Ferris High boys’ golfers were hard to miss at Wandermere in bright red pants and red shirts. The Saxons also had a strong presence on the leader board after Monday’s first round of the District 8 4A tournament.
Senior Eric Ansett shot a 2-under 68, junior Tanner Comes added a 72 and three other Saxons are in the chase for the district’s six state tournament berths. Gonzaga Prep’s Michael Brutocao is in second after shooting 69.
The top 15 players and ties, as well as anyone within 10 shots of the leader, advance to Thursday’s final round at MeadowWood.
Defending state champion Sierra Kersten, a junior at Lewis and Clark, fired a 1-under 70 to take a nine-stroke lead in the girls’ event. Mead’s Lydia Kim (79) and Emily Herbster (80) are Kersten’s closest pursuers. The top six following Thursday’s round qualify for state.
Ansett made bogeys on No. 4 and No. 10, but bounced back both times with birdies on the ensuing hole. He also birdied No. 15.
“I hit the ball better than I have been recently so that was encouraging,” Ansett said. “I’m still missing putts and I parred both par 5s so that’s not good. Other than that, it was solid.”
The Saxons were solid red in the fashion department.
“We’ve had red pants and white shirts all year,” Ansett said. “Last night we had a team meeting and said, ‘What the heck, let’s go red on red.’ We said it was for all the red numbers we were going to throw up.”
Brutocao joined Ansett in red numbers. He didn’t have a chance to hit the putting green because he was given an incorrect tee time. He birdied No. 13, three-putted No. 14 and eagled No. 15. He drove the downhill, 325-yard par 4 and drained a 35-foot putt.
Brutocao made a 15-footer for birdie on 18.
Mead seniors Matthew Heckel (73) and Graham Gustafson (74) round out the top five.
“Matthew had a severe ear infection earlier this season,” Panthers coach Paul Peters said. “He shot 80 here (during the Greater Spokane League’s first spring tournament) and that’s not in his vocabulary. He’s been slowly getting better.”
Kersten had birdies on 15 and the par-5 7th and 13th holes.
“It was OK,” said Kersten, who shot a 71 at the GSL tournament roughly six weeks ago. “Nothing was fantastic, nothing was bad.”
Kersten had the girls’ lowest scoring average (71.25) during the regular season.
Idaho state tournaments
5A: Eagle shot a 295 in day one of the boys state, leading Boise (300) and Lewiston (307).
Guillermo Fairbairn of Boise led individually with a 70.
Individual qualifier Connor Johnstone of Vallivue is second with a 71 and three golfers shot a 72 to tie for third.
4A: Twin Falls shot a 279 on the first day of the boys tournament to lead second-place Bishop Kelly (290) and third-place Skyview (295).
Bishop Kelly’s Hunter Ostrom is the current individual leader after carding a 65.
Individual qualifier Derek Bayley from Lakeland is a stroke behind at 66 and Twin Falls’ Connor Meyerhoeffer is third at 68.
3A: Buhl combined to shoot a 304 in the first round of the boys tournament, taking a 15-shot lead on Shelley (319). Snake River is third with a 352.
Kade Crossland led Buhl with a 69, individual qualifier Matt HoChee of Kimberly shot a 71, and Keifer Higham of Shelley had a 73.
2A: Salmon combined to shoot a 338 to take a first-round lead in the boys event. Valley (346) sits second while Nampa Christian and Aberdeen are tied for third (347).
Individual qualifier Tristan Coles carded a 75, with Jade Barney from Salmon on his heels with a 76. NC’s Kaden Isaacson and Valley’s Ben Taylor are tied for third with 77s.