SUNSET REGION: Arbor View freshman Thomas shares lead in Sunset tourney

Arbor View freshman Zane Thomas has been playing golf since age 2, learning the game from his father.

Thomas also gives plenty of credit to his mother, Susan, who drives him to most of his tournaments.

Both of his parents were in attendance Wednesday to witness Thomas’ top high school achievement to date, an opening-round 75 that gave him a share of the lead after the first day of the Sunset Region golf tournament at Badlands Golf Club.

Thomas was tied with Centennial senior James Newman, two shots ahead of Bonanza’s Yongsoo Shin.

Ten golfers are within five shots of the lead, as play shifts to Mountain Falls Golf Club in Pahrump today.

In the team standings, defending state champion Palo Verde leads after Day 1 with a team total of 395. Centennial is second at 403, 10 shots better than third-place Bonanza.

“No one has talked about us all season long, so having a day like this is great,” Palo Verde coach Jeff Wolfram said. “The kids had high expectations coming into the tournament, and once they settled down we were fine. I like the position we are in, but it’s all about attitude in how we play in the final round.”

Centennial won a two-day tournament this season at Mountain Falls, so Thursday’s final round should be interesting.

“Hopefully, we can put together another solid round up there,” said Newman, who birdied three of the four par 3s Wednesday. “The course in Pahrump is not as demanding as the one we played on today, so the scores should be a lot better.”

Thomas, who used a more consistent short game on his way to the lead, echoed Newman’s sentiments about tough scores after the opening round.

“This (Badlands) is a tough, demanding course,” Thomas said. “At Mountain Falls, you have a better opportunity to drive the ball and hit the greens. Today, a bad shot could lead to some disaster.”