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SUNRISE REGION: Foothill freshman works overtime for Sunrise Region boys golf title

Not even 36 holes of golf could decide the Sunrise Region boys golf champion Wednesday.

But after a drama-powered 37th hole at Mountain Falls Golf Club in Pahrump, Foothill’s Taylor Montgomery edged Coronado’s A.J. McInerney after both golfers had shot a tournament-best 68 on the final day to finish with a two-day total of 142.

“It felt pretty good, because I know (McInerney is) a good player,” Montgomery said of netting the win. “To stay tied with him like that is good for me. My short game kept me in it.”

The Cougars won the team event, scoring 752 to second-place Green Valley’s 827. The Gators edged Foothill (832) to take the second team spot to state.

“This is a really special group; they’re young, they’re talented, they work hard and have great attitudes,” Coronado coach Joe Sawaia said. “It’s a dream to get out of their way and watch them play.

“We were real focused today. We knew we were going to have better weather today. We’re familiar with the golf course, and I thought there was a chance we could actually break par as a team, and we came close.”

McInerney gained the upper hand with the tee shot, driving the ball more than 200 yards into the middle of the fairway, while Montgomery’s ball strayed slightly left and landed in a bunker. But the Foothill freshman powered his approach shot behind the green and then chipped to within 2 feet of the hole for the easy putt and the win.

“He is the hardest working kid I’ve ever seen, and I coach football, too,” Foothill coach Paul DeSantis said of Montgomery. “Every day he is working hard.”

McInerney, who began the back nine with birdies on six of seven holes, hit his approach to within a few feet but two-putted to concede the match.

Montgomery had six birdies and an eagle with only two bogeys to stay afloat during McInerney’s charge.

“I was just trying to get the ball around in the wind, and then all of a sudden, it stopped,” Montgomery said. “So I knew I had to hit the ball good because A.J. was stuffing it on every hole.”

Silverado’s Josh Fisher, who played with McInerney, Montgomery and Green Valley’s Ryan Green, carded a second-round 69 for a 148 two-day total and third place.

Coronado’s Tad Darland also finished at 148, and Green carded a final-round 74 to finish at 150 for sixth place.

In addition to Montgomery and Fisher, Foothill’s Bailey Rogers, Larry Lopez and Connor Bodin and Eldorado’s Giovanni Latty qualified for state as individuals.

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