DIVISION I GOLF: Foothill’s Montgomery fights through trouble, takes first-round lead

RENO — At first glance, Taylor Montgomery’s opening round of the Division I state golf tournament Tuesday looks like a breeze.

The senior shot 6-under-par 65 at Sierra Sage. But it was anything but easy.

“I feel like I just went through a hurricane,” said Montgomery, who will take a two-stroke lead into today’s final round. “It was wild. Every hole on the back nine seems like I was in a bush hacking out to the center of the fairway. It’s almost impossible to have another round like I did today getting the ball up and down.”

Teammate Andrew Chu and Palo Verde’s Bradley Collett each shot 67.

Montgomery and Chu helped Foothill to the lead in the team competition, as well. The Falcons shot 365 to lead Coronado by two strokes and Bishop Gorman by 10.

Despite Foothill’s strong start to the first round of play on a course none of the team members had played before, coach Paul DeSantis saw plenty of room for improvement.

“We had a few course management issues,” DeSantis said. “We could have had some big numbers out there, but they grinded. Day 1 is all about not losing the golf tournament.”

Chu will enter today’s final round with momentum on his side after he eagled the final two holes of the round.

On the par-4 17th, Chu’s 3-wood off the tee settled about 20 feet from the cup. The sophomore drained the lengthy putt.

On the par-5 18th hole, Chu once again used his 3-wood and rolled up to within a few feet of the cup, making for an easy eagle putt.

“Eagle, eagle” Chu said. “Great finish. Glad I shot low to help our team.”

Palo Verde’s Collett managed to save his round by scrambling to save wayward tee shots en route to his 67.

“I didn’t hit the ball too great,” Collett said. “I’d hit a bad shot, and think don’t shut down, recover and hit a par putt.”

Shadow Ridge’s Ben Davis and Bishop Gorman’s Christian James are tied for fourth at 69.

The final round begins at 7:30 a.m. today.

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