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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: El Paso Coronado leads as field endures chilly conditions in Midland - Odessa American: Sports

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BOYS HIGH SCHOOL GOLF: El Paso Coronado leads as field endures chilly conditions in Midland

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Posted: Friday, February 14, 2020 8:35 pm

MIDLAND Golf can turn into a mental battle.

Friday’s opening round of the Tall City Invitational turned into one of the toughest that the field of over 100 boys high school golfers had to deal with at Ranchland Hills Golf Club.

Everyone looked to get off to a good start despite the cold, breezy conditions that lasted well into the early afternoon.

When everything was settled, El Paso Coronado walked away with the lead after the first 18 holes, shooting a total of 317 to lead by one shot over Seminole (318). Midland Lee is just behind in third (323), while Andrews Gold (327) and Monahans (330) round out the top five teams.

Coronado’s Jackson Norwich set the individual pace with a 2-over-par round of 72. He leads by one over Seminole’s Caden Johnson and Richman Houston of Midland Christian, who both shot 73.

Johnson said he was pleased overall with his round given the adverse conditions.

“The weather for sure was the biggest challenge today,” Johnson said. “It was cold out there and I didn’t like it and neither did anyone else.

“You just have to know that you’re going to fight through it. Everyone’s playing the same conditions and I thought I kept my composure and just played well.”

Like Johnson, Norwich was overall pleased with his round but also feels like it could have been better.

“I played really well through the first 11 holes and just made a few mistakes coming in,” Norwich said. “I felt like I could have really taken advantage of the last couple of holes when the temperatures went up.”

Both Seminole and Coronado got boosts from their other golfers as well. Seminole’s Jake Berry and Coronado’s Eddie Sandoval shot matching 77s to tie for fifth overall. Monahans’ Bond Heflin is fourth after an opening-round 75.

Dealing with the tough conditions was not an easy task for anyone out on the course, but Coronado coach Bart Reneau credited his team for sticking through it and putting together a good score.

“It was about as tough as you could play in,” Reneau said. “It was hard out there and the score was not what we wanted. But the kids grinded it out and it was a pretty good score considering the conditions.”

Permian senior Zach Robinson set the pace for the Panthers with an opening 79, good for a tie for ninth with Carder Pool of Andrews Gold. The Panthers sit seventh in the team standings at 341, just behind Andrews Gold (340). Odessa High (432) sits in 19th place with the low round coming from Nate Marquez (95).

Permian coach Doak Huddleston saw some positives from his team battling the conditions, but knows the Panthers have some ground to make up in Saturday’s final round.

The field resumes play with a 9 a.m. shotgun start at Hogan Park Golf Course in Midland.

“The kids had to grind through some pretty brutal conditions,” Huddleston said. “We had some good holes and bad holes. I think the cold and having to wait took a toll on everybody. I saw some good shots, but we’re going to have to regroup and come back and do a lot better tomorrow.”

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

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