Zinke aces at Dayton Valley | RecordCourier.com

Zinke aces at Dayton Valley

by Dave Price

Markus Zinke experienced a golfer’s dream Sunday at Dayton Valley Country Club. But even after watching his first hole-in-one drop on the fourth hole, one thought came to mind for the Gardnerville teen-ager.

He just wished the shot hadn’t come during the practice round of the USGA Junior Qualifying Tournament which was played Monday at Dayton Valley.

“I was real excited, but then I said, ‘Darn it,'”Zinke chuckled. “I would have rather had it tomorrow.”

Zinke, 17, who just finished his junior year at Douglas High School, used a 7-iron for his shot on the 177-yard fourth hole.

“It was right on the pin the whole way,” Zinke recalled. “It hit about six feet short, checked up and rolled into the hole.”

An ace in the hole would have been nice Monday, but the chore of grabbing the one qualifying berth to the USGA Boys Junior Championship was a difficult one – just because of Travis Whisman.

Whisman, 16, the Nevada 4A state champion this spring as a sophomore at Galena High in Reno, shot one-over par 145 over 36 holes to win the qualifier by 16 strokes and earn a ticket to his fourth USGA Junior Amateur.

Young Whisman had a special incentive to qualify for the national event July 21-25 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill., according to his father.

“We’re having it researched, but if Travis makes it again next year, he may be the first one to ever go five times,”said Jim Whisman, who on Monday received an invitation to the U.S. Senior Open (July 23-26 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.).

Zinke finished the qualifier tied for third with a 163 total and he is the second alternate to go to Conway Farms.

“I played good the first round,” said Zinke, who carded an opening round 77. “I was playing with Travis, he birdied the first hole and I bogeyed it, so I was down two right away. But then I caught up, I was even with him after five holes. I thought I could hang in there, but then I lost my focus.

“I won’t say the s-word … shanked,” he added with a laugh.

Zinke still finished his morning round with three birdies. Admittedly, the hole-in-one was still on his mind.

“Yesterday, that’s all I could think of,” he said. “Today, I was just trying to make par.”

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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