It was what Parker Broncs golf coach Chad McKenzie described as “a wild, wild week” for the golf team. It included drama both on and off the course. The week saw their lowest team score of the season, the only time this year they’ve played 18 holes, being told they could not use a course and missing a match due to a pair of flat tires.
It started Monday, March 22 when the Broncs traveled to Desert Hills Golf Course to face the perennially tough Yuma Catholic Shamrocks. The Broncs ended up 90 over par for the nine holes, when the Shamrocks were just 30 over par. Josh Openshaw led the Broncs with a 56, the best score for his high school career. Ethan Sale and Sean Robledo each shot a 58, and Devin Donley and Brayden Page both shot a 59.
The following day, Tuesday, April 23, the Broncs traveled to the Mohave Resort Golf Club to play the River Valley Dust Devils, only to be told they could not use the course.
“We were told not to use the driving range and then, at 1:30, we were told we could not use the course,” McKenzie said. “If we wanted to play, we had to go a different course called the Huukan. When we arrived at the Huukan, we were told they did not have a driving range so we spent about 20 minutes just chipping and putting.”
Somehow, the Broncs shot their lowest score of the season as they went 55 over par for nine holes while River Valley was 76 over par. For the Broncs, this was 22 strokes better than their previous season low of 77, which they achieved on April 15 and 17. Devin Donley, Brayden Page and Ethan Sale all had scores of 47, the best for their high school careers. This is the second time this season Page has come in under 50, and the first time for Donley and Sale. They’re the only Broncs to have scores lower than 50 this season.
McKenzie said the experience left the Broncs far more appreciative of what they have at their home course near Parker, the Emerald Canyon Golf Course.
“It made everyone on our team appreciate how gracious and accommodating Steve Benton, Art Gonzalez, and all the crew at Emerald Canyon are to our team all year round,” he said.
The busy week for the Broncs continued April 25, when they traveled to Williams to play three other schools at the Elephant Rock Golf Course. However, things didn’t go as planned when the team bus had a tire blow out in Yucca. McKenzie said they got the tire replaced and still had a chance to make their tee time, even though they would not have been able to warm up. However, those plans came to an end when they got a second flat tire in Ash Fork.
“We spent 10 hours on the bus and never got to play golf,” McKenzie said.
The Broncs got the experience of playing 18 holes in one day when they played in the High Desert Invitational on April 26 and 27. This is a two-day 36-hole tournament. There were 20 other schools present, most of them from the Phoenix area. The Broncs have played in this tournament four times in the past, and they came in last as a team every time. This time, however, there was some improvement as they placed 18th of the 21 teams.
Devin Donley led the way with scores of 113 and 97. Ethan Sale had scores of 110 and 111. Shaun Welch, in the first time she had ever played 18 holes of golf, shot a 123 and a 99. Brayden Page shot a 111 and 113 and Sean Robledo had scores of 131 and 117.