By Garrett Estrada

Ely Times Staff Writer

The defending state championship golfer Ty Pickell practices on the driving range for the team's upcoming home meet. Pickell currently leads the team's season stroke average.

The defending state championship golfer Ty Pickell practices on the driving range for the team’s upcoming home meet. Pickell currently leads the team’s season stroke average.

The White Pine High School golf team placed second over the weekend in a tournament at Round Mountain. The team lost by only nine strokes to division rival Battle Mountain with a team total of 430. The tournament only saw four full squads compete due to many schools being on Spring Break. Coach Randy Long said that his team’s overall score is improving at about the same rate as the weather.

“They are just getting better. They can actually swing without three or four layers on,” Long said.

Chris Young continued his strong play, leading the team with a 75 at Round Mountain, again beating out senior golfer Ty Pickell by one stroke. The two golfers have admitted to enjoying a healthy rivalry, one that Long is more than happy to encourage as he says it brings out the best in his players.

“Overall stroke average for the season, Ty is still beating Chris by a stroke even though Chris has beat him two times in a row,” Long said. “That is just good competition.”

Another senior that has showed great improvement at Round Mountain was Nick Johnson according to Long. Shooting a team third best score of 85, Long said he believed it was the lowest score of Johnson’s career.

“It is probably the best golf I’ve played in a long time,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m hitting the ball really well so far. Right now I feel like my scores are just going to keep going lower.”

The other three golfers that qualified for the Round Mountain tournament were Tyler Kane, who shot an 87, Seth Robertson with a 107 and Bryce Everett with a 121. The scores by all six golfers mark an improvement over their performance at West Wendover two weeks ago. While Round Mountain offered a shorter course with less wind than their previous meet, Long said the freshly sanded greens still left plenty of challenge for his players.

“The course was rocky from being freshly sanded, which led to Ty having to Three-putt on six different greens,” Long said.

The team will send five golfers to a tournament in Pahrump on Thursday but not before getting a shot at their home course in Ely on Wednesday. While the familiar course should provide some advantages to White Pine, long said at a practice on Monday that his golfers are just starting to get practice on half of the greens since they’ve been covered during cold weather.

“We just got on the greens on Sunday. Last Thursday we opened up the first nine holes and yesterday we opened up the rest of the nine so they haven’t seen their golf course either,” Long said. “But that is spring golf in Ely and it didn’t stop us from winning here last year.”

(Editor’s Note: This article was written before the Wednesday home tournament, the team’s score as well as individual performances will be in next week’s issue.)