The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Area golfers flourish in spite of inclement weather


March 28, 2018

Tony Bullocks

Portales freshman Valen Low watches the flight of his tee shot at Tuesday's Clovis Invitational. Low shot a 79 to tie for fourth.

CLOVIS — Hate the weather, love the scores.

At least that's how the Clovis Wildcats must feel, as eight Wildcat players notched qualifying legs at Tuesday's Clovis Invitational at Colonial Park Golf Course.

Against a light, but constant, rain and cold winds, Clovis' Kolt Bennett was the overall boys medalist with a 75, including a 35 on the back nine. Christian Fontanilla of Clovis tied Carlsbad's Jake Bowen with 76 for second place, while Portales' Valen Low and Goddard's Cavan Jones at 79.

Overall, the Clovis boys all four scoring golfers get qualifying legs, while David Maldonado missed a leg by one stroke. to notch a 311 and top Portales (329) and Carlsbad (338) in the eight-team field.

"All of them played pretty well," Clovis coach Dale Fullerton said. "David just had a couple of holes that went bad, but 81 was a pretty good score. Four of the kids got qualifying legs and we got a team leg. In that kind of weather, that's good for us."

In girls action, Artesia cruised to the team title, finishing with the top three shooters to finish at 333 ahead of Clovis (378) and Carlsbad (417). Taysia Powel was medalist with a 74.

How dominant was Artesia's score? The Bulldogs won by 45 strokes against a Clovis team that had all four scoring golfers hit state qualifying marks. Logan Clayton was fourth overall at 87.

The 378 team score was a qualifying leg, the final required to punch Clovis' ticket for the state meet in May.

"I'm not disappointed at all," Clovis coach Steve Speck said. "With this weather, it was difficult. We got our third leg, and we're in the state tournament. We just want to improve on the little things (until May). Sydni didn't chip well, and she's going to work on that. Logan knows she can do better than 87."

Portales's Janae Hale rounded out the top five with a 90, while Kinzie Davis shot a 108.

Portales Athletic Director Mark Gallegos filled in for Portales coach Matt Hunton, who was out due to a death in the family.

"The kids played pretty good, in spite of the weather and Coach Hunton not being there due to a family tragedy," Gallegos said. "I thought the kids did a good job staying focused, batting the elements and battling the emotional portion."


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