Their standing in the tournament doesn’t look so bad. Making up the difference between first place and the rest of the field at the 5A Division II state golf championships is what might prove to be most difficult.
On first glance, it is Tempe Marcos de Niza in second place, Mesa Desert Ridge in third and defending state champion Scottsdale Desert Mountain in fourth. Those three teams, along with Anthem Boulder Creek, were the favorites going into the 36-hole tournament at Phoenix’s Maryvale Golf Course.
But Boulder Creek, which finished second at last year’s state championships, has separated itself from the rest of the field with a team total of 4-under-par 284 after 18 holes.
The Padres are 18 shots back, the Jaguars 19 and the Wolves a disappointing 29.
Boulder Creek counted a 7-under-par 65 by Gary Quinn, a 71 by Scott Pinckney and a 72 by Alex Springer. They are three of the top four scores after the first round. The other score is a 72 by Desert Ridge’s Justin Searles.
Teammate Wade Henry and Marcos de Niza’s Andrew Augustniak were next at 1-over-par 73.
Desert Ridge, which finished third in last year’s state championship, had a goal of scoring better than 290 on Wednesday.
“It just didn’t happen,’’ Desert Ridge coach Pat Herrera said.
“Some days are better than others. It’s not what we expected. The golf course stepped up and bit a lot of people today.’’
The Jaguars came into the tournament playing good golf, having finished second to 5A Division I state champion Chandler Hamilton in the Fiesta Region tournament and finishing second to Boulder Creek in the super regional.
Herrera has had enough of finishing second.
“Hopefully, we’re not getting too comfortable playing second fiddle,’’ Herrera said.