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GOLF: Cruz leads after opening round of City Championships - Odessa American: Sports

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GOLF: Cruz leads after opening round of City Championships

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Posted: Friday, July 24, 2020 7:22 pm

Sebastian Cruz has been in this situation before.

He feels like his previous experiences will help him over the weekend.

Cruz finished Friday’s first round of the Odessa City Men’s Championship golf tournament on a strong note, recording a 3-under-par 69, good for a one-shot lead in the Championship Flight at Ratliff Ranch Links Golf Course.

Defending champion Jaden Chavez and Tyler Trotter are tied for second after first-round 70s.

“I feel pretty good,” Cruz said. “I’ve played in the lead before.

“The next two days are going to be big and trying to stay calm during the process.”

Cruz used a strong start at the 2019 Midland City Championships, taking first place on the opening day and not looking back as he went on to win the title.

While he knows that there is still plenty of golf to be played, he feels good about the spot he has put himself in.

“Today was just about putting myself in a good position for the remainder of the tournament,” Cruz said. “We still have two more days left.”

Playing in the same group, Chavez and Trotter put pressure on Cruz, but fell just a little short.

“I made five bogeys, so I could’ve played a lot better,” Chavez said. “I have a lot of room to improve.

“I’ve got to straighten that up, but other that I made a pretty good comeback. I can’t complain.”

Cruz has had recent success at Ratliff Ranch Golf Links, winning the Parent-Child Tournament in June with his father, Adrian. Jaden Chavez and his father, Paul, finished second.

“It’s a good competition,” Jaden Chavez said. “He got us in the Parent-Child with me and my dad, so I got to get him here.”

Cruz knows that the key to staying in front is to limit the mishaps.

“You go in with nerves and just try not to make too many mistakes,” Cruz said.

Robby Massey was fourth with a 1-under-par 71, while two-time champion Ciro Baeza rounded out the top five at even-par 72.

“I thought I played solid,” said Baeza, who won back-to-back crowns in 2015 and 2016. “The first day, you always have to stay in contention. Today was hard. It was windy. It was just a matter of getting in a good position.”

>> SENIORITIS: The first round of the Super Senior Flight ended with E.V. Rogers at the top of the leaderboard with an 85, while Augustine Morales (86) and Tim Gregory (87) are second and third, respectively.

The Senior Flight ended with Damon Brumley in first by a single stroke at even-par 72, just in front of Gerald Steger (73) and Tom Hawkins (77).

>> IN FLIGHT: Carlo Baiza and Matias Patino tied for first at 2-over-par 74 to set the pace in the First Flight, with Jesse Acosta’s 76 leading the way in the Second Flight. Abel Lujan was tied for first with Arvey Villa with an 83 in the Third Flight.

“From today’s first round, we had a lot of rain (from Thursday night) so the ball wasn’t rolling as far,” Lujan said. “It was tough today.”

Steve Kemp was in front in the Fourth Flight with a 77, Frank Ordunez (81) was in first place in the Fifth Flight and Luis Arzaga (83) led the Sixth Flight at 83.

Odessa, TX

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