Kepler slips at 3A state golf

Dayton High School's Jim Kepler had a more difficult time the second time around at the NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A State Boys Golf Tournament.

Kepler was only three strokes out of the lead after the first round, but he slipped to an 89 on Thursday to finish 22nd overall in the field on a warm afternoon at Desert Lakes Golf Course. The junior saw his chances slide when he hit balls out of bounds twice on the ninth hole and took an 11.

"Jimmy was disappointed because he had high aspirations coming in, especially after being up on the leader board (on Wednesday)," Dayton coach Shannon Wines said of Kepler, who played with a broken foot and rode in a cart after receiving an exception from the NIAA. "Things like that happen in golf. I'm proud of him; he had a good season.

"I respect his ethic, so committed to golf, next year he'll work harder and be a better golfer."

Phil Tait of Boulder City rebounded from an opening-round 80 to shoot one-under 71 and then bested Tahoe-Truckee's Jason Waters in a sudden death playoff. The two leaders finished together at 151.

Bishop Manogue shot 796 to capture its first state boys golf team championship, 14 strokes better than Truckee.

"Manogue won it and Whittell was fourth, so our Division II was well represented today," Wines said.

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