Kenden Slattery hasn’t had the best season, especially with the high standards set by Coronado’s boys golf team.
It all started to come together Wednesday.
Slattery shot a 2-under-par 70 to tie for the low round with teammate A.J. McInerney as the Cougars cruised to a 361 and their fifth straight Sunrise Region title.
Coronado finished with a two-day 727. Foothill was second (774) and Green Valley third (797).
McInerney carded a two-day 139 to win the individual title, and Slattery added 147 to finish tied for third with teammates Matt Welch and Bradley Keyer, and Silverado’s Josh Fisher.
“I didn’t make any mental mistakes, and that’s one of the tough things,” said Slattery, a future UNLV walk-on. “It’s been a tough season, and it feels good to finally get a round in under par.”
Slattery had three birdies to one bogey, including back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16.
Slattery began the par-5 15th with a 220-yard uphill drive, then ripped a 4 iron into the side bunker. Pulling out his sand wedge, Slattery chipped a smooth shot within 10 feet to set up birdie.
Slattery’s approach shot on the 354-yard, par-4 16th hole got stuck on a ridge right of the pin, but the senior strolled up to the spot with his putter in hand.
“We put a lot of thought into the putt, picked a spot on the green, and it rolled right over the spot and went in,” Slattery said. “Going into that, I wanted to birdie 17 and 18, as well.”
After carding a 77 on the first day at Stallion Mountain, Slattery looked more like the golfer Coronado coach Joe Sawaia expects to see.
“We’ve been waiting for that from Kenden for a while,” Sawaia said. “He’s a lot closer to 70 than he is 77. He’s just had a cold putter all year. I’m just hoping for his sake that he can build on this, get some confidence and start with a better mind-set on the golf course. That’s all that’s holding him back.”
McInerney shot 3-under 69 at Stallion Mountain, and started off well with back-to-back birdies on the front nine to finish with four birdies and two bogeys.
“I never quit playing,” said McInerney, a UNLV signee. “I just wanted to stick to my game plan, and try to execute the golf shots, and see what would happen at the end.”
McInerney took bogeys on either side of the turn, but more than made up for them with birdies on Nos. 13 and 15.
“I told the kids I thought we played some of our best golf today,” Sawaia said. “They were very focused, very determined, and it’s a lot of hard work culminating today. We’re honored to be region champs again, and we’re looking forward to next week.”
Defending state champion Taylor Montgomery totaled four birdies en route to a 70 to lead Foothill. Montgomery finished second with 143.
Green Valley’s Blaise McComb (151), Hayden Cottle (159) and Grayson Savio (163), and Canyon Springs’ John Wilborn (156) joined Fisher as qualifiers for state.
At Mountain Falls (par 72)
Green Valley 403-394–797
Taylor Montgomery, Foot 73-70–143
x-Josh Fisher, Sil 72-75–147
Matt Welch, Cor 73-74–147
Bradley Keyer, Cor 73-74–147
Kenden Slattery, Cor 77-70–147
Andrew Chu, Cor 77-73–150
Kabir Nanar, Cor 74-77–151
x-Blaise McComb, GV 76-75–151
Robert Zoucha, Foot 79-73–152
x-John Wilborn, CS 78-78–156
Nick Pergola, Foot 84-74–158
Nick Rae, Foot 76-83–159
x-Hayden Cottle, GV 79-80–159
x-Grayson Savio, GV 82-81–163