CNJ staff photo: Rick White Clovis senior Tiffany Reid chips to the ninth green. Reid made a 15-foot putt to par the hole.
By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
Tyler Fontenot played what he said was the round of his life, helping Clovis High’s boys qualify for next week’s Class 5A state competition. He topped it off with a playoff win for individual honors.
Fontenot, a sophomore, shot even-par 72 — including 35 on the back nine, where he said he normally struggles — to tie Hobbs’ Tate Tinley for individual honors. He beat Tinley with a par on the first hole of sudden death in Monday’s District 4-5A tournament at Chaparral Country Club.
With all three teams failing to qualify for state during the regular season, only the district winner would advance to next week’s competition in Albuquerque.
With senior Brad Props and eighth-grader Kyle Worrell backing up Fontenot with solid rounds, the Wildcats secured a six-stroke margin over Hobbs (312-318).
He said it was more important to get seniors Props and Ben Blair through to state than to win the individual title. Fontenot had already qualified for the event.
“I just wanted to get our two seniors to state,” Fontenot said. “I just did the best I could.”
Hobbs took the girls team title at 332 to 340 for Carlsbad and 376 for Clovis.
Lady Eagles teammates Brandi Goodwin and Caitlin Fields tied for individual honors with 76s, with Goodwin taking the title on the first hole of sudden death (par to bogey).
With two groups still out, the boys team title was still up for grabs. But Props, playing No. 2, came up with a 79 and Worrell added an 80 in the No. 4 slot.
“I’m really proud of those guys,” CHS boys coach Cal Fullerton said. “Our goal at the beginning of the year was to win district and make the state tournament. We knew it would be pretty close today.”
Fontenot noted that while freshman Kyler Brewer had a tough day with an 86, the rest of the Cats picked him up.
“Kyler just had a bad day,” Fontenot said. “I think he only had four pars. But the other guys stepped up.”
The Lady Wildcats, who had already qualified their team, struggled except senior Amanda Estes’ 84 and senior Marissa Lansford’s 88. Senior Tiffany Reid, normally the team’s top player, came in at 99.
“Tiffany struggled, and Amanda and Marissa had good days,” Lady Cats coach Cristy Hill said. “We’ve pretty much been third all year long, but we’ve got some things to build on for next year.”
Hobbs faltered after Goodwin and Fields, but Carlsbad was unable to put anybody in the 70s. The Cavegirls’ top player, Cree Hughes, finished at 81.
“When Hobbs has two girls shooting in the 70s, that relieves some pressure from their other girls,” Hill said.
State competition is set for Monday and Tuesday at the University of New Mexico South course.