Needles High School

Mustang golfers win opener

The Mustang golfers are off to a winning start, earning the top spot in their first away match of the season at the par 72 Mountain Falls Golf Course.

The boys won with a score of 441 at a Division 1 match March 5 in Pahrump, Nev. Needles faced Pahrump, Boulder City, Virgin Valley, Moapa and Desert Oasis. Pahrump came in second with a score of 452 and Desert Oasis came in third with 460.

Dakotah Masters-Mejia led Needles with a score of 81. Joseph Garcia shot an 88. Zarek Phillips earned a 92.

Gavin Pletcher and Brendon Lainhart each shot a 90. Destry Phillips scored 101.

Coach Bill Darrow said the boys did better than he thought they would for their first match. Needles hasn’t earned a win first time out in a while, he added.

It helps the team is familiar with the course. Mountain Falls is the same course the team played on to win the state championship last year.

Darrow said the course has a lot of water and has narrower fairways, making it a bit more difficult. When playing larger schools, they also play to the blue tees, which are set further back.

He said having those tees further back does make the course more difficult. When Needles plays smaller teams in their own division, they play to the white tees which are not as far back.

The win is certainly a good sign given the boys still have some technique to work on, Darrow said. Zarek Phillips shot about 18 more than is his usual but he’s working on some things, Darrow continued. He’ll only improve.

As a team, Darrow said they were about 10 shots better than they were this time last year. He already feels it will come down to about four teams battling for the state championship, he added.

Part of the success may be the good weather. Darrow reported temperatures were around 65 to 68 degrees with only a slight breeze. “It was a great day for golf,” he said.

The boys head back to Pahrump for a tournament Thursday and Friday, March 12 and 13. Tee times are to be announced.