Colt golfers get second at state tourney

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The members of the Colt golf team pose for a pic with their 2nd Place Team trophy. Left to right: head coach Crae Fields, Jaime Corella, Sergio Amieiro, Blake Estes, Pongyong Thongyai, NMMI assistant pro Randy Doerhoefer.

Karen Boehler
NMMI Sports Press

Sergio Amieiro sunk this 6-foot putt on No. 15 for birdie.

Sergio Amieiro sunk this 6-foot putt on No. 15 for birdie.

There’s a saying in golf that every stroke counts, and never was that truer than Tuesday, when the Colt golf team took second at the state AAAA tournament by a mere one stroke over Hope Christian.

Socorro ran away with the title — tallying a two day 614 — but for NMMI, it came down to some very important shots.

On 18, Pongthong Thongyai hit a 45-footer up the hill, knocking it in for par. Jaime Corella “could have turned 18 into a triple bogey easy, but he made a putt from the front that was probably 15, 17 feet. Those two don’t go in, we don’t get second,” said Institute coach Crae Fields. “It’s like I told them. Never give up. Every single shot counts and remember that for the rest of your life. So if that sticks with them, hopefully this experience will instill that permanently.”

Of the 40 players competing on the boys side of the tourney, there was only one under-par performance in two days, a testament to how tough the course at the Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River was.

Short chip onto the green at No. 15 by Jaime Corella.

Short chip onto the green at No. 15 by Jaime Corella.

“This golf course, the greens were U.S. Open style,” Fields said. “He didn’t water. They were firm. They were slick and these guys had a serious grind today. I’m proud of every single one of them.”

Sergio Amieiro didn’t have the highlight-reel days he’s had much of the season, but didn’t sound disappointed with his fifth-place finish.

“You always cannot play good,” he said. “This was not my tournament, but we will have more tournaments in the future.”

And he was happy the team did what they needed to to bring home a trophy.

Pongyong Thongyai wit h the putt on the green at 15.

Pongyong Thongyai with the putt for birdie on 13, a short 127 yard par-3.

“It makes me feel good for the team,” he said. “We did our best. We didn’t have good scores today, but we finished in second place. We did it.”

And, they did it with only four golfers, something Fields has been stressing all season and that makes the finish that much more remarkable.

“If you think about that, we’re running on 80 percent while everyone else is running on 100, if you take it from a numeric standpoint,” the coach said. “So once again, I’m real proud of these boys for their grinding.”

Start the driver fore-swing by Blake Estes on the tee box at No. 16.

Start the driver fore-swing by Blake Estes on the tee box at No. 16.

“We didn’t have another NMMI player, so it was harder for us, but we made it work,” Amieiro said.

Three of the four Colts will be back as seniors next year — only Thongyai will graduate — so the goals are high for next season.

“My goal is to keep playing and get first place in state,” Amieiro said.

State tournament results
Team —
1, Socorro, 301-314— 615; 2, NMMI, 315-325—640; 3. Hope Christian, 320-321—641; 4, St. MIchael’s, 324-319—643; 5, Portales, 319-332—651; 6, Silver, 337-353—690; 7, Robertson, 348-355—703

All state individuals — 1, Thomas Tulk, PHS, 75-73—148; 2, Sean Moore, Soc, 76-74—150; 3 (tie), Ricky Silva, Soc, 75-76—151; Brett Anaya, Soc, 71-80—151; 5, Sergio Amieiro, NMMI, 78-75—153; 6. Marshall Spingler, St. MIchael’s, 76-78—154

NMMI results — 5, Sergio Amieiro, 78-75—153; 10, Pongthong Thongyai, 78-80—158; 11, Jaime Corella, 76-83—159; 22, Blake Estes, 83-87—170

Sergio Amieiro tends the pin on the green at 15.

Sergio Amieiro tends the pin on the green at 15.

Blake Estes eyes his tee shot on hole 16.

Blake Estes eyes his tee shot on hole 16.

Jaime Corella walks up the fairway on No. 15.

Jaime Corella walks up the fairway on No. 15.

NMMI's Pongyong Thongyai walks up to the green on 13 along with a player from the Socorro team.

NMMI’s Pongyong Thongyai walks up to the green on 13 along with a player from the Socorro team.

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