Rams lead small-school division at LeRoy Gooch Invitational

PNT staff

RUIDOSO — The Portales Rams overcame windy conditions to take an eight-shot lead after the first round on Monday in the small-school division of the Leroy Gooch Invitational at Alto Lakes Country Club.

Portales shot a four-man score of 335 in a seven-school field. Grants’ tally of 343 was good for second place and left the Pirates two strokes ahead of both Lovington and Socorro.

All five Rams golfers were bunched within seven strokes of each other, led by freshman William Archibeque at 38-43 — 81. Senior Matthew Parker posted a round of 39-45 — 84, freshman Donavin Sanchez shot 39-46 — 85, freshman Rick Bergman was at 45-40 — 85 and junior Jefferson Powers fired 41-47 — 88.

Donavin has been the Rams’ leader in several outings this year, but struggled around the green on Monday, PHS boys coach Patrick Crowley said.

“He had some trouble with the flat stick (putter),” Crowley said. “Will (Archibeque) played well, and Matthew played real well.

“We had a pretty good game plan going in; we just didn’t stick to it.”

Crowley said the wind, blowing generally around 30 mph with gusts up around 45, was a factor.

“We needed to manage the course a little better,” he said. “It’s a tough golf course, and it’s a total shock for us coming out of the flatlands.”

Crowley noted that the course is in rough shape, and said course management will be a key in today’s final round.

Portales’ girls, meantime, shot a score of 516 and are last in the small-school division. Ruidoso currently owns the team lead, shooting a round of 409.

Tori Teague had the Lady Rams’ top round on Monday, shooting 122. Janet Walker, making her first tournament appearance of the season, was next at 129, followed by Lindsey Woodard at 132, Arinn Lovett at 133 and Amber McCasland at 149.