The same small problems continued to be a thorn in the side of Mingus Union High School’s golf team.
It shared the links with Prescott High School, a top opponent for the Division II, Region VII title, for the third time in the young season. And the Marauders were runner up to the Badgers for a third time, most recently at a three-way match at Antelope Hills Golf Course’s south course on Sept. 5.
After taking second place at the Bradshaw Mountain Invitational by a 29-stroke margin on Sept. 1 and 2, the Mingus golfers saw that margin close to 23. But that first score was across 27 holes, and Tuesday’s was just a nine-hole match.
“We’re still wasting a lot of strokes, we still need to find a way to tighten up our play just a little bit,” Mingus head coach Craig Mai said.
The Marauders had an off day while the Badgers played likely one of their best rounds of the season, sweeping first through fifth place. Antelope Hills is Prescott’s practice course, which added an extra comfort factor for the hosts.
Team finishes were: Prescott [+9/153], Mingus [+32/176] and Kingman High School [+58/202].
Prescott’s top player, Joey Christopherson, finished even after shooting an eagle on the first hole. The rest of their five finished 1-over, 3-over, 4-over and 5-over.
“If they played that way all season long, they’ll be hard to beat,” Mai said. “I think if we tighten up our loose ends, we’ll be right there with them.”
Mingus’ top finisher was sophomore Noah Daher at a 6-over 42, which slotted him in sixth. Daher double bogeyed the final hole.
Junior Justin Tanner and senior Ethan Brogden tied for seventh at a 7-over 43. Tanner triple bogeyed the sixth hole, but saved himself with three pars to end the round.
Brogden birdied the first hole, but triple bogeyed No. 3 and shot 3-over across the final two holes.
“We find a way to have a really bad hole or two that really hurts our round,” Mai said. “We need to find a way to prevent those blow ups.”
Senior Tyre Kim carded a 12-over 48 and Shivam Bhakta was 20-over.
The team played the 18-hole Aguila Invite at Aguila Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 8, taking fifth place [+52] out of eight schools.
Junior Cameron Machek [+11] led the way for the Marauders, while Daher and Tanner [+12] tied for second, Kim [+17] was fourth and Brogden [+23] fifth.
It next plays against at the Mountain Ridge Invite at Flagstaff’s Continental Country Club on Thursday, Sept. 14.
The new girls golf team had a strong debut at a multi meet at Aguila Golf Course in Phoenix on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Other schools present were Cesar Chavez High School, Trevor Browne High School and Metro Tech High School.
All five Marauders, all freshmen, finished in the top six, including first-place finisher Kaila Bowers.
“They did really well, it was definitely a confidence builder for them,” coach Dennis Kitchen said. “Consistently hitting the ball straight was the difference. Not going right and left, just going towards the hole.”
Given it was their first competition, nerves played a part. But once they drove from the first tee box, Kitchen said, that nervousness went away.
Chipping was the agreed-upon area to improve before their next match, which is at 3 p.m. Wednesday,
Sept. 13 at Villa De Paz Golf Course.