Colt golfers trail Socorro, but still in the running at state tourney

Pongyong Thongyai par putt on the green at No. 4.

Pongyong Thongyai par putt on the green at No. 4.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Sergio Amieiro contemplates the break previous to a birdie putt on No. 4.

Sergio Amieiro contemplates the break previous to a birdie putt on No. 4.

The Colt’s No. 1 golfer had a rough start at the state tournament, triple bogeying his first hole on the home town Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River. But while Sergio Amieiro didn’t shoot the lights out like he has most of this season, the sophomore picked up the pace to finish with a 78, just seven strokes behind leader Brett Anaya of Socorro.

“What a rough way to start anything,” said coach Crae Fields, describing Amieiro’s disastrous first hole. “And to start that way with a momentary lapse of reason, it’s impressive that he recovered from that.”

Blake Estes chips over the sand trap, onto the green at No. 8.

Blake Estes chips over the sand trap, onto the green at No. 8.

But even with that lower-than-usual score, the rest of the NMMI golfers shot well enough to put the team in second place, 14 strokes behind the Socorro Warriors.

“They say you can’t win a tournament on the first day but you sure can lose it the first day, and we didn’t lose it the first day,” Fields said. “We can always do better. Everyone can always do better. Fourteen shots is definitely not insurmountable, but we’ve got to be firing on all eight cylinders to pull it out.”

The Colts got a solid effort from Jamie Corrella, who led NMMI with a 76 — “He played real good,” Fields said, and Blake Estes, who despite finishing bogey, double bogey, bogey, tallied an 83.

“He was on the way to breaking 80 for the first time this season, so he’s still evolving, which is nice to see,” the coach said.

Jaime Corella putt for par on hole No. 4.

Jaime Corella putt for par on hole No. 4.

Pongthong Thongyai matched Amieiro with a 78 to give them a team 315, second behind Socorro and four strokes ahead of Portales in third. Fields knows it’s not impossible for his players to close the gaps, either as individuals or as a team, but they’ve got to play well.

“Everybody’s got to have their head screwed on straight,” he said. “We don’t have all five guys, so for us to even be within 14, it’s really impressive.”

The tournament tees off with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

AAAA State Golf results
Day 1, team — 1, Socorro, 301; 2, NMMI, 315; 3, Portales, 319; 4, Hope Christian, 320; 5, St. Michaels, 324; 6, Silver, 337; 7, Las Vegas Robertson, 348

Top 10 individuals — 1, Brett Anaya, Soc, 71; 2 (tie), Ricky Silva, Soc; Thomas Tulk, PHS, 75; 4 (tie), Jamie Corrella, NMMI; Sean Moore, Soc; Marshall Spingler, SMHS, 76; 7 (tie), Pongthong Thongyai, NMMI,; Sergio Amieiro, NMMI; Andrew Underbrink, PHS; Robert Gallegos, LVR; Trevor Benavidez, HCHS, 78

NMMI results — 4, Jamie Corrella, 76; 7, Pongthong Thongyai, 78; 7, Sergio Amieiro, 78; 17, Blake Estes, 83

Sergio Amieiro off the tee at No. 5.

Sergio Amieiro off the tee at No. 5.

Driver off the tee by Pongyong Thongyai on No. 5.

Driver off the tee by Pongyong Thongyai on No. 5.

Jaime Corella takes one last look down the fairway before his tee shot on No. 5.

Jaime Corella takes one last look down the fairway before his tee shot on No. 5.

Blake Estes tee shot on the 560-yard, par 5 at No. 9.

Blake Estes tee shot on the 560-yard, par 5 at No. 9.

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