In the end, it was an exciting day of golf at Siena Golf Course in Las Vegas as the two top golfers in the Division I-A went head-to-head down to the last hole to see who was the individual regional champion.
Last year’s Division I-A state champion Trojans junior golfer, Austen Ancell, was not to be taken lightly on the second day at the Division I-A Southern Region. Ancell got in the groove, despite being 9 strokes behind Faith Lutheran’s junior golfer, Charlie Magruder and came within one stroke of tying him. In the end, Magruder was able to hang on for the regional championship.
Magruder’s win also helped his team take the regional championship. The win for Faith Lutheran will be their last regional title in Division I-A and their fourth in a row as the Crusaders shot a 769 in the two-day tournament. Pahrump Valley carded a 846 for second place and Boulder City came in third (901).
The Trojans’ Ancell was happy with his performance.
“I was a little disappointed in not beating Charlie, but then again he did have a nine-stroke lead on me to start the second round,” Ancell said. “I was definitely in a groove that day.”
In a groove is an understatement as Ancell shot five birdies on the second day for a 1-under-par 71.
Ancell said he was playing in the same group as Magruder but never really bothered him for his score, so he really didn’t know how close he was with him.
“Starting off birdie, birdie on the back nine helped me with my confidence,” Ancell said. “I was more focused on myself, so I could shoot the best score. I was really golfing well and staying relaxed, there were stretches, where I thought I could really do no wrong. Even the bad holes were good holes.”
On the previous day at Palm Valley Golf Course he struggled and shot a 75.
“I was struggling hitting my irons and with the greens,” he said. “Playing as much tournament golf as possible has helped me physically prepare for regionals and state (he just played in the Southern Nevada Golf Association Tournament at Mountain Falls over the weekend). Ancell said as far as the mental preparation for state, he is ready.
Trojans coach Bob Hopkins said his top golfer is ready for state.
“Charlie Magruder just has had a unbelievable last three rounds of golf against Ancell,” Hopkins said. “Ancell should be golfing with Magruder again at the state tournament. My goal for the team is to finish in second place. I would like first place but I am also a realistic coach.”
He said his other golfers are doing well and are also ready for the tournament next week.
“My other golfers are doing well they just need to stay away from the big numbers,” Hopkins said. “Our goal all year long was second place and I think we can do that. I am looking forward to playing well at state.”
Other top golfers for Pahrump were senior Derek Moore, who shot a 169 for the tournament and senior Drake Asuncion, who shot a 170.
The top three teams at regionals will go to state to take on the northern teams next week at Mountain Falls on Tuesday and Wednesday.