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3A STATE: Virgin Valley’s Baeza coasts to individual crown

Virgin Valley senior Ryan Baeza brought a relaxed mindset along with his six-stroke lead into the final round of the Class 3A state boys golf tournament Tuesday at Boulder City Golf Course.

“In my mind, it was just ‘Go out and have fun. Go out and do what you can, play your game and have fun,’ ” Baeza said. “That’s what I went after.”

Baeza wound up with the individual state title that narrowly eluded him during his first three seasons.

Baeza shot 2-over 74, finishing with a two-day total of 1-under 143 to win the tournament by 11 strokes. He carded a 69 in the first round at Boulder Creek on Monday.

Baeza finished fourth in the 3A state tournament in 2009 and 2010 before climbing to second last year.

“This one definitely feels special because it’s my senior year, and this is where my sister (Felisha Baeza) won. It’s a great feeling," Ryan Baeza said.

Baeza fired his approach shot on the ninth hole uphill into the wind to within about a foot. He then sank a birdie putt to finish the front nine with a 38.

Baeza had a steady back nine, with birdies on Nos. 11 and 16 offsetting bogeys on Nos. 13 and 15.

“I just tried to coast in. I didn’t try to do anything crazy,” he said of the back nine. “I had a couple bogeys, but I had to fight through them and try to make those birdie putts, which I did.”

Lowry won its second team title in three years with a score of 806. Elko was second at 838, followed by Boulder City (866) and Spring Creek (897).

Boulder City’s Luke Logan shot 79 to finish second at 154.

“It’s not what I was hoping for, but you can’t expect to win every time,” said Logan, the 3A Southern League champion.

Elko’s Danny Nelson took third at 156.

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