SPARKS - Everything happened as expected at the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A Boys State Golf Championship at Red Hawk Golf Club on Wednesday - Bishop Gorman repeated as state champions and Galena was the class of the north.
Bishop Gorman ran away with the state title for the second straight year, shooting 15 strokes better than it did on Tuesday and beating the field by 19 stokes. The Gaels were led by sophomore Johnny Pinjuv, who won the individual championship with a score of 148 over the two-day tournament.
Galena, which finished third last season and won the title in 1999, once again took third-place honors. The Grizzlies, who started the day seven strokes behind the lead, improved their score by six strokes but could not keep up with Bishop Gorman's blistering pace.
"It was better today," Galena coach Keith Mussallem said of his team's play. "Both days we were a little off. They were capable of coming out and winning, but it just didn't happen. We were a little off on our putting."
Galena was by far the best team from the north - Reed was 26 strokes behind Gorman and McQueen was 68 strokes back.
The Grizzlies got solid play from Patrick Flynn, who improved his Tuesday score by five strokes to finish with a 77 for the day. Matt Kinsinger, who was the zone champion from the north and also set a state record with a 66 earlier this year, had one of the best rounds of the day with a 74. He was the second place finisher behind Pinjuv.
"I hit good; I didn't make any putts though," Kinsinger said of his performance. "I didn't make any putt longer than four feet until the 14th (hole) today. That's no exaggeration either."
Kinsinger said he was a little disappointed with his play and his team's score.
"Bishop Gorman shot good enough to beat anybody, but we didn't play to our potential," he said.
Steve McQuirk, Carson high's lone golfer, had a tough front nine but regained control in the second half to end with an 85.
"It's not as good as I expected, but I played pretty good on the back both days," he said. "My approach shots to the greens gave me the most problems; I struggled with those both days."
The best score of the tournament belonged to Mojave's Jeremy Meeter, who turned an 80 from the first day into a 70 on Wednesday. Meeter finished with the same score as Kinsinger (150), but lost a tie-breaker and was given third place.
Last year's champion, Coronado's Matt Edwards, started the day one stroke back behind Pinjuv at 72, but struggled early and finished with a 79.
The same happened to others who were within striking distance of Pinjuv. Reno's Jared Becher, who started the day only two strokes back, finished with a two-day total of 152 after shooting a 79 Wednesday. Spark's Greg Wenzel, who was one stroke behind Becher and three behind Pinjuv going into the final round, also shot a 79 to finish with a two-day total of 153.
With all other contenders struggling, it gave Pinjuv, who finished 19th in last year's tournament, some breathing room.
"Everybody just kept looking at me, and I knew I was beating everyone in my group, so I knew I was in the lead," he said.
However, Pinjuv made it a little interesting late.
"Adrenaline was pumping through me so hard (near the end). I started to hit my shots and putts long."
Pinjuv was still in a comfortable enough position to three putt on the final hole to beat all other competitors by 2 strokes.
Only a sophomore, Pinjuv already has his sights set on next year, when the Gaels will try and three-peat.
"It's awesome; hopefully we can keep it up, but we're losing four great seniors so it will be tough."
Boulder City defended its home turf by taking first place at the NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A Boys State Championship on Wednesday at Boulder City Municipal Golf Course. The Eagles blew out the competition by 26 strokes. Northern 3A teams Truckee, Bishop Manogue and North Tahoe, finished second, fifth, and sixth, respectively. North Tahoe's Justin Linkey won the individual championship, shooting a 138 over the two-day tournament.
The Eagles blew out the competition by 26 strokes. Northern 3A teams Truckee, Lowry, Bishop Manogue and North Tahoe, finished third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively. North Tahoe's Justin Linkey won the individual championship, shooting a 138 over the two-day tournament.
The Wolverines finished with a two-day total of 815, but still 12 shots back of second-place Virgin Valley. Boulder City shot a 777, a score that would've gave it a second-place finish in the 4A tournament behind Bishop Gorman.