Austen Ancell, the lead golfer for the Trojans, avoided disaster on the first day of the Class 3A Nevada State Golf Tournament and remained just two strokes behind the leader, Daniel Mahlke (75) of Spring Creek at the start of the second day.
The tournament was being played at the Spring Creek Golf Course in Elko on Monday and Tuesday.
On day one, Ancell started poorly as he shot a triple-bogey on the first hole. He then bogeyed on the fourth hole, double-bogeyed on the eighth hole and bogeyed on the ninth to put him 7-over par on the first nine holes.
“I was watching his front nine and it was the worst golf he posted all year, but he came back,” Ryan Ancell said. “I never got him a personal coach but what we did was teach him that he has to keep his head in the game.”
Ancell did just that and came back on the back nine with three birdies on holes 14, 15, and 16 which gave him a 6-over-par 77 for the day and just two strokes behind the leader, Daniel Mahlke of Spring Creek, who shot a 75.
“A lot of kids would have folded after playing so poorly on the first hole, but Austen reset on the back nine,” Ryan Ancell added.
Ryan Ancell, Austen’s father, believes his son still has a great chance of winning.
“To win he has to get a better start than he did yesterday,” Ryan Ancell said on Tuesday. “After his first birdie, he told me he just kept going.”
That is what he will have to do on Tuesday, just get a good start and keep going.
Ancell has some high hopes for the tourney. He already has one state title under his belt, he just won his first individual regional title last week and hopes to win his second state title on Tuesday.
The Trojans boys golf team went to state on Monday and Tuesday and also had high hopes of winning state for the first time, but after the first day the Trojans are in fifth place with a score of 468. Spring Creek was in the lead (398), then Lowry (432), Churchill County (441) and Boulder City (467).
The next best golfer for the Trojans was junior Michael McDougall, who shot an 87.
The team’s members are Ancell, Case Murphy, Craig Moore, Michael McDougall, Koby Lindberg and Riley Sutton.
Contact Vern Hee at firstname.lastname@example.org