ALBUQUERQUE — For the second time in a week, the Portales High boys saw what figures to be some of their toughest competition in Class 3A postseason play in Grants and Socorro.
After beating both teams soundly in last week’s Leroy Gooch Invitational at Ruidoso, the Rams settled for third place this time in Monday’s Sandia Prep Invitational at UNM South on the campus of the University of New Mexico, the course which will host the 3A state meet May 8-9.
Socorro, led by cousins Randy and Gavin Torres, took the team title with a four-man score of 315, followed by Grants at 323 and Portales at 328.
Freshman Donavin Sanchez led the Rams, shooting 39-39 — 78 to finish fifth overall.
PHS coach Patrick Crowley said the teams figure to see each other again.
“It’s definitely a precursor to the state (tournament),” he said. “It’ll probably be the same teams.
“Hopefully, the (good) weather will be the same.”
Portales shot a two-day total of 650 last week, 16 shots ahead of Grants and 17 better than Socorro. Crowley said his team had a lof of its problems off the tee on Monday.
“Golf is such a mental game,” he said. “There’s a fine line between trying too hard and being where you need to be.”
Playing the state course — and having a chance to see your main competitors up close again — should be beneficial, he said.
“It’s great to see the course, and see the guys you’re going to play against (at state),” Crowley said.
Freshman William Archibeque shot an 81 for the Rams, while freshman Rick Bergman had an 83, junior Jefferson Powers an 86 and senior Matthew Parkey a 96.
“There’s definitely some work to be done,” Crowley said. “We have some hurdles to clear.”
He said Archibeque is starting to hit his stride, while Bergman has been a pleasant surprise this spring.
“He’s been very steady and patient,” Crowley said. “He’s doing the right things.
“We definitely know what we need to work on between now and (state). The course isn’t easy, but we made it more difficult today.”
The Rams’ next outing is in a tournament at Municipal Golf Course in Clovis on Thursday. Play begins at 9 a.m.