Carson one stroke from state

The Carson High boys golf team finished just four strokes behind Reno High's winning score of 408 at the Northern 4A Zone Golf Tournament on Tuesday at Ruby View Golf Course.

But in the highly competitive tournament that saw the top six teams finish within nine shots of each other, the Senators score of 411 left the team in fifth place and out of next week's Nevada state tournament in Las Vegas. The top four teams in the tournament that qualified for state were Reno, Elko, Galena and Reed.

Carson did successfully qualify three individuals - John Chirila, Toby Steele and Josh Bratzler - to the state tourney. Chirila finished as the second medalist with his score of 76, three strokes behind first-place finisher Bryson Young of Galena. Steele and Bratzler qualified for state as they tied for ninth place with their score of 81, which left them as one of the top five individuals not on a state-qualifying team.

"We were one shot away from state and four shots away from being the zone champions, but didn't get anything," said Carson coach Paul Croghan. "We did get the three individuals to state, but it would have been nice to go as a team."

The Senators were actually tied with Reed for the fourth and final state qualifying position with its score of 411, but Carson lost the tiebreaker with the Raiders in which each team's sixth man's scores are compared. (Although teams are comprised of six golfers, only the top five scores are counted for the final team score.)

Reed won the tiebreaker with Carson in a heartbreaking manner for the Senators. The Raiders automatically won the tiebreaker with their sixth man's score of 92 by Tom Freestone as Carson's sixth man, Nick Carlson, was disqualified for signing an invalid scorecard.

"It was a tough lesson - the whole team is bummed out," Croghan said.

Carson had entered the zone tournament as the regular-season zone champions.

Reno and Elko tied for the zone championship with the identical score of 408, but Reno won on the sixth-man tiebreaker. The Huskies' Cody Spencer (87) was four strokes better than the Indians' Tim Hansford (91) in the tiebreaker.

Douglas had two individuals, Jonathan Merry (84) and Travis Hawks (94) participating in the tourney, but neither advanced to state. Merry was four strokes off the 81 it took to advance to state as an individual.

In addition to the three Senators, Sean Fannan (South Tahoe), Casey Flynn (McQueen) and Ryan Plummer (Lowry) also advanced to state as individuals.

No golfer in the tourney shot par on the Ruby View course despite the fact the winds didn't pick up until the golfers had completed about one-third of the course. The golfers played the Gold Tees during the tournament, leaving the length of the course at nearly 7,000 yards.

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