Standing atop the par five 18th hole of the Division I state golf tournament at Montreux Golf and Country Club, Palo Verde sophomore Jack Trent knew he needed something special if he wanted to capture the individual state championship.
He’d entered the final round with a one-stroke lead, but fell behind early and was forced to battle Foothill senior Andrew Chu. The two fought all day exchanging and sharing the lead, and as the 18th hole loomed, it appeared Chu, who was in the group ahead of Trent, would be able to use his one-stroke lead to hang on for the win.
“I thought Chu would probably make a birdie or par at worst, so I knew I had to try and birdie or eagle it,” Trent said.
Instead, Chu ate his only bogey of the back nine, while still shooting a tournament-best round of 73.
With the door left open, Trent only needed to par the 18th to force a playoff. Four strokes later he watched as his putt found the bottom of the cup for a birdie and an individual state championship. He shot 3-over 75 on Tuesday to finish the tournament at 150.
“When we were waiting I was like ‘How do I win this or what shot do I have to hit to win this?’ ” Trent said. “At the time I was focusing on the shot and how to get it close to the flag.”
Trent had bogeyed the hole during Monday’s first round. But he said
he felt no hesitation playing the hole that had bit him the day before, instead, he only wanted payback.
“It gave me motivation to make a birdie,” Trent said of Monday’s bogey on 18.
Chu knew he had the lead going to 18, but was unable to avoid the bogey.
“My coach told me that I had a one-shot lead when I was on the 18th tee box,” Chu said. “After that I just tried to play smart, but I ended up making bogey.”
For Chu it marked the third consecutive year he has finished as a runner-up in the state golf tournament. And while he had the best round of the tournament, he couldn’t hide the frustration of once again finishing second.
“It just means that I was that close to winning it all,” Chu said. “But this year was a little special because it’s my last year and I came back fighting on the second day. It’s kind of frustrating to be honest, but I’m just out here having fun.”
Bishop Manogue shot 399 on Tuesday to finish at 813, 18 shots ahead of second-place Coronado. Palo Verde (838) was third and Arbor View (851) fourth.
While no Southern Nevada schools could catch Manogue, local golfers took the top six spots on the leaderboard.
Bishop Gorman’s Christian James shot 74 on Tuesday to finish in a three-way tie for third with Arbor View’s Sam Dickey and Gorman’s Owen Rosebeck at 155. Coronado’s Jalen Hodges shot 78 Tuesday to finish sixth at 157.
Coronado entered play Tuesday in fourth place, but shot 410 to move up to second. The Cougars’ shaved 11 strokes off their first-round score, and only Manogue’s 399 was better in the tournament.