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Trojans girls golf takes third at state tourney

The Trojans top two golfers, freshman Breanne Nygaard and junior Makalea Petrie held their own at state and helped the Trojans achieve third place at the two-day Class 3A Nevada State Golf Championship at Mountain Falls Golf Course.

After the first day of competition on Wednesday of last week, the Pahrump Valley girls golf team was in third place. All they had to do was hold on and they could come away with third place or better at state. The girls did that, finishing in third (375) place as a team on Thursday, and they also had two girls finish in the top 10 at state. Pahrump’s Nygaard finished in fourth place (160) out of 44 golfers and Petrie finished in eighth place (174).

Nygaard shot a 6-over-par 78 the first day and an 82 the second. Makalea Petrie shot an 87 both days.

Also helping was Trojans golfer junior Jessica Pearson, who shot a 112 on the first day but came back to shoot her best round ever at state, a 95 (207) on the second day. Senior Desirae Hembree (212) shot a 101 the first day and a 111 the second day and was the fourth golfer for Pahrump whose score was counted.

The Trojans played six girls and counted the four best scores. The two other girls were sophomore McKayla Bartley (231) and sophomore Ashliegh Murphy (241).

Both Petrie and Nygaard were proud of their accomplishments.

For Petrie, she had just finished her best state tournament to date.

“It boosted my confidence in a lot of ways for I went into state thinking that I would shoot in the 90s,” Petrie said. “I have never broken 95 at Mountain Falls ever, especially in state. Going into next year’s state, hopefully, I will improve from an 87 to 78 or lower.”

Petrie said she knew that her short game (putting and chipping) could help improve her score at state. This was her third appearance at state.

“I knew that the short game had cost me strokes in the past so I went and got lessons to improve my accuracy,” Petrie said. “I made sure to concentrate more, keeping my head still, not breaking my wrist on chip shots, and making sure every stroke counted in my short game.”

She said her father texted her during state to make sure she remembered to do what was necessary.

“I was able to block out bad shots,” she said. “My dad texted me about Arnold Palmer before I played. Palmer says it takes seven steps to hit your next shot. The first step is to forget about the previous shot and go hit your next shot. So every time I hit a bad shot I would think about the seven steps and about forgetting the bad shot, then I would hit a great shot.”

Nygaard said that this tournament helped boost her confidence for next year too.

“I felt I was able to play well and I feel good about the way I finished,” she said. “It did boost my confidence playing with such good players. After my bad start on Wednesday, I really didn’t have any bad holes. I concentrated and was able to move on.”

Nygaard talked about what she could do in the off-season to prepare for next year. One of the things her coach recommended was playing another sport to help her with the crowds so she is thinking about basketball, a sport she played for three years in middle school.

As far as golf tournaments, she said that she will play in tournaments during the year, but didn’t have set plans.

What made a big difference in Pahrump’s ability to hold on to third was the performance of their two top golfers.

Pahrump Valley High School girls golf coach Bob Hopkins was excited the way his girls played.

“It was a good showing,” he said. “We are really excited about next year for we only lose one senior.”

He then talked about how his team has to get two more golfers under 100.

“McKayla Bartley shot a 111 and this was her lowest round ever, which was not bad for her first year of golf,” the coach said. “And Pearson shot a 95 which was her lowest ever. If we can get a couple of golfers below 100 next year we could finish in the top two.”

Boulder City came out on top as a team (704) and also had the top individual golfer, senior Lani Potter (149). Elko came in second (741).

In the individual competition, sophomore Carolyn Lemon of Western was second (157), freshman Cassidy Phelan from Tech was third (159).

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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