Josh Fambro finishes fourth at state in one-day shootout

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Making the trip to the state golf championships for the second consecutive year, sophomore Josh Fambro did his best to bring home an individual title for Taos High School. This year’s Class A/4A state tournament was held at Piñon Hills Golf Club in Farmington, which played host to more than 67 golfers.

Out of the gate, Fambro started strong. Teeing off at 8:40 a.m., the sophomore was 1-under par after just three holes. The next four holes saw him stumble a bit as putts refused to drop and accuracy became an issue. At the end of seven holes, Fambro slipped to 2-over par.

By the time Fambro and his group made the turn (nine holes out), his score ballooned. After 11 holes, Fambro was at 5-over par. After the match, coach Jimmy Loder noted the rough stretch of holes in the middle of the round. “It was a combination of bad luck and putts just not falling,” said Loder. “From hole number seven to 11, Josh also had to scramble a lot.”

The end of day one saw Fambro in fourth place with a score of 75 (3-over par) – seven shots out of first place, but within striking distance. The leader after 18 holes was Thomas Tulk, of Portales, who shot a 68 (4-under par); followed by Jason Parker, of Raton; and Slater Sivage from Hope Christian High School, who were tied at 74 (2-over par).

Unfortunately for the group waiting to make a run on day two, play was suspended due to inclement weather. According to a press release from the New Mexico Activities Association, heavy rain and hail made the course “unplayable.” Competition was canceled May 9. Thus, champions for both the team and individual competitions were based on day one scores. As a result, Fambro earned the fourth-place medal with the score he turned in May 8. His score of 75 is his best score attained at state so far, and his fourth place is an improvement from last year, where his lowest two-day score was 76, and he ended up tied for seventh among the 32 individual golfers.

Loder was a bit disappointed that Fambro did not get chance to make up some shots. “Josh really wanted to play today,” said Loder. “He was really in the zone when he stepped up to the first tee.”

Tulk was the defending state champ from 2016 and kept his title since he was leading the abbreviated tournament.

The New Mexico Activities Association announced last week that Piñon Hills is among one of the three golf courses that have been selected to host the state championships through the 2020 season. Piñon Hills in Farmington, Rockwind Community Links in Hobbs and the Canyon Club at Four Hills in Albuquerque will be the sites for the next three state golf tournaments. Classes A/4A, 5A and 6A will utilize each of the sites on a rotating basis over the next three years. In 2018, the Class A/4A championships will be held at Canyon Club May 7-8.

In remarks after the tournament, Loder declared the season a success and extended his acknowledgment to all his athletes. “Our girls really stepped it up this year,” said Loder, alluding to the second-place finish of the team in the district and the vast improvement of sisters Makayla and Veronica Montoya, plus the strong finish by Taylor and Madison Tomashot, who placed third and fifth in District 2/3-A/4A. “We continue to grow in many aspects of this game.”

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