Portales golfers progress in Lovington

Staff report

The Portales High golf teams made strides today during Wednesday’s Black Murphy Tourney in Lovington, with freshman Andrew Underbrink tying for medalist honors.

Underbrink shot a 37 on the back nine to finish with a 77 and tie Artesia’s Jake Craft for the top spot.

Portales boys coach Matt Hunton said solid putting was the key to the top finish.

“All of our kids average over 36 (putts) a round,” Hunton said, “and you usually need to average about 34 (to have a chance at a qualifying leg). So his 29 was really solid.”

The score is the first qualifying leg for Underbrink, meaning Underbrink could make the state golf tournament if he earns qualifying legs at both the New Mexico Military Institute Last Chance Tourney on Friday and the Monday district tournament, also at NMMI. He can also make the state by winning at district.

Jonathan Randall and Jory Nix each shot an 88, while Jordan Baros shot a 95. Junior Ty Bergman came for the tournament, but withdrew early due to a hip injury. Hunton thought Bergman could have possibly played through it, but keeping him healthy for district was the priority.

The Rams finished sixth on the day with a team score of 348.

On the girls side, Portales shot a 418 to finish seventh in the field.

Bailey Rowley topped Portales with an 86.

“I thought they did well,” girls coach Charity Gomez said. “The conditions in the morning were pretty rough, with the wind and cold. They progress every time that we play. There are some things here and there we wish we didn’t see, but as a whole they keep improving.”

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