GOLF: Women host Silverbell tourney

By MYLO ERICKSON

Women’s golf hosts tournament

The Pima Community College women’s golf team hosted the fifth tournament of the season at Silverbell Golf Course on March 26-27.
Once again the Aztecs were unable to qualify for a team score as they do not have enough players to do so.
None of the girls was able to crack the top 10 for individuals, either. However, they all did improve on their first day scores by at least one stroke.
Freshman Shelby Empens had the best first day for the Aztecs, shooting 45 on the first nine and then shooting a 47 on the back half, for a total of 92.
Next best for Pima was freshman Abriana Romero, who shot 47 on the first nine and 46 on the back portion, for a total of 93 on the day.
Romero played with a stiff neck.
She had hurt her neck over the previous weekend.
“The first day was pretty rough,” Romero said, “I just got back from an injury; I strained a muscle in my neck, so I was on a lot medication and felt really stiff.”
Sophomore Alondra Olivas managed a 48 on the first half of the course, but ended up struggling on the second half, taking 62 strokes.
That left her first day score at 110.
With the second day of the tournament reaching temperatures of about 82 degrees during the day, the Aztecs improved on their games.
The occasional breeze would blow by. However the nice, cool breeze was immediately followed by the stench of sewage and nasty pond water.
Romero led the charge by shooting 46 on the front half and shooting a 42 on the back nine, for a total of 88. Improving upon her first day total by five stokes.
Empens also improved by taking 48 strokes to complete the first nine and then taking 43 on the back nine, for a total of 91. That improved on her first day by one stroke.
“I did a lot better than I’ve been doing in a lot of the tournaments, which I was really excited about,” Empens said. “I didn’t get as nervous for this one.”
Olivas also improved on her first day total by five strokes. She shot a 53 on the first half of the course and then a 52 on the second, leaving her score at 105.
“I had quite a few three putts, which is not normal — that shouldn’t be happening,” Olivas said. “You drive for show and putt for dough.”
It was a nice change of pace for the Aztecs, as they did not have to travel back home from Phoenix after this tournament.
By the end of the year, they will have traveled out of town for six of the seven tournaments.
“We just saved a three-hour drive home tonight, so I like that,” head coach Bill Nicol said.
Romero has a shot at making it to nationals this year, as there are 20 players taken. Those 20 are made up of three teams that take five players and then five individuals who have the best accumulated scores.
As of right now, Romero is sitting in that fifth player spot.
Nicol and the women plan to continue working on their game, as they will be back practicing at Randolph Golf Course.
The golf courses in the Phoenix area tend to play a little more like Randolph, Nicol said.
Pima will be heading back out of town on April 9-10 when it plays at Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa.

Men’s golf places eighth

The Pima Community College men’s golf team took eighth place in a tournament at Mount Graham Golf Course in Safford, on April 2 and 3.
The tournament was hosted by Eastern Arizona College.
Pima had a team total of 618 with one player collecting a medal.
Sophomore Adam Ortiz took sixth place at the tournament, shooting a 76 on the first day and shooting an even par of 72 on the second day, giving him a total of 148.
The Aztecs collected their first medal of the season at the tournament played at Phoenix’s Ahwatukee Country Club.
The tournament was hosted by GateWay Community College.
The Aztecs finished the two-day tournament in fifth place overall with two players finishing in the top 10.
Freshman Joseph Courtney finished with the best score for Pima. He shot three-over par on the first day with a 74.
On the second day of the tournament, Courtney shot one-under par with a 71. With those scores he finished in fourth place individually, collecting the first medal for Pima this season.
Only the top six individuals get medals.
Courtney has been working hard on improving his game, head coach Grant Waltke said. Courtney has been steadily lowering his scores this season.
Freshman Jonathon Chong Jr. was the next best for Pima, finishing in 10th place overall.
On the first day of the tournament Chong shot five-over par with a 77 and then improved it by six strokes to also shoot one-under par with a 71.
Freshman Austin Stuessel finished off his first day six-over par with a 78 and on the second day he improved on his first day score by shooting three-over par with a 75.
Freshman Landyn Lewis shot 16-over par on the first day with an 88. On the second day he improved his score by nine strokes, shooting a 79.
According to Waltke, Pima may have an opportunity to make nationals if they are able to outscore Eastern Arizona College in the next couple of tournaments. If the Aztecs are unable to accomplish this goal, then they would have to win the regional tournament to make it.
“We can do it,” Waltke said about making it to nationals.
The Aztecs will be hitting the greens again on April 15-16 in Mesa at Longbow Golf Country Club. The tournament is hosted by Mesa Community College.
Waltke believes he has his six players set up for the next tournament. The five definite players are Courtney, Chong, Stuessel, sophomore Adam Ortiz and freshman Steven Ortiz.

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