While the Mingus golf team felt the disappointment of falling just one qualifier short of sending all five golfers to the state tournament, its top two golfers will be going, and both are playing at the top of their games.
Mingus’ Gary Baker and Ryan Sullivan both shot 69, tying them for medalist honors at the John Uidenich Memorial Invitational on Friday, Oct. 18, at Verde Santa Fe golf course.
As a team, the Mingus golfers finished second in the tournament with a state-qualifying round of 314, as Orlando Machado shot an 82, A.J. Valenzuela a 92 and Keagan Lamb a 96. But it was just the team’s fourth qualifier for the season leaving them one short of the minimum number, and Sullivan called it disappointing.
“We were close so many times,” he said. “We were one or two strokes away from it our first match out here [in September], and we were two away from it [Thursday, Oct. 17], so it’s a real disappointment that we couldn’t save one or two strokes on each of our score cards and that would have gotten it done for us.”
The 69 represented the best 18-hole score for both Sullivan and Baker in their careers, and had them feeling confident heading to the state tournament, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 25 and 26, at Aguila golf course in Laveen Village, Phoenix.
Baker played in the state tournament last season, but said his game was marked by inconsistency then and he wasn’t happy with the result.
“Right now, the last couple weeks, I’ve been really consistent and playing really well,” he said. “So I think going into state this year I’m a lot more confident in my game, and I think I’m going to do a lot better than I did last year.”
For the full story, please see the Friday, Oct. 23, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.