Three players qualify for state tournaments

Karl Schneider

FARMINGTON — Three local golfers earned their third and final qualifying leg for May’s state tournaments during the Chuck Soria Invitational hosted by Kirtland Central at Riverview Golf Course on Monday.

Piedra Vista's Sydney Schumacher tees off during the Chuck Soria Invitational on Monday at Riverview Golf Course in Kirtland.

Farmington’s Zach Holesinger shot a 73 to pick up his third leg and become the first boy in 5A to qualify for state this season.

Farmington boys coach Jonathon Matajcich said Holesinger has shown improvement during the early part of the season, but more important, the senior has been a perfect role model for the rest of the team.

“I think his best quality is his integrity. He’s not a guy to take strokes or misinterpret the rules, and that’s perfect for a leader in golf," Matajcich said. "That’s something I would want players to look up to. He plays well and plays honestly, and he tries to get better every day. That’s the type of role model we need.”

Farmington's Zack Holesinger putts during the Chuck Soria Invitational on Monday at Riverview Golf Course in Kirtland.

Aztec’s Linda Peralta took medalist honors for the girls with an 82, and Piedra Vista’s Sydney Schumacher fired an 85 to earn their third legs as individuals. Peralta is the fourth girl in 5A to qualify for state while Schumacher is the first in 6A.

“It’s good because now we can just focus on her getting better for the spring,” PV girls coach Charles Druar said of Schumacher. “She can just focus on her game instead of worrying about what score she has to shoot at a tournament.”

The Farmington and Piedra Vista boys teams both earned their second legs of the season, posting team scores of 308 and 311, respectively.

PV’s Tyler Diehl shot the low score of the day, a 1-under 71.

Farmington’s Taton Yazzie posted an even-par 72 to place second and pick up his second leg as an individual.

PV’s River Smalley and Farmington’s Danny Carpenter also earned their second legs with a 77 and 79, respectively.

On the girls side, Farmington’s Meghan Graff, who has already qualified for state, placed second with an 84.

Farmington's Meghan Graff putts during the Chuck Soria Invitational on Monday at Riverview Golf Course in Kirtland.

Aztec’s Izzy Peralta shot an 86 to earn her first qualifying leg of the season, and PV eighth-grader Shandiin Harper posted a 93, which was good for her second leg.

The Aztec girls also earned their second team leg with a total of 380.

The Aztec, Farmington, KC, Navajo Prep, PV and Shiprock golf teams will close out the fall portion of the golf season on Monday at the PV Invitational at Piñon Hills Golf Course.

Piñon Hills will be the site of this season’s A/4A state tournament, bringing numerous teams to the tournament. Both Druar and Matajcich said the size of the tournament will be an eye-opener for their teams and give them an idea of what it’s like to play in a major event.

“It will be good for them to play with other people because normally we play with the same five schools at all of our tournaments,” Druar said. “It will be good for them to see other players and how they play. It will really be a good barometer for where they’re at.”

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.