Lady Eagles senior wins individual title, team finishes second

Clovis Christian eighth-grader Kyle Boatman tees off on the 14th hole during Monday’s District 3-1A/3A tournament at Chaparral Country Club. Boatman shot an 83 to lead the Eagles. (CNJ staff photo: Jesse Wolfersberger)

By Dave Wagner: Freedom Newspapers

Mollie Peterson got off to a slow start in Monday’s District 3-1A/3A tournament at Chaparral Country Club — three bogeys on her first three holes.

Not to worry, though, the Clovis Christian senior got her game back on track and cruised to individual medalist honors, finishing with a round of 42-39 — 81.

Her efforts weren’t quite enough to lift the Lady Eagles to the team title and a berth in next week’s state tournament at UNM South in Albuquerque. They finished three shots behind Lovington (406-409), the only other full squad in the field.

Portales took the boys team championship, shooting 315 to outlast Lovington by seven strokes for the title.

Peterson had a battle on her hands for a while. She finished her front nine with a one-shot lead over Valley Christian’s Kiersten Pack and a two-stroke advantage on Lovington’s Paige Johns. Pack eventually finished second with an 87, while Johns followed in third at 90.

“I was striking the ball better today than I was at Muni,” Peterson said, referring to a Clovis High tournament on Thursday at Municipal Golf Course. “I got some kinks worked out in my swing. I could easily have shot 39-39 today.”

CCS assistant coach Robert Boatman said Peterson, who finished fifth in last year’s state tournament, should have a chance to do well again in the two-day event which begins on Monday.

“Mollie’s had a good season,” Boatman said. “This’ll be a confidence-builder for her. We’re hopeful of good things for her, but we just take it day by day.”

Peterson said that while her driver let her down at times, her short game was pretty good.

“I always try to hit 36 putts (for 18 holes), and I did that today,” she said. “I usually have around 40.”

Peterson’s teammates posted some of their best scores of the spring. Lauren Douma followed up a season-best 98 at Muni with a round of 49-50 — 99 on Monday, good for fourth place individually, while Christen Landry shot 114 and Sydney Sorley 115.

The CCS boys did not get a team score after Travis Ashley came down ill before Monday’s tournament. Eighth-grader Kyle Boatman shot an 83 to nip his older brother, Ryan, by one stroke.

Meantime, Ryan Schaap shot a 95 for the Eagles.

“They got off to a slow start, especially Ryan Boatman,” said Robert Boatman, the father of Ryan and Kyle. “After that, he pulled it together and I’m proud of him for being able to do that.”