behind tournament winner Reno.
“I’m OK with it,” Spanish Springs coach Nick Wirshing said. “We only have two guys that have tournament experience. So going in with four new guys and finishing two shots out of first place is a positive in one sense. But I also feel like we should have won. It was our home course and we just had a few guys give away a couple strokes on a couple holes. We lost our focus for just a short time and it ended up costing us.”
Reed had five players turn in scores of 91 or higher and four of those were triple-digit efforts.
“A lot of scores were pretty high,” first-year Reed coach Nick Nemsgern said. “The course was in good shape. It was just a rough day for a lot of guys in the first tournament of the season. Those scores are way higher than we had been putting up in qualifying. It was kind of a shock to see our scores that high.
“I spent time with all of my guys out on the course today and I didn’t see much rhythm from our team. That was a little disappointing. I definitely think we have more to show, but then again, it does give us stuff to work on.”
While Reno put together a team total of 445 and Spanish Springs was just behind with a 447, North Valleys tallied a 499 followed by McQueen’s 511 and Reed’s 525.
Spanish Springs senior Jordan Gilmore outclassed the field in Tuesday’s shotgun-start event. His 75 was good enough for individual medalist honors and seven strokes better than second-place finisher Seth Coffland of Reno.
“Jordan was not real happy with the 75 to tell you the truth,” Wirshing said. “He had a couple holes where he did not play well. He was four over on three holes in one stretch, 15, 16 and 17. He had about six holes left after that and he pulled it together nicely. Other than those three holes, he played pretty well today. I wouldn’t say he’s quite in midseason form yet, but he’s ahead of the rest of the field at this point, which is nice.”
After Gilmore, Spanish Springs counted the scores of Tommy McCallister (86), Cole Shirley (88), Matt Perera (99) and Matt Beebe (99). The Cougars’ sixth and non-counting score was a 104 from Owen Bartlett
“I talked to our guys after the match,” Wirshing said. “We really need to work on not giving strokes away. We’d lose focus and miss a putt, run it five feet past and then not line up our next putt. When we make one bad shot, we’re not focused on the next. We must focus on our mental toughness and getting our new guys into the swing of things. Our freshmen were a little tentative out there, but I think they’ll be pretty solid for us. They’ve got a lot to build on in the next couple weeks.”
For Reed, Trevor Wood led the way with a 91. Next came Dylan McKenzie, Tony Simonte and Tyler Carnahan who all finished with 107s. Dave Hibler’s 110 was the Raiders’ final score to count toward their team total. Will Rizzuto finished with a 113 for Reed but his score was thrown out.
“One thing we can work on is ball striking,” Nemsgern said. “The wind is not something that surprises you here. You have to hit the ball solid and if you don’t, in the wind, that accentuates your mistakes. There are bunkers and water hazards all over at RedHawk. We struggled to hit the ball solid and we’ve got to get better.”
Spanish Springs and Reed will join their HDL counterparts for the second league tournament of the season, March 28 at WildCreek Golf Course.