NMMI Sports Press
Portales was breathing down the Colt golf team’s neck at the District 4A-AAAA meet Tuesday, but NMMI managed to pull out both a team and individual championship at the Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River, with three Institute golfers making the top 10.
The big difference in the final score was Blake Estes, who shot his second-best round of the season.
“Blake held it together nice,” said coach Crae Fields. “That was probably 10 shots better than the last time he stepped on this course.”
Pongyong Thongyai tallied a 78; Jamie Corrella struggled a bit, coming in with an 80; but Sergio Amieiro ran away with the individual title, despite shooting double bogey and bogey on 16 and 17.
“And he still shot 69,” Fields said. “He was on the road to a 65 or 66 and just had a little bit of hiccup on 16.”
That 69 — which came after a par on the final hole — gave him the individual title by eight strokes over his nearest competitor.
And besides facing the other golfers, Fields said the players had to face very unspringlike weather.
“It was cold this morning. It was brutal,” the coach said. “The wind was coming out of the north and it felt like it was about 35 degrees. It took most of the day to warm up. Just super proud of those boys. I figured that was how it was going to work, but you never know until you play.”
The Colts have one more tournament ahead of them: the AAAA state championship, which is set for May 8-9 at Nancy Lopez. Fields said they’ll probably tune up on the NMMI course before heading the few miles to make final preparations.
“I think we’ll keep ’em here and have them work on their short games, which is the main game,” he said. “It always comes down to a putting match, and our greens are pretty comparable to theirs. We will be there Sunday for a practice round, and that’s when we’ll educated ourselves about the pace of the greens and stuff like that. Until then, we’ll be doing what we’ve been doing. It’s a good spot where we’re in. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
District 4A-AAAA Championship results
Team — 1, NMMI, 313; 2, Portales, 317; 3, Ruidoso, 330; 4, East Mountain, 338; 5, Dexter, 378; 6, Jal, 416
Top 10 individials — 1, Sergio Amieiro, NMMI, 69; 2 (tie) Brayden McCall, EMHS; Andrew Underbrink, PHS, 77; 4 (tie), Pongyong Thongyai, NMMI; Mario Cordova, PHS, 78; 6 (tie), Tanner McCall, EMHS; Jaime Correla, NMMI, 80; 8 (tie), Thomas Tulk, PHS; Austin Davis, PHS,81; 10, Kyle Roark, EMHS, 82
NMMI results — 1, Sergio Amieiro, 69; 4 (tie), Pongyong Thongyai, 78; 6(tie), Jaime Correla, 80; 13, Blakes Estes, 86