Sunrise Region: Coronado wins fifth consecutive region title

David Fish jokingly called the Class 4A Sunrise Region tournament “an extremely close race” inside the Bear’s Best clubhouse Tuesday afternoon.

The Southern Nevada Golf Coaches Association executive director got a nice laugh from everyone munching on their post-round snack.

No one questioned who the winner was.

That was all but decided at the beginning of the year, but didn’t become official until Tuesday afternoon.

Coronado finished with six of the top seven golfers, and ran away with its fifth consecutive region title after posting a two-day score of 43-over-par 619 — the best team score from either Class 4A region.

No other Sunrise team recorded a team score after Green Valley and Canyon Springs missed the cut on the first day.

“The girls love each other and play for one another,” said Coronado coach Joe Sawaia, whose team will be seeking its fourth consecutive state title next week at Highland Falls. “That’s a big thing to try and develop chemistry in a individual, greedy kind of sport. Because that’s what it is. You can’t block anybody or pass it to anybody. You’re kind of playing your own thing. But these girls really look forward to the season after playing a long summer of individual golf.”

Sami Penor overcame a three-stroke deficit from the first day to claim her second region title. The senior had two birdies and shot 1-under Tuesday at Bear’s Best to get the win. She finished 5-over-par 149, and was the only Sunrise Region golfer to go under par on the second day.

“I’m a senior and this is my last regional,” Penor said. “So this is just kind of special. … I didn’t have any three putts today and most of my shots were going where I wanted them to. And when I did get in trouble, I got out. That really contributed to shooting well.”

Penor, who also won the region title as a sophomore, converted the par 4 on hole No. 18, while teammate Gabby DeNunzio double bogeyed for the final outcome. DeNunzio was second at 151 — ahead of teammates Victoria Estrada (153) and Crystle Querol (166) — and Foothill’s Katie Schlichenmayer (176).

Makenzie McMillen (180) and Elle Hahn (183) finished sixth and seventh for the Cougars, who shot even-par as a team on the back nine. More than her individual title, Penor said she was happy to play with such a great group.

“This is such a good group of girls and I’m so happy that the timing worked out where I was on the team with these great people,” she said. “I’m really happy about (the outcome). I’m going to be really sad to leave. It’s something that’s been a part of my life for a long time.”

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