Golf team’s playoff hopes in the rough
After a sixth-place finish at the Winnemucca Golf Course on April 12, the Truckee Wolverines golf team’s hopes for qualifying for the state tournament are in the bunker.
The Wolverines are currently in fifth place, a full seven points behind the fourth-place North Tahoe Lakers.
The top-four teams in the NIAA 3A qualify for the state tournament, held this year at Arrow Creek Golf Course in Reno on May 14 and 15.
Two weeks ago, Head Coach Jeff Froelich said it wasn’t time to panic because the team was only a couple of points out of fourth place.
But now that the Wolverines are seven points out from the final team playoff spot, it’s still not time to worry — it’s time to change the focus of the team all together, Froelich said.
The top 10 golfers in the NIAA 3A teams not going to the state tournament can also qualify for the tournament as individuals, an option that Froelich is looking at more and more.
“We need to redirect our focus. Our chances of picking up 7 to 9 points on our opponents are slim,” he said. “We probably won’t go (to the state tournament) as a team unless we flat out win the next couple tournaments.”
But Froelich, ever the optimist, said as the team’s central goal becomes a long shot, qualifying as individuals opens up more chances for more golfers.
“We will try to get our potential state individual qualifiers into the tournament. We will also allow our (junior varsity) golfers to qualify for challenge matches to give more individuals tournament experience,” Froelich said.
In challenge matches, the starters with the two highest scores from the previous match may be challenged by reserves or junior varsity golfers for their spot on the six-man team.
But in order to claim a spot on the roster, a reserve has to better a starters’ score over nine holes on two consecutive days.
However, two golfers who had recently gained a spot on the team through challenges, Doug Coombs and Kaya Lampe, turned in the Wolverines best scores at Winnemucca.
Coombs had an 87 with Lampe a stroke behind at 88.
Justin Draheim also had an 88, a score that kept him 10th among individual golfers in the NIAA 3A. Draheim’s average over four matches is 85.33.
Lowry’s Nick Verner leds the league with a 78.25 average, followed by Spring Creek’s Scott Wurth at 79.75.
Overall league standings are based on team results from each match, with nine points awarded for a first-place finish, eight for second and so on. At the end of league play, each team drops the score from its worst match.
But with a couple sixth-place finishes, that may not help the Wolverines all that much.
The Wolverines will finish the season with matches at Spring Creek Country Club on Friday, Edgewood Golf Course in Tahoe City on May 3 and the regular season finale at Lahontan Golf Course on May 9.
NIAA 3A Standings (As of 4/25)
Spring Creek 39 points
Manogue 34 points
Lowry 34 points
North Tahoe 32 points
Truckee 25 points
Fernley 23 points
Yerington 20 points
Dayton 9 points
ROP 5 points
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