By Dave Wagner
Travis Reid had to hit challenging shots on the first and last holes. In between, the Clovis High sophomore was as perfect as the weather.
Reid shot a 7-under-par 64 Thursday to lead Clovis High’s boys to the team championship in a triangular tournament at Clovis Municipal Golf Course. The Wildcats posted a season-best four-man score of 290, followed by Portales at 307 and Tucumcari at 337.
Portales took what amounted to a dual from Clovis’ girls, with the Lady Rams shooting 371 and the Lady Wildcats 381. Tucumcari had just one player in the field.
Reid, who tied for first place individually in the Class 5A state tournament last spring only to lose out in a three-way playoff, said it didn’t take long to figure out he was on his game.
“Not after the first hole,” he said. “I hit a bad second shot, but I got up-and-down. Everything started to happen after that.”
Reid had birdies on four of the first six holes and made the turn at 4-under. He averted his first bogey of the day by sinking a 10-foot putt on the 18th hole.
“Travis has it in him to shoot rounds like that consistently,” Clovis boys coach George Simmons said. “And I was glad to see the team shoot below 300 today. I think that’s a big boost for us going into district and state.
“The weather was absolutely perfect today, and the course was in great condition. The maintenance crew did a great job on it.”
All five Clovis scores were 80 or better as the Cats tuned up for Monday’s District 4-5A meet at Los Altos Golf Course in Albuquerque. Reid shot a season-worst 79 in the season-opening Eldorado Invitational at Los Altos, but he expects things to be different this time.
“That was the first time I’d played that course, and I learned a lot from just that one time,” he said. “I’ll just go back there and play and whatever happens, happens. I’ve got a lot of confidence going in.”
Cousins Dale and Kevin Welch led the Portales effort, shooting 69 and 71 respectively. Dale, a sophomore and the younger of the two, survived three bogeys on the front nine with the help of an eagle on the par-5 17th.
“I was hoping I’d get 69 from about the middle of the back nine,” he said. “I played the best I’ve played in a long time. My chipping and my putting were strong today.”
All five Tucumcari scores were between 82 and 87, led by junior Tim Roybal.
On the girls’ side, Portales beat Clovis behind individual medalist Cassidy Merrick’s 86. Four of the five Lady Rams scores were at 97 or below, while only two Clovis players — Haley Brown with an 89 and Mae Mercadante with a 92 — accomplished that standard.
Still, CHS girls coach Jeff Fontanilla is optimistic heading into the district tournament.
“We made a positive step toward district,” he said. “We have a chance to do well in district; I think we have a great chance to finish second.”