Mingus Union gentleman’s golf teed off the 2017-18 Verde Valley high school sports season on Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday the Marauders hosted Prescott, Page and Bradshaw Mountain at Verde Santa Fe and finished second behind Prescott.
Mingus head coach Craig Mai said they had some issues with penalty strokes.
“I’d say that definitely happens more early on here, when you’re still dealing with those nerves versus after a few matches when you get more comfortable out there,” Mai said.
Prescott shot a 167, +23, Mingus Union 171 and +27. Bradshaw Mountain was third (201, +57) and Page was fourth.
“I know talking to the Page coach as well as the Bradshaw Mountain they thought that they were kinda down this year, they’re short numbers so they’re kinda rebuilding, focusing on just getting better, the basics and I know Prescott’s going to be really good and they played well,” Mai said. “So I would say we kinda played to their expectations and so it’s gonna be a battle with us and Prescott I think throughout the season so we know who our main competition is and it’s going to give us something to shoot for, something to work hard to improve upon.”
Joey Christopherson from Prescott took first with a 38 and +2, narrowly edging second place Tyre Kim from Mingus, who had a 40 and +4.
“I did pretty good,” said Kim, a senior. “I just messed up on a couple holes I was just a little getting ahead of myself, like I just need to take it one hole at a time more often.”
Fellow Marauder and junior Justin Tanner took third with a 41 that was +5.
“It was good, I could have done better but it was good,” Tanner said. “It was pretty much as expected, kinda a little shaky at the start.”
Mai said he was impressed with his top golfers.
“First match they did really well,” Mai said. “If in the middle of the season we’re in the same place then I’ll be disappointed so first match out I was please with how they played. What I was really pleased about was when they did have a bad hole, they really bounced back well, they didn’t let it affect the next three holes that they’re still dealing with. They walked away, went to the next tee and they did well, so to me that’s showing good mental toughness and focus of not letting the past affect the present so that gives me some optimism and I’m happy to see that, especially this early in the season.”
MUHS sophomore Noah Daher finished seventh with a 44 and +8, one stroke behind three Badgers who tied for fourth.
Mingus’ Braden Munday and Ethan Brogdon tied for ninth with 46s and +10.
Mingus Union got to open the season on their home course in Cornville.
“It was pretty nice, that way we didn’t have to travel way out, it was nice,” Tanner said.
Then again, playing on the same course can have disadvantages.
“When you get used to a course you go for things that you probably shouldn’t go for and then when you get on a new course you play it more safe which I think would’ve helped us (Tuesday),” Tanner said.
Kim said overall the Marauders need some work.
“We did decent, we just had a couple players that didn’t do what they usually do and just kinda under performed a little, but other than that I think we did all right,” Tanner said.
The Marauders’ next match is next Tuesday at Bradshaw Mountain at Prescott Country Club. Their next home match is Sept. 19 when they host BM and Flagstaff.
“The next match hopefully we’ll do much, much better since we’re used to playing with other kids already,” Tanner said.