Belen’s Rylee Salome tees off during the 2022 4A girls state golf championships held at Santa Ana Golf Club on Monday. Competition continues on Tuesday. (Chancey Bush/ )
Aiden Krafft of Cibola High School on Tuesday will be attempting to bookend his stellar prep golf career with a second state championship.
The Cougars senior is going to have a large chase pack on his heels on the second day of the Class 5A tournament at Twin Warriors Golf Club.
Krafft, the 2019 state champ, was the only player under par in Monday’s extremely windy first round, shooting an impressive 1-under 71 in difficult conditions.
There are four players within three shots of Krafft, including defending 5A champion Quinn Yost of Piedra Vista, who was at 2-over 74 along with Roswell’s Peyton Jones.
Anthony Lara of Gadsden and Vari Mariscal of Deming shot even-par 72s to trail Krafft by a shot.
Mariscal’s team had the 5A boys team lead. The Wildcats, with a round of 308, lead Cibola and Krafft by 11 strokes. It’s another six shots back to Yost and the third-place Panthers.
La Cueva’s girls lead after the opening 18 at Twin Warriors, which is being used as a state tournament venue for the first time. The Bears (360) own a six-shot edge on Centennial.
Emily Millican was the low Bear – and the low girl from the metro area – following a round of 82. She is tied for fifth.
The individual leader is Organ Mountain’s Eleanor Warden, whose 76 has her three shots clear of Centennial’s Alex Armendariz, the defending individual state champion.
CLASS 4A: At Santa Ana Golf Club, Albuquerque Academy’s boys and girls have the first-round lead.
The boys, with Tay Hwang and Neil Parasher both tied for the individual lead, carded a team score of 324. St. Pius (330) is in second place, with Lovington 14 shots behind the Chargers.
There is a four-way logjam atop the individual leaderboard.
Belen’s Grady Cox and Silver’s Jacob Alcorta both shot 4-over 76, as did Parasher and Hwang. Cox won last year’s 4A state tournament, in a four-hole playoff against Twang at Ladera Golf Course.
Academy had a third player Monday in the top 10, with Clark Sonnenberg (80) tied for seventh.
The Academy girls (349) have a comfortable, 29-shot advantage on Lovington headed into Tuesday’s second round.
The individual leader, Rylee Salome of Belen, has an equally large margin at the top. Salome’s round of 75 was the only score in the 70s on Monday. Callia Ward of Academy (80) is in second place, five shots back and the only player within nine shots of the lead.
CLASS 1A-3A: At The Canyon Club in Albuquerque, Mesilla Valley’s boys and Socorro’s girls have the first-round lead.
Mesilla Valley’s round of 341 was 17 lower than second place Clovis Christian. Socorro’s girls (393) had the biggest lead of any team in any class Monday, with a 50-stroke bulge over Dexter (443).
Lauren Buffett of Bosque School and Tivonne Anaya of Socorro share first place after rounds of 95. Socorro’s Dayzie Whitehorse is a shot back of the co-leaders.
Fisher Hirsch of Santa Fe Prep and Jackson Hicks of New Mexico Military Institute (the defending champ), with 79s, are the boys co-leaders. Logan Morris of Mesilla Valley is in third, two shots behind. Angelo Martinez of Bosque is fourth, three off the lead.