Panthers off to good start in bid to repeat at state champs

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FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista continued its early-season dominance on the golf course this fall, coasting to a Durango Invitational tournament victory today at Dalton Ranch Golf Course in Durango, Colorado.

“It was nice to come out on top. Montrose has been beating everybody in Colorado,” coach Tom Yost said. “(The first two fall tournaments are) putting them in those pressure situations. They’re showing the resolve, and they’re raising the level of their game.”

The Panthers did battle with the likes of host school Durango and defending Colorado 4A state champion Montrose.

The scoring format between New Mexico and Colorado differed. Only the top three count for a Colorado scorecard, while the top four count toward a New Mexico scorecard.

PV shot a combined 444 over two days for its Colorado scorecard, while shooting a combined 601 for its New Mexico scorecard.

PV had already punched its ticket to this year’s 5A state championships, which will take place on May 13-14 at The Canyon Club at Four Hills on Albuquerque’s east side, after Trey Diehl shot a 68 on Monday, the team’s third and final qualifying score needed to return to the big show.

“All the pressure’s off now,” Yost said. “They want to win (state) again, and they have that fire still.”

PV, which won last season’s state title, qualified for state during the fall portion of the season in each of the last four seasons.

Diehl shot a combined 140 at the tournament, winning the individual boys title.

The Panthers next return to the tee in their own backyard at 8 a.m. Sept. 24, hosting the Piedra Vista Invitational at Piñon Hills Golf Course.

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