3A girls’ golf teams test Old Greenwood
Sierra Sun sports editor
With a third-place in its home tournament at Old Greenwood on Sept. 30, the Truckee girls golf team is now in position to control its own playoff destiny.
By shooting a 547 on the new Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in Truckee, the Wolverines got one point closer to third-place Lowry in the Northern 3A standings. The top three teams earn a spot in the NIAA 3A State Girls Golf Championship tournament.
“We’re in a good position here,” said Truckee head coach Mike Merriman.
With two more league matches remaining at Dayton (Oct. 8) and at Fernley (Oct. 15), Truckee can leapfrog defending 3A state champion Lowry and get into the state championship field of five teams by gaining two points on Lowry in the next two events (teams get nine points for first place, eight points for second place, etc.).
After starting the season with two second-places at Sparks and Lowry, Truckee was not able to field a team of five players in the next tournament that was rescheduled on short notice. The schedule change didn’t fit into many of the Truckee girls’ work schedules, so only three were able to show.
The mishap left Truckee with zero team points in that event, dropping the Wolverines from second to fourth in a matter of one event.
“I think they’re just starting to realize that one tournament we didn’t show for really put us in a hole,” Merriman said before his girls finished their rounds at Old Greenwood.
Truckee’s third match of the season was changed from Incline Mountain Course to Eagle Valley Course in Carson City and pushed back one whole day.
“Anyway you look at it, I don’t think we could have had six girls there, but we should have,” Merriman said.
Since then, Truckee has been climbing uphill to get back into contention. The third place at Old Greenwood got them that much closer.
“They’re starting to realize time is running out to catch up,” Merriman said. “It can be done, and it can be done easily. We have two weeks to figure it out. I think they’re starting to sense a little more urgency.”
At Old Greenwood, sophomore Renee Cardinali shot a 95, the low Truckee score on the day. Cardinali has had the low individual Truckee score in four out of six tournaments in 2004 and had the top individual score of the entire field at the season opener at Sparks. She has worked on her golf game in the summer months, and it shows.
“She’s a very solid striker of the ball,” said Merriman, who has played his share of rounds beside Cardinali. “She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. She’s going to end up being a really good player in the next two years ” I would say a real possibility of being a state champ in the next two years.”
Senior Katie Fischer has nearly matched Cardinali’s consistency. Fischer has shot a team-low in three matches this season (her and Cardinali tied at Lowry). Fischer, who finished sixth at state last year and shot a 102 at Old Greenwood, has been a very reliable golfer for the Wolverines for the last couple years. But 2004 has been a bumpy road.
“She’s had a rough year this year,” Merriman said. “She had Strep throat for the first two weeks, and she hasn’t really got her game going yet. But she’s been practicing hard ” she’s played three rounds in the last three days.”
Cardinali and Fischer have led the Wolverines, but the best Truckee score on the year belongs to junior Jennifer Womack. Womack shot an 88 at North Tahoe and has averaged a 95 in her last three tournaments. She shot a 105 at Old Greenwood. Womack and Cardinali have demonstrated that they are the future of Truckee girls golf in 2005.
Rounding out the Truckee scoring at Old Greenwood, senior Katy Jones shot 111, sophomore Ali Carroll shot 134 and senior Amy Watkins shot a 145.
Truckee was able to practice extensively at Old Greenwood in preparation for the match, but it never had time to play the back nine.
“I drove them around a little bit today so they could see it, but you have to play it first before it can register,” Merriman said. “This is a tough course. There’s a lot of sand traps out there.”
Old Greenwood has been open to the public for over a month, and the Truckee match was its debut on the high school level. Merriman said it is the most challenging course the Northern 3A teams will see this year, but it’s also the best-conditioned course.
Incline continues to set the standard in the Northern 3A, earning its sixth straight first place at Old Greenwood to jump nine points ahead of second-place Spring Creek in the league standings. Only a major collapse ” like not showing up to a tournament ” could prevent the Highlanders from winning a league title.
“Incline is really consistent,” Merriman said. “They don’t get high scores anywhere along the line.”
Merriman expects some quality scores at the Fernley match, but he is slightly concerned about this Friday’s match at Dayton.
“If it gets windy out there, there’s no telling what will happen,” he said. “But I seriously think we’ll still make state (at Genoa, Nev., on Oct. 21-22).”
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