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Cougars win second state golf title
by Dan Eckles
May 21, 2009 | 518 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune /John Byrne - SSHS freshman Jordan Gilmore hits from a bunker at No. 17 during the Cougars' journey to a state title Thursday.
Tribune /John Byrne - SSHS freshman Jordan Gilmore hits from a bunker at No. 17 during the Cougars' journey to a state title Thursday.
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The Spanish Springs boys golf team did not shoot quite as well in its second round at the Nevada 4A State Championships Thursday, but its 381 team total was more than enough to give it a second Silver State large school state title in a three-year span.

Spanish Springs' 381 Thursday, coupled with its 373 Wednesday, gave the Cougars a two-day total of 754. That proved eight strokes better than the 762 finish of second-place Coronado at RedHawk Golf Club. Palo Verde's 784 was good for third and Bishop Manogue (786), which just edged Spanish Springs for the Northern 4A crown a week ago, was fourth.

"I'm very excited for the kids and extremely proud," Spanish Springs coach Victor Sherbondy said. "What allowed them to ultimately win this year's state championship was we were able to maintain focus for 36 holes and two days. Every one of our players made a mistake but we were also able to rebound from those mistakes and come back strong on the next hole."

SSHS freshman Jordan Gilmore sat in second place after Wednesday's first round, turning in a 71. He equaled that feat Thursday with another 71. The two-day total of 142 left him in a tie with Las Vegas' Ray Gillop at the end of the tournament's regulation play, but Gillop took home individual medalist honors after winning the first playoff hole with a par. Gillop, who turned in rounds of 72 and 70, also sank a 40-plus foot putt for birdie on the 17th green to give himself a chance to take home the first-place trophy.

"Jordan came up big for us in that final group," Sherbondy said. "I know he'll be in position to win a couple more times in his high school career. He's a phenomenal player. I know Jordan wanted that individual title. My hope is that this puts pressure on Jordan to become an even better player."

Gilmore seemed to be taking the second-place finish in stride as he instead stressed the SSHS team win.

"I feel good. Ray deserves it," the Cougars' freshman standout said. "As long as our team won, that's what matters. It's what we've wanted to do all season."

Coronado freshman AJ McInerney was the first-round leader with a three-under par 69, but he settled for a 76 Thursday. His 145 was good for third overall.

Spanish Springs was paced by three players finishing in the Top 10. Ren Wilson finished seventh overall with a (72-77 -149). The senior was happy to help his Cougars win a team title, but was less than thrilled with the two double bogeys that capped his second round.

"Winning the team title definitely makes it a lot better," Wilson said. "I was hoping we could do it and that's better than an individual title. It makes me feel like I won as an individual ... It's a good way to go out in my senior year."

Cougars junior Anthony Pair was ninth overall with a (76-75 -151). The rest of the Cougars' scoring contingent was comprised of Robert Perea (77-77 -154), Gatlin Harris (77-83 -160) and Dylan Ernst (79-81 -160). Teams must only count five scores so Spanish Springs threw out one of its 160s.

Perea, who like Wilson, helped Spanish Springs to the 4A title in 2007, had similar sentiments.

"It's a great feeling," Perea said. "It was disappointing for us not to win last year. So this is a great way to go out, senior year, in our last tournament on our home course. It's nice to do it here."

Coronado counted scores of 145, 147, 155, 157 and 161.
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