Most Viewed Stories
New Blohm: Antelope senior wins Invite
WELLTON - Never before has a 77 attached to Fred Blohm's scorecard looked so average.
He has only himself to blame. Anything less than another 2-under 68 was going to appear like an underachievement.
Still beaming from the round of his life on Friday at The Links at Coyote Wash, Blohm wrapped up the Antelope Invite individual title Saturday with a two-day total 145, two shots ahead of Yuma Catholic's Joey Pickels.
"I'm so happy I shot 68 yesterday, and a 77's not bad, but I left a lot of shots out there," Blohm said. "I'm still going to enjoy it a lot. I've never won this tournament, and that's pretty big for me."
The Antelope Union senior will have to share the thrilling memories of the weekend with the knowledge that he nearly gave his win away down the stretch, playing the last four holes five shots over par.
"It's hard not to remember I want to make pars," he said. "All I did yesterday was just think about the next shot, and today I was doing that until about the last three or four holes because you know you can win and you we're leading by seven and you don't want to shoot an 80."
Despite Blohm's and Pickels' efforts, neither of Yuma County's schools challenged defending champion Phoenix Christian in the team competition. The Crusaders had a two-day score of 659, followed by the Shamrocks at 685 and the tournament host Rams a close third at 687. YC and Antelope took half of the top-10 individual finishes.
"He put a lot of pressure on himself to do it again, but we talked after about how he's put three quality rounds together this week," Antelope coach Allen Hill said of Blohm, who was also the top medalist at a 36-hole tournament in River Valley on Tuesday. "This was not a bad round either, but his standard has definitely changed, there's no question about it."
Entering the day with a seven-shot lead, Blohm bounced around the front nine and carded a three-over 38, with two bogeys and a double bogey on the fourth hole.
His second birdie of the day came at the par-5 12th - a hole he eagled on Friday - before the wheels began to wobble. Blohm came up short with his tee shot on the par-3 16th, thinned his approach shot out of bounds on the par-5 17th and took his only penalty stroke of the tournament, and overflew the green from 75 yards away on the finishing hole.
"I wasn't thinking we were on the old side on 16," he said. "On the new nine you can land shots and stick 'em, but you have to land it and let it roll when you change sides.
"It was probably a first being nervous this morning because I really was. It didn't hit me until driving to the course today that it was going to be hard to back up a 68 with another one, but I just tried to play golf and hit my shots."
Pickels improved on his first-round 75 with a 1-over 71 Saturday, including a stretch of three straight birdies on the 12th, 13th and 14th holes. He was one of five players in the 10-team field to post two rounds in the 70s or better.
The Shamrocks were playing without No. 2 golfer Nick Pancrazi, which moved Jacob Harman up a slot and allowed Jon Loeffler to compete with the varsity team. Harman shot an 80 playing alongside Blohm to finish ninth overall, and Kody Boyd turned in a sub-90 round on Saturday as well.
"I was really glad to see other guys step up with their opportunities, and it's good to see where competition for state is," YC coach Bob Anderson said. "We keep chipping away, and I'm glad to see some more good rounds out of the young guys."
Antelope's Mieke Canan's was eighth with a two-day total of 159. Cody Rivera, playing in the No. 1 position on Saturday, posted his second-straight round in the 80s and was 10th individually.
"We've been toying around with doing this to see what happens, and they came to me last night and asked if we could try it this weekend," Hill said of moving around Rivera, Blohm and Canan's positions. "It was just a comfort slot for Fred. He felt he needed to play with Jacob for his mindset."