Douglas High School’s Shane Pyle and Colin Brooks will realize their season-long goal today when they begin play at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) Division I State Boys Golf Tournament in Pahrump.
Both earned individual berths for the state final, which concludes Thursday at Mountain Falls Golf Club. The first tee time is scheduled for 10 a.m. both days.
The two Tigers earned their qualifying berths, Douglas coach Corey Thacker noted.
“I am proud of Shane and Colin for their accomplishments,” Thacker said. “This shows the hard work they have put in and now they are being rewarded for it.”
Pyle shot 157 over 36 holes to finish eighth overall at the Northern Division I Region Tournament last week at Thunder Canyon Country Club. It sets up what figures to be the final tournament for Pyle, a senior who is moving on to Montana State University to concentrate on mechanical engineering.
Brooks, a sophomore, shot 159 to crack the top 10 on the individual leaderboard. Two teams and five individuals from non-qualifying teams advanced to the final.
“I definitely could have played better, but I am satisfied that I qualified,” said Pyle, who shot rounds of 80 and 77 to earn his state invitation. “I didn’t really do anything special. I was just out there grinding it out.”
Brooks had a similar story to tell, although he opened with a 78 on Tuesday followed by an 81 on Wednesday at Thunder Canyon.
“That was my goal. I was close last year, so I’m pretty satisfied I made it,” Brooks said on Monday.
There were a few anxious moments during the second round.
“I kind of scrapped it out,” he said. “My swing wasn’t as consistent as I would have liked, but had a few important up and downs. Coach Thacker really helped me out. I think it was on 14 where he told me to just relax … ‘Everything was going to be fine. Just hang in there.’ That made a big difference for me.”
Brooks was at 3-over par through 15 holes Tuesday before he took a triple bogey on the par-4 16th hole. He showed poise and determination, however, to recover and card pars on Nos. 17 and 18. His third shot to the green on the final hole was big.
“I hit out of the trees and set myself up with a 10-foot putt for par,” Brooks said.
Douglas finished seventh as a team with a two-day score of 878. Senior Zander Ghan was the third finisher for Douglas at 172, including an opening-round 82. Jaden Wass shot 192, Jarod Endter 198 and Jake Wartgow 226 for the Tigers.
“All players this year not only developed into better golfers this year but came together to work as a team to push each other and work hard every day,” Thacker said.
Even though Ghan missed his goal to qualify for state by 11 shots, the senior was a “key” player for the Tigers.
“He was a main guy on the team,” Brooks said. “He helps everybody out.”
This marks a return trip to Mountain Falls for both Pyle and Brooks, since Douglas played at the Pahrump Invitational in April (Pyle shot 160 and Brooks 162 during the two-day event).
“Coach Thacker got us in the tournament so we’ve already seen the course twice,” Brooks said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to give me good experience and I want to do everything I can to help Shane out. He’s been a big support for my game.”
The Division I, I-A and Division III state tournaments, presented by the Farmers Insurance Group, are all going to be held the same two days at Mountain Falls.
“This is the first time ever for all three divisions to be on the same course, which is very cool,” NIAA Assistant Director Donnie Nelson said. “A big thank you to the Par 4 Golf Management group at Mountain Falls for the opportunity to host all three there.”