Brandon Bauman walked off the ninth green after a birdie Wednesday with visions of a 66 dancing in his head.
Then came the back nine at Mountain Falls Golf Club in Pahrump.
“I got too excited, too eager,” Bauman said. “I started jumping on the ball, and it went sideways.”
Bauman lost all of his four-stroke lead after double bogeys on the 12th and 14th holes, but the Palo Verde junior closed with four straight pars to finish at 2-over-par 74 and win the Sunset Region boys tournament.
Bauman had a two-day total of 1-over 145, two strokes ahead of Bishop Gorman junior Frank Frisbee, who bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 to finish with a 76. Two-time defending region champion Ben Davis of Shadow Ridge carded a 75 on the 6,671-yard course to finish third at 148.
“Holding it together the last four holes is definitely one of the things I can take from this round,” Bauman said. “I stuck three shots in a row. I wish I made one of the putts, but apparently par was good enough today.”
Bishop Gorman freshman Owen Rosebeck (75) and Arbor View freshman Sam Dickey (77) tied for fourth at 149. First-day leader Brandon Smith of Cimarron-Memorial followed his 70 on Monday at Primm Valley Golf Club with an 83 and dropped into a tie for eighth.
Gorman freshman Christian James shot 74 as the Gaels won the team title for the first time since 2006 with a two-day score of 769. Palo Verde was second at 810. The top two teams and the top five individuals from nonqualifying teams advance to the Division I state tournament Tuesday and Wednesday at Sierra Sage Golf Course near Reno.
“I’m proud of my team,” Frisbee said. “Going back to my freshman year, we didn’t make it and last year we were second to Palo Verde. It feels good to know we’re growing.”
Bauman had a two-stroke lead over Frisbee heading to the par-3 14th, but he put his tee shot in the water and was unable to get up and down after his drop. Frisbee made par to grab a share of the lead, and each then parred No. 15.
“I pretty much treated it like match play after that,” Bauman said. “I had to settle down and wait for things to happen and not force anything.”
Frisbee missed a short par putt on No. 16 to fall one shot back, and his 7-foot par putt on the par-3 17th didn’t drop, either. Bauman nearly put his drive into a fairway bunker on No. 18, but he knocked a sand wedge from 122 yards to 12 feet, then tapped in after his birdie putt lipped out.
The Sunrise Region had a much more anticlimactic finish as Foothill senior Taylor Montgomery ran away with his third region title. The UNLV signee made six birdies on the way to a 67 — he was the only player from any of the three regions to break 70 — and finished with a two-day total of 12-under 132.
“I’ve played this course quite a bit,” Montgomery said. “I’m confident I know where to hit it.”
Foothill sophomore Andrew Chu, who started on the back nine, made birdie on Nos. 3 and 4 and shot 70 to finish second at 6 under (138). Coronado junior Bradley Keyer carded a 73 and took third at 145, while teammates Michael Alvarez (77) and Matt Welch (76) rounded out the top five.
The Falcons, bolstered by a 72 from junior Nick Grinder, posted a 4-over 364 total Wednesday and easily won their first region title. Foothill shot 734 in the two rounds to knock off five-time defending region champion Coronado (755).
Boulder City’s Luke Logan shot 76 and finished with a total of 3-over 147 to earn medalist honors in the Division I-A Southern Region tournament. Logan pulled away from Virgin Valley’s Kaden Atkin, who was within four strokes at the turn but faded to shoot 78 and finish nine strokes back.
“I wasn’t making as many putts as I was hoping to,” said Logan, who won the Class 3A Southern League tournament last year. “I kind of figured I could put it on the green and try to get pars and just make sure I put up a decent round.”
Faith Lutheran made up a four-shot deficit after the first round to win the team title. Dallas Haun (83) and A.J. Johnson (81) tied for fourth at 161 as the Crusaders shot 403 and finished at 812. First-round leader Boulder City, which shot 405 on Tuesday at Boulder City Golf Course, posted a 434 to finish 27 shots back. Pahrump Valley was third (961), and all three teams qualify for the Division I-A state tournament.
Contact reporter David Schoen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5203.