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Palo Verde’s Sunset champion says Reno course suits his game

Montreux Golf and Country Club, site of this week’s Division I state boys golf tournament, is one of the longest on the PGA Tour at more than 7,400 yards.

Of course, that number doesn’t mean much to Palo Verde sophomore Jack Trent.

“I still work in meters,” he said. “I’m not sure that I’ll ever change.”

Trent, a native of Australia, moved with his family to the U.S. last May to help further his golf career, and he has put together a string of impressive results. The Sunset Region individual champion hopes to add another title to his resume when the state tournament tees off at 11 a.m. today in Reno.

The final round is Tuesday at the Jack Nicklaus-designed alpine course that hosts the PGA Tour’s stop in August. The Division I-A and III tournaments also take place today and Tuesday in northern Nevada.

“He’s probably one of the top players in the U.S. He’s a special talent,” Palo Verde coach Todd Steffenhagen said. “He came here for a reason. It’s nice to see him adjusting from his time here. Being in a bigger environment only helps him as he gets toward that goal of a professional playing career.”

Trent hails from Buderim, Queensland, and grew up playing at the same golf club as former UNLV golfer Adam Scott. He was one of the top-ranked juniors in Australia and burst onto the world stage in 2013 when he won the boys 13-14 division of the Future Champions World Golf Championships at PGA West Stadium Course in La Quinta, Calif.

Nearly a year later, the Trents relocated to Las Vegas to immerse their oldest son in the more competitive American junior golf system.

“It was kind of stale,” Trent said of his homeland. “It’s a lovely place to live, but we weren’t doing a whole lot. And usually junior golfers in Australia, once they hit about 18, they don’t really go anywhere, so we wanted to move just before then.”

Trent made a splash soon after his arrival when he won the U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier in June at Las Vegas Country Club and nearly qualified for the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in October.

Last month, Trent became the youngest winner of a Southern Nevada Golf Association major when the 16-year-old captured the Clark County Amateur.

“It’s good, quality competition,” Trent said. “I’m getting used to the system and stuff like that.”

Trent has been the top player this season for the Panthers, who hope to challenge Northern Region champion Bishop Manogue, Arbor View and Coronado for the team title. He shot 68 at TPC Las Vegas in March and two days later played the front nine of that course at 5-under par.

Trent was impressive in brutal conditions during last week’s Sunset Region tournament, firing a 2-under 70 in the final round at wind-swept Reflection Bay Golf Club to finish at 3 under.

Trent said he already has heard from college recruiters — he mentioned UNLV and Michigan — but is in no rush to visit college campuses. Despite growing up in tropical conditions in Australia, Trent expects Montreux to suit his game.

“I prefer tree-lined golf courses a little more than desert,” he said, “and I prefer longer golf courses because I hit the ball a decent way.”

Contact reporter David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidSchoenLVRJ.

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