Two weeks ago, Palo Verde boys golf coach Todd Steffenhagen had his doubts about whether the Panthers could repeat as state champions.
When the last players left the course Tuesday after the Class 4A tournament at Toiyabe Golf Club in Washoe Valley, he still wasn’t sure.
As he pecked away on the calculator function of his phone, the doubt and uncertainty were replaced by something more resembling joy.
“It looks like we’re going to have it by single digits, I think about eight strokes,” Steffenhagen said.
His math was right on the money.
Palo Verde posted a two-day score of 788 to hold off Bishop Manogue, which placed second at 796. Coronado finished third at 800, Galena, tied with Palo Verde for the first-round lead, was fourth at 802, Faith Lutheran fifth at 827 and Foothill sixth at 889.
“If you would have asked me two weeks ago if this was possible, I would have said hopefully we’re healthy enough,” Steffenhagen said. “We just hadn’t had our whole lineup together.”
Bishop Manogue junior Ollie Osborne was the individual champion, spoiling the quest of Palo Verde’s Jack Trent to become the state’s first three-time champion.
Osborne carded a 75, the second-best score of the day, to come from six strokes behind to finish at 151 and beat Trent by one stroke.
Osborne said he was fortunate to tee off an hour earlier than Trent, as the weather conditions, which started windy and miserable, worsened as the day went on.
“He had the worst of the worst conditions,” Osborne said. “It was terrible by the time I got to 18, but at that time, he was still on 14.”
Trent spent most of the day in the lead despite shooting 12 strokes higher than he did in Monday’s first round. Trent used the word horrible three times to describe his round and the weather, particularly the wind, which gusted to 65 mph late in the day.
“The weather was absolutely horrible, and my round was horrific,” Trent said. “I just played bogey golf today.”
Even so, Trent is one of 11 players who have won two individual state titles.
“It’s a good achievement, to win two state tournaments in a row, and then finish second in one,” Trent said. “It’s a good way to finish, and the second in a row as a team was real good as well.”
Arbor View’s Hazen Newman, who was six strokes off the pace after the first round, shot 77 Tuesday to finish third at 153. He won a tiebreaker with Dylan Fritz of Coronado. Jay Babu of Galena finished fifth at 154, and Cameron Meeks of Palo Verde was sixth, finishing in a three-way tie at 155 with Mitchell Abbott of Bishop Gorman and Benjamin Sawaia of Coronado.
Trent entered the back nine tied with Babu and Reno’s Tommy Zumtobel at 3 over, with Abbott one stroke behind.
Trent had a bogey on No. 11 that dropped him a stroke behind Babu, but Babu ran into trouble on the final five holes. Osborne had birdies on 10 and 13 to withstand bogeys on the final two holes.
“(Trent) has just done so much his career,” Steffenhagen said. “I’m sure he feels bad, but he did great.”