Mountain Falls high school invitational attracts 17 teams

High school golfers making up 17 teams descended on Pahrump’s Mountain Falls Golf Course from all over the region for a two-day tournament on March 9-10.

Eddie Lai of Bellarmine College Preparatory School in California shot a two-under par 70 on Thursday and a five-under par 67 on Friday to capture the individual title of the Pahrump Valley Invitational.

The overall winner of the team competition was the Palo Verde team (gold flight), they shot a 289 on round one and 297 on round two for a total score of 586 to edge out last year’s winner, Bellarmine. Palo Verde had tied with the California school. The tie-breaker was based on the aggregate score of the fifth team member.

Another California school, Harker, came in third with a 614 score.

Pahrump’s Austen Ancell had a good showing, taking fourth place in the tourney. Ancell shot a two-under par 70 on day one and a two-over par 74 on day two.

Ancell said he felt a bit off after day one.

“I was two-under par on Thursday and only had one bogey drive and a lot of saving on the back nine,” Ancell said at the start of the second round. “I didn’t have any bogeys on the par fives, a downfall there but saved on the par fours. Today is a new day.”

Trojans coach Bob Hopkins said his team got off to a bad start on Thursday.

“We played a lot better the second day of the tournament,” Hopkins said. “Austen was steady for the entire tournament. He basically had a couple of unlucky breaks or he would have been under for the tournament. Case (Murphy) and Craig (Moore) played better the second day. Mike (McDougall) and Koby Lindberg had a good first day. We just hope to get better every week.”

The Trojans finished fifth (695) in their flight (Maroon) and ninth overall.

In the tournament there were three flights of teams and individuals: gold, silver and maroon, with the gold being the top flight.

The winner of the silver flight was Foothill, who shot a 656. Second was Desert Oasis (664) and third was Arbor View (674).

The maroon flight winner was Liberty (727). Second was Foothill (731) and third was Silverado (742).

The Trojans golf team is at Desert Oasis on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Rhodes Ranch Golf Course.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at