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Trojans golf firmly in second place in conference

<p>Vern Hee / Pahrump Valley Times - Derek Moore drives the ball at Mountain Falls. The Trojans shot a 441 and came in second to Faith Lutheran, who shot a 387.</p>

Vern Hee / Pahrump Valley Times - Derek Moore drives the ball at Mountain Falls. The Trojans shot a 441 and came in second to Faith Lutheran, who shot a 387.

<p>Vern Hee / Pahrump Valley Times - Trojans golfer Austen Ancell drives the ball on hole 1 at Mountain Falls on Monday. He helped the Trojans secure second place at a home match by shooting a 74.</p>

Vern Hee / Pahrump Valley Times - Trojans golfer Austen Ancell drives the ball on hole 1 at Mountain Falls on Monday. He helped the Trojans secure second place at a home match by shooting a 74.

The golf season is winding down and Trojans Coach Bob Hopkins wants his team to focus on its short game. In his philosophy of golf, that is how matches are won. At the moment his team has a good enough average to qualify as a team for the Southern Nevada Regional.

“If you don’t putt well, it’s hard to get into the 70s and that has been our problem all year. They just got done aerating the greens and they are a little slower than usual, but I think our putting is a lot smoother. I expect some low rounds today. It is definitely a big match for us because we want to have a little leeway for the next two matches, so we make sure we make the regional. We have to average 450 and we are at 448 now,” Hopkins said just before tee time.

On Monday the Trojans were on their home turf at Mountain Falls and as a team came in second to Faith Lutheran carding a 441 to Faith’s 387.

The Crusaders’ Charlie Magruder shot 1-over 73 to help in the win against the Trojans in a Sunset League match.

On the morning of the match, Faith Lutheran Coach Mark Cheney was happy with the way his team was golfing. He knows all his team members have the potential to shoot in the 70s.

“We played it well here the last time we were here,” Cheney said on Monday morning prior to the match. “We have eight guys going for six spots. My top golfer is sophomore AJ Johnson. All of our guys should be in the 70s. We don’t talk about score much we talk about the process, your decision making and hitting one shot at a time. We really need to be consistent 1-6. Everyone is capable of shooting in the 70s but we haven’t had a round where everyone has done that.”

Pahrump’s senior golfer, Kyle Steib, was confident his team would golf well on Monday. Two weeks ago at the Pahrump Invitational the entire team carded in the 80s and that was upsetting.

“I feel much better. I hit a 74 last week. I didn’t putt much better, but I was hitting the greens and making the short putts which matter. Just last week we putted for 45 minutes and then hit nine holes, so we were here pretty late,” Steib said.

Austen Ancell was hot on Monday and believed he had taken care of his problem with his driver, which he said he had two weeks ago. For golfers, even a perceived problem can weigh heavily on their minds and cause them to falter at the tee.

“I got a new shaft in my driver last week. I had a regular flex in it and now it is much stiffer. Basically, your shaft bends. Sometimes if the shaft is too light it will really whip and be very inconsistent. I plan on being in the 70s today,” Ancell said.

The problem seemed to be fixed. Faith’s Dallas Haun, Clark’s Arpepanya Phonsavanth and Pahrump’s Ancell each carded a 74.

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