Kepler three back at 3A state golf tourney

Dayton High School's Jim Kepler sits only three strokes off the leader after Wednesday's first round of the NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A State Golf Tournament at Desert Lakes Golf Course in Fernley.

Kepler shot a 6-over 78 on a day when high scores were more like par. He is tied for fourth place with one other player, three strokes behind Truckee's Erik Stevens.

"He's right there," Dayton coach Shannon Wines said. "We're real excited about what Jim did today. It was a little windy early, but he had a great back nine and finished strong."

Bishop Manogue's Josh Codding is second at 76, and North Tahoe's Andy Cummings is third with a 77. Kepler is tied with Virgin Valley's Alex Putnam.

Manogue is tied for first with Truckee in the team standings with a 409, Whittell is third at 423 and Virgin Valley is fourth at 426. Kepler is the only player in the tourney for Dayton, which didn't qualify as a team for the state tourney.

"Three strokes isn't a whole lot for Jim to make up," Wines said. "The scores were higher today than I thought they'd be."

Barry Stone was the highest finisher for Yerington, which also didn't qualify as a team. Stone shot an 82 and is tied for 15th. Yerington's Brian Smith shot a 96 and is tied for 48th place.

Fernley's Beau Penley and Cody Goodsell both shot 97s, tying them with another player for 50th.

The tourney concludes with tdoay's second round. It gets underway at 11 a.m., although Kepler won't be on the course until about noon.

Dayton also learned Wednesday that it had finished second as a team in the state all-academic competition. The Dust Devils had two 4.0 students this year.

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