Most Viewed Stories
Johnson posts qualifying score for Antelope golf
Antelope golfer Tyler Johnson walked to the ninth tee needing a par to secure a qualifying score for state in a three-way with Yuma Catholic and Ajo at Yuma Country Club on Monday.
After making it to the green on the second shot of a 320-yard par four, Johnson two-putted to finish with a 41.
“I realized I had a chance halfway through my round, so I just told myself to stay calm and keep together,” Johnson said.
It is the fourth qualifying score Johnson has on the season, and an individual needs five qualifying scores to make it to the Division IV state championship.
The junior will get another chance when the Rams host a match at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Coyote Wash — where he's had three rounds with a 42 this season, one shy of the score he needs.
“I'm hoping I can pull through and do it because I've been so close so many times. On that course, putting is so difficult.”
Johnson's 18-hole total of 86 was tied with Skyler Saucedo for the best for the Rams, who finished with a 355. The Shamrocks came away with the win, shooting a 308 in what could be the last match of the season until the state tournament on May 11.
On the girls side, Yuma Catholic shot a nine-hole total of 233 at Desert Hills to win in its first match of the season. Individually, Fatima Alvarez of Antelope took first by shooting a 50 and Shamrock freshman Loretta Peffers finished with a 53.
For the third straight boys match, senior Joey Pickels and sophomore Grady Bourguignon tied for the best round of the day. Both players finished with a 74 for the Shamrocks and senior Max Coffeen shot a 77.
“I don't know, it just keeps happening,” Bourguignon said of him and Pickels tying.
Yuma Catholic coach Bob Anderson feels that the game-within-the-game between Pickels and Bourguignon keeps the two motivated, and Coffeen hasn't been bashful about competing with them, either.
“They're very competitive against each other,” Anderson said of Pickels and Bourguignon. “And Max wants to beat them. He doesn't take it for granted that they got this just because they've been playing for forever and he hasn't been playing as long.”
The Shamrocks will head to Prescott this weekend to play a practice round at Antelope Hills — the site of the state tournament — before the actual playoffs start. The bulls-eye on the Shamrocks backs will be big this season after winning the team state championship last year.
“State's really the only thing that matters at this point, as long as a team we pick up the momentum and have a good week,” Pickels said. “There's a lot more pressure this year, I don't think there's a reason that we should lose.”
Not only are the Shamrocks the reigning champions, but they have most of their key players back from last season. Bourguignon finished in second place and Pickels took third.
“The big thing is having our three best back,” Anderson said. “Not only are we the defending champions, but we're bringing back the major part of that team.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson