Laker golfers get taste of the big time | SierraSun.com

Laker golfers get taste of the big time

Alex Close
Sierra Sun
Provided to the SunNorth Tahoe golfer Taylor Tomlinson plays in Myrtle Beach, S.C., during the Palmetto High School Golf Championship this past weekend.
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The North Tahoe High boys golf team returned Sunday morning from a four-day tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The 10th Annual Palmetto High School Golf Championship was a three-day competition preceded by a day of practice rounds attended by about 100 golf teams from throughout the country.

North Tahoe played its practice and the qualifying rounds on the Sea Trail Rees Jones Course, which was the site of the 2006 US Open Regional Qualifier.

With all 100 or so teams playing on Sea Trail’s three 18-hole championship courses on the same day, Lakers head coach Dick Tomlinson said the qualifying round was a taste of the big leagues.

“It felt really big time,” Tomlinson said.

Based on qualifying performances, teams were then placed in flights.

North Tahoe qualified into the fourth flight, and with around 15 teams in each of the six flights, the Lakers placed themselves above about 30 teams, Tomlinson said.

After qualifying, the teams played two days of tournament golf. North Tahoe played on Wachesaw East on Friday and Aberdeen Country Club on Saturday.

Tomlinson said that on average, 11 or 12 of the holes on each course had water.

“It was target golf on all three courses,” he said.

North Tahoe finished in the middle of the pack in its flight, the coach said, with Greendale High School from Greendale, Wis., in first place and El Capitan High School from Lakeside, Calif., finishing second.

Tomlinson said that the experience was valuable and fun not only for his players but for him as a coach, as he had the chance to network with coaches from all over the country, discuss coaching strategy and even set up possible practice rounds.

Having four days in a row of golf, two of those medal play ” with every stroke counting ” was also something that Tomlinson said should greatly help his players.

“We never get a chance to play four days in a row,” Tomlinson said.

Playing some of the toughest courses in the country, with golfers from many different backgrounds in a tournament format that demands constant perfection, will ultimately improve North Tahoe’s play throughout the remainder of the season, the coach said.

“I expect to see some pretty good scores from these kids,” Tomlinson said. “To have three medal rounds like this really helps.”

Beside just golf and fun, Tomlinson said the environment in South Carolina was a big change for the Lakers.

With an abnormal cold front moving through the area ” the same north wind that affected the Masters ” temperatures dropped into the 50s for the final two days of play. Tomlinson said his JV players had better weather in Yerington than he did in Myrtle Beach.

But the coach said it was the wildlife that was most different in South Carolina. While it is normal to see marmots or jackrabbits on Nevada courses, North Tahoe’s golfers were walking by alligators sunning themselves during the tournament.

Tomlinson said that while it will ultimately be his golfers who gain from the whole experience, none of it would have happened without North Tahoe community support.

Between funds generated or donated from the Sierra Rainbow Golf Tournament in September, the North Tahoe Boosters Club and the Florsheim Brothers Foundation, the whole trip became a reality.

“Without those guys we wouldn’t have been able to do this,” Tomlinson said.

Sea Trail Qualifier

David Phipps 85

Taylor Tomlinson 87

Alec Griffith 91

Kevin Scardigli 98

Tucker Heintz 106

Wachesaw East – Day 1

David Phipps 88

Alec Griffith 88

Kevin Scardigli 90

Tucker Heintz 106

Taylor Tomlinson 106

Aberdeen Country Club – Day 2

Taylor Tomlinson 89

Alec Griffith 98

Kevin Scardigli 98

David Phipps 104

Tucker Heintz 124