PHS golf teams finish second

By Kevin Wilson

It felt like a win for the Portales girls golf team, even though the scoreboard said otherwise. The opposite seemed true for the Clovis girls.
Clovis won Monday’s tournament at Portales Country Club, but the host Lady Rams earned a qualifying score toward the Class 1A-3A state tournament. Clovis, which is in Class 5A and has a lower qualifying mark, did not.
Still, a win was a win in the mind of Clovis girls coach Jeff Fontanilla.
“I feel good,” Fontanilla said, noting that Brianne Bracken (89) Susan Shelley (92) did earn a qualifying score as individuals. “We didn’t make a team leg by one shot. We’re kind of in a bad situation, but we’re going to try to build on this.”
It takes three qualifying scores to qualify for the state tournament. The Clovis girls have yet to earn a team qualifying score.
New Mexico Military Institute won the boys competition with a 317, followed by Portales at 319 and Clovis at 327.
Travis Reid led the charge for Clovis with a 1-under-par 71 and Dale Welch of Portales was second with a 74.
The Colts and Rams each earned qualifying scores. It was the Rams’ second.
“Our goal is to qualify in every tournament we’ve played this year and so far we have,” boys coach Greg Poynor said. “We feel like if we play well, we’ll definitely qualify every tournament.”
Clovis coach George Simmons said part of the reason for the dropoff was the Wildcats were missing on of their top players, but he didn’t feel that was an acceptable excuse.
“Without the No. 2 guy, we did fairly well … not great,” Simmons said. “I was expecting to get a leg.”
Junior Guillermo Chavez played in a Junior PGA tournament in Tuscon, Ariz., over the weekend.
The Wildcats have no worries about the state tournament, as they have already qualified at five tournaments.
Cassidy Merrick cruised to her third individual leg of the season, shooting a 38 on the front nine en route to an 84. Bracken tied for second with Ciarra Cunningham of Lovington.
Merrick’s efforts weren’t enough to keep Portales out of second place. The Portales girls finished between Clovis (386) and Lovington (402).
Portales also got a state-qualifying 92 from Roni Gomez.
“I think Cassidy played pretty close to her potential and so did Roni,” Portales coach Brenda Gomez said. “I think we’ll get better scores with Michelle (Miller) and Oma (Creighton), so it will get better.”