What a difference a week makes.
In the season-opening Pahrump Valley Invitational, only one Trojan, Koby Lindberg, managed to shoot under 100 during both rounds at Mountain Falls Golf Course. Six days later, even golfers whose score was not in the team’s top four and thus did not count toward the Trojans’ total stayed under that mark.
Haden Wray and Mike McDougall each fired rounds of 88 as the Trojans easily won their second Sunset League match in three days, compiling a team score of 362. Western shot 435, and Desert Pines totaled 518. On Monday at Las Vegas Municipal, Pahrump Valley shot 378 to outdistance Western (435) and Sunrise Mountain (550).
“I played better than I ever played,” Wray said after the match. “I normally can’t hit my driver very well, but I was hitting it pretty good today.”
“Haden had some really good shots while I was watching him,” Pahrump Valley coach Bob Hopkins said. “He shot the low round of his life.”
Wray started slow, shooting a 6-over 22 after four holes, and finished slow, 6-over 22 on the last four holes. But he was strong on the 10 holes in between, with five pars and a birdie on the par-3 14th hole.
McDougall was far better early. He rode four pars and a birdie to a 5-over 41 before fading on the back nine.
“Good front nine, pretty bad back nine,” McDougall acknowledged. “I just got tired and felt out of shape. I kind of had a couple too many two- and three-putts out there.”
“McDougall played well, but I think he got a little tired on the back side from watching his swing,” Hopkins agreed.
Right behind Wray and McDougall was Trevyn Wombaker, who rebounded from a 13-over front nine to card a 91.
“Wombaker struggled the first two holes and then played pretty well after that,” Hopkins said. Indeed, Wombaker posted double-par on Nos. 1 and 2, then didn’t have anything worse than six the rest of the way.
“I started to pick up my game a little bit,” Wombaker said. “I did much better on the back than I did on the front.”
Koby Lindberg and Kasey Dilger each shot 95, while Craig Moore posted a 98. Lindberg was dissatisfied with his score.
“I had two double-pars which really hurt and a couple of double-bogeys that should have been bogeys,” Lindberg said.
As the wind was an issue, several players from other teams wore long pants and a second shirt, while each of the Trojans was decked out in the usual maroon short-sleeved shirt and tan shorts. Most of the Trojans said they found ways to cope as the breeze grew stronger as the match went on.
“The weather was a bit iffy toward the end, but that doesn’t explain why I blew up,” McDougall said.
“I did much better on the back than I did on the front,” Wombaker said. “The wind didn’t really change my shot very much.”
“You just keep your ball low, and it will be OK in the wind,” Wray said.
“The way the spring has been, we better get used to the wind,” said Hopkins, who was very pleased with the way his team improved from last week’s invitational, to Monday at Las Vegas Municipal, to Wednesday back at Mountain Falls.
“We’re getting better,” Hopkins said. “The young kids are shooting better, so that’s good. This is a much tougher course (than Las Vegas Municipal), and the wind was blowing, so I’m pretty happy with those scores.”
But, as usual in golf, work remains to be done.
“We need to get a little bit better to prepare for regionals,” Lindberg said.
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