The best are able to win even with a sloppy finish.
Pahrump Valley senior Austen Ancell built enough of an advantage to overcome a double-bogey on his final hole to clinch the individual Class 3A Southern Region title Wednesday at Boulder Creek with a final score of 2-under-par 71.
“Apparently my 3-wood goes a little bit further than I was expecting,” Ancell said after shooting six on a par-4 hole to end his day. “Other than that, putts is pretty much what it came down to. I had 33 putts for the day so that’s not really a good statistic to have.”
Ancell scored three birdies during the single-round tournament and had an eagle on the 14th hole en route to the win.
He edged Boulder City’s Kyler Atkinson, who bogeyed the 18th hole, by one stroke to clinch the title.
“We had a practice round Monday and I pretty much was just trying to keep the groove going because I shot 5-under on Monday,” Ancell said. “The back nine I obviously didn’t finish the way I’d like to, but either way we fight through it and do the best we can.”
The senior felt no added pressure to perform at this event, as he said he’s been here before.
“I’ve been through this three different times so as of now it’s just another tournament to me,” Ancell said.
Ancell advances, along with the rest of his team, to the Class 3A state tournament in Spring Creek.
“We’re going to try and do the best we can and hopefully get that win,” he said.
To get a win in state Pahrump will have to upset the team region champion Boulder City.
The Eagles shot 386 as a team Wednesday to earn the team title.
“I’m excited for them. They played great, some of the best scored they’ve shot all season,” Boulder City coach Andy Schaper said. “There is some momentum with this win but we’re going into a golf course that we’ve never seen and we’ll have to deal with the elements.”
Pahrump Valley (418) was second, and Moapa Valley (522) third.
Boulder City had four players shoot 78 or better led by Atkinson. Jackson Wright shot 73 to finish third, followed by teammates Samu Jancuk (76) and Cade Neilson (78).
“I think they are kind of over that hump that they know how to keep their ball in play and eliminate those big mistakes,” Schaper said. “That’s going to be the key when we get up there, again, with the unknown of the golf course.”
Jared Smith of Western shot 78 to tie Neilson for fifth. He advanced to state along with Virgin Valley’s Hogan Fowles (79), Mojave’s Marcus Mullins (88), Del Sol’s Angel Greer (100), and Desert Pines’ Matthew Seskin-Clarke (101).
Contact reporter Bill Slane at email@example.com or 702-380-4559. Follow @bill_slane on Twitter.