Despite its struggles, Prescott High School’s boys golf team still won the Bradshaw Mountain three-way meet Tuesday afternoon at the Prescott Golf & Country Club course near Dewey, registering a +30 total on nine holes for the squad’s sixth victory of the 2017 season.
Mohave Accelerated placed second with a +42, followed by Bradshaw Mountain in third with a +54 on the picturesque course’s par-36 front nine.
“[Tuesday] was definitely not our best — we didn’t come with our ‘A’ game,” Prescott coach Tony Dalton said. “The last time we played at the Country Club, we were 11-over as a team score. We definitely brought more of our ‘C’ game. But the greens were super-fast, and the players had difficulty around the greens, even chipping. They were in difficult spots, and they’d chip and it would go all the way across the green.”
Individually, Mohave Accelerated’s Trevor Price tallied the win, firing an even score. Price’s teammate, Dakota Gillman, was the runner-up at +3 on a day with nearly no wind and cooler temperatures in the 70s. Bradshaw Mountain’s Carson Randa (sixth, +9), Bryce Preston (ninth, +12) and Parker Bennett (10th, +13) stood out for the hosts.
Prescott finished first as a team because five of its golfers placed in the Top 8. Team No. 3 Brance Christopherson took third with a +6, while team No. 1 Payton Peterson and No. 2 Joey Christopherson, Brance’s cousin, tied for fourth at +7. Chase Kasun (seventh, +10) and Dillan Osborn (eighth, +11) followed for the Badgers.
“It comes down to five players, where any one of those five could be our low guy [in scoring at a tournament],” Dalton said. “And the other teams have one or two that could do that, and then after that they fall way off. We make it up on the back end.”
Brance said the Badgers didn’t play as well as they should have as a team coming off a “three-day weekend.” As for the greens at the Country Club, Brance added that they are cut shorter than those at their home course at Antelope Hills.
“We have players that are capable of shooting close to even or below; we just struggled with a few different holes,” he said. “We knew how the greens were, but most of us had a lot of trouble with the greens – reading them with their breaks and speed. We have a lot more give in our greens [at Antelope]. If you miss a putt a little bit, it has a lot more forgiveness.”
Dalton praises Brance for his ability to “hit the ball a country mile” and to do so “usually pretty straight.”
“He’s also very adept at putting a bad shot behind him,” the coach added. “He doesn’t dwell on it and let it affect the rest of his game. He can compartmentalize it, put it out of his mind and move on.”
Peterson has played as the Badgers’ No. 1 all season, in part because he’s not intimidated by his opponents, Dalton said. He’s “steady” and “accurate” with his shot.
“Payton just hasn’t hit his stride yet; he’s capable,” the coach added. “He’s our steadiest player. He just hasn’t had his best round yet this season. But it’ll come in the next few weeks.”
Prescott and Bradshaw Mountain will play in the Prescott Multiple at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at Antelope Hills Golf Course. It’s the last home meet for the Badgers this fall. They have two regular-season matches and two invites left to prepare for the Division II state tournament Oct. 23 and 24 at Omni Tucson National.
“We need to really work on our short game,” Dalton said. “Off the tee, we’re fine. We’re struggling around the greens with our short game, and that’s where we’re dropping shots.”
The Bears’ final home meet is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 5 versus Sunrise Mountain at Prescott Golf & Country Club.
Follow Doug Cook on Twitter @dougout_dc. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2039, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.