Piedra Vista's Yost wins Junior Golf National Championship event

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista senior Quinn Yost took top honors this week, beating out more than 50 golfers in his age group, winning the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship at the Koasati Pines at Coushatta Golf Course in Kinder, Louisiana.

Yost won the three-day tournament with a final score of 12-under par, one shot better than Rodrigo Barahona of Bradenton, Fla., and two shots ahead of Ian Lentz from Gainesville, Fla.

"I feel like this is just another good chapter for me," Yost said of the tournament victory. "Representing the state of New Mexico and helping get the state on the map for golf means a lot to me."

After a tough opening round on Saturday in which scoring opportunities were limited to many because of persistent winds, Yost rebounded with an 8-under par 64 during Sunday's second round before following that with a 5-under 67 on Monday to claim the title.

More:Panthers golf team earns record-setting win in PV Invite

"The first day was pretty windy out there, and I think a lot of golfers had trouble with it," Yost said. "The key was just to be patient and take what you could."

Playing in sometimes less than ideal conditions is something Yost has learned to overcome living in New Mexico.

Quinn Yost interviews with The Golf Channel and accepts the championship trophy after winning the Notah Begay III Jr Golf National Championship at Koasati Pines at Coushatta Golf Course in Kinder, Louisiana.

"I think there's an advantage for me to playing in windy conditions, because I'm more accustomed to it," Yost said. "Some of the golfers out there don't have to deal with that as much as someone from this part of the country."

Yost did his best work over the three rounds on par-fives, in which he scored 5-under on the 12 holes, including scoring three birdies during Monday's final round.

"There are some par-fives on the course that are hittable, and there are others where you have to lay up," Yost said. "The last couple days, I was able to make birdies on most of them."

More:High school golf season off to windy start in Chuck Soria Invitational at Riverview course

Yost's second round score of 64 Yost’s on Sunday equaled his best competitive round. 

"I was completely in the zone," Yost said. "That’s the first round I’ve had competitively where everything came together.”

Coverage of the tournament will be featured in a broadcast on The Golf Channel on Wednesday, Dec. 8 which will air locally at 5 p.m.

"That's a really big deal to have that kind of national exposure for the event," Yost said. "These are some really amazing kids out here on the course and to have the event on national TV is a really big thing."

Yost was one of dozens of qualifiers for the tournament who earned their way onto the course by competing in local and regional qualifiers to earn a spot in the championship event. 

New Mexico was also represented by Albuquerque's Aiden Krafft, from Cibola High School, who finished the event in 10th place after a combined score of 1-under par while Adiance Cheromiah from Laguna-Acoma High School also qualified for the championship and finished 53rd.

"The competition out here was incredible," Yost said. "So many of them are very talented, it’s top-notch competition and I was able to hold off everyone and that's what makes it so special."

Piedra Vista's Quinn Yost putts on the ninth green during the Aztec Invitational on Monday, April 19, 2021, at Riverview Golf Course in Kirtland.

Yost will be looking ahead to a national championship tournament coming up next month in Orlando, Fla., but also has his sights set on college. Yost is hoping to commit to a university and sign a letter of intent in the coming weeks.

"I'm hoping the results of this tournament will get me a chance to look at as many colleges as possible," Yost said. "But I also want to do really well in the next event and then keep going."

Yost is scheduled to play in the Tournament of Champions beginning Saturday, Dec. 4, hosted by the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour, part of a national championship weekend of events scheduled across the state of Florida. Yost will be competing in that event against as many as 125 golfers from around the country.

After that, Yost is looking ahead to the return of competition in high school golf, which will resume early next year.

The Piedra Vista boys golf team, state champions in 2019, finished second in the state championships earlier this year in Class 5A behind Hobbs while the Panthers girls team took home the state championship this year beating La Cueva.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.