The Associated Press
Clovis senior Jordan Moore is six shots off the lead after notching a first-round 76 at the Class 5A state tournament at New Mexico State University on Monday.
Moore started slowly, something Clovis coach George Simmons was worried about.
“In the practice round he shot the same score,” Simmons said. “He just seemed a little tentative on a lot of his puts. I don’t know, it might have been championship jitters.”
Moore gained ground on the back nine, birdieing holes 13 and 14 thanks to two specacular puts.
“On 13 he hit a great put,” Simmons said. “It was about an 18-footer with a four- to five-foot break from left to right. On 14, he hit a 15-foot put that was pretty much straight uphill.”
Simmons said he expects Moore to have a better round today and could finish in the top five.
Clovis freshman Tyler Fontenot shot an 81, a score not indicitive of how the youngster played, according to his coach.
Fontenot birdied the first hole with a chip-in, but things turned sour when he reached No. 4. Fontenot lost five strokes to par on the hole when he had to take an unplayable lie, hit a tree on his next shot, then four-putted once he reached the green.
“He went from 1-under to 4-over in one hole,” Simmons said.
After a double bogey on No. 5, Fontenot played the last 13 holes at 2-over par.
The Clovis Lady Wildcats finished the first round in seventh in the nine team field at 417, which was a much higher score than coach Jeff Fontanilla expected.
“We played terrible,” Fontanilla said. “We really had a tough time today We were nervous. We struggled with our overall game.
“At least we weren’t in last.”
Last season, the Lady Cats finished last at the state tourney. Fontanilla said last year’s experience did not seem to help his team on Monday.
“Nerves don’t go away,” he said. “I think they figured out they need to play more and put themselves in more situations.
“Our goal for (today) is to break 400. If we break 400, we’ll have a good feeling about our trip.”
Clovis Christian senior Mollie Peterson is tied for third heading into the final round of the Class 1A-3A tournament after shooting an 81 at the Championship Course at the University of New Mexico on Monday. She is five shots back of Hope Christian’s Jessica Dailleboust, the tourney’s leader.
The prevailing thought in golf is that a tournament usually isn’t won in the opening round. The defending champion St. Michael’s girls and the Socorro boys likely did just that Monday.
St. Michael’s, led by Jonella Martinez with a 78, opened up a 33-shot lead in the Class 1A-3A tournament at The Championship Course at the University of New Mexico.
The Socorro boys also felt right at home on the UNM course. The Warriors, with their four top scorers all breaking 80, will take a 20-shot lead over Grants, Portales and Sandia Prep into Tuesday’s final 18 holes in the 1A-3A tournament.
The St. Michael’s girls shot a first day team score of 335. Socorro is second at 368, and Hope Christian third at 372.
Hope Christian’s Jessica Dailleboust was the individual leader after a first round 76. Martinez was second, with Kayla Cline of Socorro and Mollie Peterson of Clovis Christian tied for third with first round 81s.
Socorro’s Randy Torres and Grants’ Karl Gottlieb both shot 76 Monday to move atop the individual leaderboard. Joey Kinney of Sandia Prep (77) was one shot back and Paul Chamberlain of Ruidoso and Kevin Merhege of Mesilla Valley both shot 78.
The Goddard girls, winners of 16 state golf titles in the last 19 years, are in great shape to extend their dominance in 4A. Goddard shot a first round score of 361, good enough for a 24-shot lead over Los Alamos (385). Deming is third (390).
Erika Willis, part of Goddard’s 2005 title team, shared the first round individual lead with Faylyn Beyale of Kirtland Central, both shooting 85. Goddard’s Cassie Cooper, another returnee from last year’s championship squad, shot 86, while Roswell’s Shane Mullins was two shots back after an 87 on Monday.
Los Alamos (319), Albuquerque Academy (325) and Farmington (331) were the top three teams in boys 4A. Nick Brady of Los Alamos had the individual lead after an opening round of 71. Cory Elledge of Farmington shot 73 and Albuquerque Academy’s Elliot Feng was five shots back of Brady.
Defending champion Rio Rancho led the boys 5A team standings after the first round and Sandia was the girls leader, but the team and individual races figured to go down the final holes on Tuesday.
Rio Rancho, led by Tim Madigan’s 71 and Cody Anderson’s 73, shot 299. Mayfield was a shot back at 300, Eldorado shot 301 and perennial power La Cueva and Sandia were still within range with 305s.
Alex Zannes of Valley shot a 70 on the tough New Mexico State course to take a one-shot lead over Madigan. Bret Jones of Mayfield and Brandon Putnam of Eldorado shot 72s and Max Machado of La Cueva, and Tyler Johnson and Andrew Beck, both of Sandia, joined Anderson in the group two shots back of Zannes.
Putnam, who attended St. Michael’s last year, was the 2005 individual champion in 1A-3A.
CNJ staff contributed to this story.