Bradley Keyer could have played it safe with a big lead and kept his driver in his bag on the final hole Tuesday.
But the Coronado senior has a history with the par-4 18th hole at Wildhorse Golf Club.
“Every time I’ve laid up in a practice round here, I’ve never made better than bogey,” Keyer said. “So I figured I’d go for it, and it worked out for me.”
Keyer pulverized his tee shot about 50 yards from the green and went on to make par, putting the finishing touches on a round of 1-under 69 and medalist honors at the Division I Sunrise Region boys golf tournament.
Keyer was the only player in the three regions to successfully handle the windy conditions and break par in the second round. He finished at 3-under 138, which was also the best total from any of the regions, and ran away with the individual title by 12 strokes over Las Vegas’ Trey Jensen and Foothill’s Andrew Chu.
“He’s been playing great the last month really,” Coronado coach Joe Sawaia said. “He’s been very very consistent, in all facets of his game. I’m not surprised he he did what he did this week. He was definitely trending in that direction.”
Coronado, which had its streak of five straight region titles snapped last season by Foothill, posted a 767 total to reclaim the team title. Foothill was second at 801, followed by Green Valley at 836.
The top two teams and the top five individuals from nonqualifying teams advance to the Division I state tournament on May 21 and 22 at Mountain Falls Golf Club in Pahrump.
“Winning it is great, but it’s a high school golf tournament and it’s a team event, so I was just trying to put up two numbers that I knew would help my team win,” Keyer said. “Me winning individually was just an add-on for how I was helping my team.”
Keyer, who entered the final round with a two-shot lead over Chu and Coronado teammate Michael Kirby, was even par through five holes before a stretch of three straight birdies helped him make the turn in 2-under 32.
Keyer then made eight pars and one bogey on the back nine to stretch his lead. It was a stark contrast from his eventful opening round at Primm Valley Golf Club that included six birdies and four bogeys.
“I knew my team needed me, and I’ve been hitting the ball well,” Keyer said. “Any time I get out of position I know I can take my medicine and try to scramble for par or bogey. The last two days I’ve been making a truckload of birdies, so I knew could come back, make birdies and get back to even par.”
Jensen shot a second-round 72 to finish with a two-day total of 9-over 150, while Chu made only two birdies and struggled to a 79. Kirby carded a second-round 80 and was fourth at 151.