Aidan Goldstein’s strategy for Monday’s opening round at the Class 4A state golf tournament wasn’t complicated, but it certainly was effective.
“I just played my game,” Goldstein said. “I just tried to go out and have fun and tried to knock my shots right next to the pin and make them.”
The Faith Lutheran freshman shot 3-under-par 69 at Reflection Bay to take the individual lead after the first day of the tournament.
Goldstein was 1 over after a bogey on the fourth hole, but finished the front nine with two birdies to reach 1 under.
He added birdies on Nos. 11 and 14 and closed with four consecutive pars.
“I had a lot of good shots,” Goldstein said. “My short game was really good today and my driving was on point.”
Bishop Gorman’s Mitchell Abbott is one shot back. Arbor View’s Hazen Newman and Coronado’s Brett Sodetz are tied for third at 71. Tuesday’s final round begins at 11 a.m.
Abbott took the early advantage while playing in the first group. He birdied the par-5 14th to move to 5 under. But after bogeying No. 15, Abbott pushed his tee shot at the 16th to the right of the fairway. His approach shot avoided the bunker to the left of the green, but it took him two shots to pitch onto the green. Two putts later he walked away with double bogey.
Newman was 3-under through 17, but took a double bogey on the final hole to fall off the lead.
Coronado leads the team race, but things may be closer than expected.
The Cougars shot 294 and hold a two-shot lead over Northern Region champion Galena. Gorman is four shots back.
“We were probably fortunate to be in the lead,” Coronado coach Joe Sawaia said. “We didn’t play our best today. I’m disappointed in how we played the par 5s in general, and I thought we were a little sloppy around the greens.”
Benjamin Sawaia and Michael Sarro each shot 74 and are tied for 10th for the Cougars. Dyaln Fritz and Joey Dotta each shot 75 for Coronado.
“I’m looking for the guys to kind of clean that up tomorrow, play a little tighter round and hopefully get something around par,” Joe Sawaia said. “I definitely think a par round or under-par round as a team is definitely out there.”
Western’s Jared Smith shot 1-under 71 at Mountain Falls in Pahrump to take the opening-round lead at the Class 3A state tournament. Smith birdied the final three holes and has a two-stroke lead entering Tuesday’s final round.
Spring Creek shot 319 to take a five-stroke lead over Boulder City in the team race.