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LAHS golf keeps rolling through fall tournaments

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By Phil Scherer

The highly successful fall season continued for the Los Alamos High School’s boy’s and girl’s golf teams this week at Arroyo del Oso Golf Course. The boys picked up their third victory in a row, and the girls once again had two girls earn state qualifying legs, while finishing in third as a team.
The boys finished with a score of 317, winning the tournament over second-place La Cueva by six strokes, which finished with a score of 323. The Hilltoppers were 19 strokes ahead of third-place Rio Rancho.
While the boy’s head coach, Andy Ainsworth, was pleased with the win, he felt the team could have performed even better.
“It’s good for the boys to get another win in a quality field in Albuquerque,” Ainsworth said. “As a team, we didn’t have our best stuff for most of the day.”
The team’s best score came from Sean Rau, who finished with a 75. The score was good enough for second overall, behind Bowen Davis of Manzano, who shot a 71.
“Sean’s 75 could have easily been a 68 or 70 if a few putts had gone in,” Ainsworth said. “He made nothing all day outside of five feet and still shot 75.”
The other Hilltoppers put together good rounds as well, as the four other scorers all shot 85 or lower.
Logan Bishop shot a 77. Davis Johnson finished with an 80. Brandan Duran had an 82 and Jacob Benelli had an 85.
Henry Poston, who has had great rounds this year, was disqualified during the round. He played the wrong ball on the first hole, and failed to correct the error before teeing off on the next hole, resulting in disqualification.
Despite the good scores, Ainsworth feels his team has a lot of work to do to maintain their positioning.
“We will get back to work this week focusing on holing some putts as well as hitting wedge shots to specific distances,” Ainsworth said. “As a whole, our team needs to make more birdies by hitting wedges closer, giving ourselves better opportunities to score. I’m proud of the boys for holding it together today, when overall it was a struggle.”
The girl’s team finished with a score of 385, which was 15 strokes behind Rio Rancho, which won the tournament with a score of 370.
The team also earned its second team leg toward qualifying for the state tournament in the spring. The team needs one more qualifying leg to guarantee its spot.
Two girls also earned individual qualifying legs. Jessica Osden, who has already qualified for the tournament, picked up her fourth qualifying leg with a score of 78. She was also the individual winner at the event.
Leah Mountain collected her third qualifying leg with a score of 90, earning her spot in the state tournament.
Muira Mowrer and Kat Mowrer also put together solid rounds, finishing with scores of 98 and 118, respectively.
Coach Tim Hammock was pleased with the effort of his team, especially after struggling in recent weeks.
“I’m proud of the way the team bounced back from last week’s performance to pick up a third place finish, but more importantly that second leg toward the state tournament,” Hammock said.
He hopes this can be a building block as the season moves along.
“From one to four, we stroked the ball better than the previous weeks,” Hammock said. “Hopefully we can build upon that going forward by putting it all together and lower our scores.”
The team will return home this week for the Los Alamos Fall Finale Invite on Monday at the Los Alamos County Golf Course. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 10 a.m.