SUNRISE GOLF: Montgomery, Falcons unseat Coronado

As Foothill boys golf coach Paul DeSantis cruised around Mountain Falls Golf Club checking on his players, Taylor Montgomery kept asking him the same question.

“Every time I see him, he asks me, ‘How’s the team doing?’” DeSantis said. “There’s not too many kids in that position that would ask how the team is doing.”

Montgomery ran away with his third Sunrise Region title Wednesday, firing a 5-under-par 67 to finish with a two-day total of 12-under 132. But the UNLV recruit was more happy that the Falcons won the first team title in program history, dethroning five-time defending region champion Coronado in the process.

“The entire team stepped up and played very well,” Montgomery said. “They worked hard for it. It’s good to see hard work pay off.”

The top two teams and the top five individuals from non-qualifying teams advance to the Division I state tournament Tuesday and Wednesday at Sierra Sage Golf Course near Reno.

Foothill’s Andrew Chu shot 70 to finish second at 6-under (138). The Falcons, bolstered by a 72 from junior Nick Grinder, posted a 4-over 364 total Wednesday and shot 734 over the two rounds to knock off Coronado (755).

Grinder and teammate Nick Rae, who shot 79 Wednesday, were part of a four-way tie for seventh place at 154. Connor Bodin added a second-round 76 for the Falcons.

“It means a lot for us to accomplish this goal,” DeSantis said. “Not a lot of people can say they’re region champions, so it’s a pretty awesome feeling for these guys.”

Said Coronado coach Joe Sawaia: “There’s no defense for 364. We played them six times this year, and every match was close. For us to win, we have to have five guys play really well. As well as Andrew has been playing the last few weeks and as good as Taylor is, they have a little cushion to endure an 82 or 83 more than we can.”

Montgomery made six birdies and was the only player from any of the three regions to break 70. After starting on the back nine with a 33, Montgomery birdied Nos. 2 and 3. He dropped a shot at No. 5, but birdied No. 7 to climb back to 5-under.

“I’ve played this course quite a bit,” Montgomery said. “I’m confident I know where to hit it.”

Chu was steady throughout the tournament and made four birdies in the final round. The sophomore, who also started on the back nine, made birdie on Nos. 3 and 4 and eagled the par-5 7th before a bogey on No. 8.

Coronado junior Bradley Keyer carded a 73 and took third at 1-over (145), while teammates Michael Alvarez (148) and Matt Welch (150) rounded out the top five.

Keyer was 2-under for his round and tournament through 15 holes, but he closed bogey-par-double bogey. Alvarez, who started on No. 10, went out in 42 but made eight pars and one birdie on the front side.

“I thought we had a good game plan on this golf course. The kids know how to approach it, we just didn’t have enough birdie looks,” Sawaia said. “The good thing is we advance to the state tournament. Obviously the stakes are up, and when you travel to Reno all sorts of things can happen.” 

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