A.J. McInerney was frustrated with the way he ended the front nine on the final day of the Sunrise Region boys golf meet at Mountain Falls in Pahrump.
After a double bogey on the ninth hole, the Coronado junior knew he needed to correct himself to help his team win its fourth straight region title.
Boy, did he ever.
McInerney eagled the par-5 No. 11 and played a bogey-free back nine Wednesday en route to a 1-under-par 71 and a two-day total of 142 that helped the Cougars claim the championship with a 729 total.
Coronado and second-place Foothill (766) advanced to the Class 4A state meet next week at Hidden Valley in Reno.
"I turned with a double on 9, and that kind of put some fire in me," said McInerney, who shot 33 over the final nine holes with a birdie on No. 14. "I knew I needed a decent run on the back just for the team, more than anything. I was able to play the par 5s 3 under and not make any bogeys."
Foothill's Taylor Montgomery won his second straight individual title, sinking birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 for a 70 and two-day total of 138.
McInerney finished second, with teammates Kenden Slattery (145) and Tad Darland (147) also placing in the top six.
Green Valley freshman Jordan Green tied Slattery for third, and Foothill's Bailey Rogers was fifth at 146.
Coronado's team success was much more important to the UNLV-bound McInerney, who was playing in his first full meet after a back injury sidelined him most of the past month.
"It's a lot of fun, competing with each other and motivating each other to get better," McInerney said.
Coronado coach Joe Sawaia said the return of McInerney, last year's state champion, bolstered his team's confidence.
"We averaged 380 all year, and the majority of that was without A.J.," Sawaia said. "Getting him back, even though he wasn't 100 percent this week, that really skews the averages in our favor. We had to do without him quite a bit.
"It's a testament to our depth. We had Julian (Glasser, who shot 80 Wednesday), who was two shots off the lead of the tournament, and we threw his score out today. At any one time, one guy can step up and medal."
Green Valley narrowly missed advancing as a team but still qualified Green and teammates Hayden Cottle (163), Cody Smith (164) and Blaise McComb (164) for state. Silverado's Josh Fisher (149),
Eldorado's Giovanni Latty (155) and Las Vegas' Zach Thomas (164) also qualified for state.
Contact reporter Sean Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0430.