The Bishop Gorman boys golf team had four players in the top 10 as the Gaels won the 2023 Class 5A State Boys Golf Championship by 27 strokes over runnerup Shadow Ridge. Medalist honors went to Shadow Ridge’s Bridger Johnson in the two-day event that was held May 17-18, 2023, at Red Hawk Golf and Resort in Sparks, NV.–by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider
Bishop Gorman led by 20 strokes after the first day before cruising to the victory.
Members of the winning Gorman team included: Daniel Golin (T-3), R.J. Arone (T-5), Jay Carr (T-5) and Avery Lazarski (T-9).
Gorman coach Dusty Allen said the key to this victory was the depth of the squad.
“Throughout the course of the year we played 11 different players,” he said. “That shows how deep this team is. We never had to rely on the same four players and they all pushed each other to be better.”
Allen said having a 20-stroke lead heading into the final round was both good news and bad news.
“The guys came in extra-prepared the first day and really made a statement on Day 1,” he said. “But today they felt a little disappointed in how they played. The conditions were tough and the situation was a little difficult. While they leaked a little oil coming in, they definitely proved they were the best team this year.”
He said going into the second day, the pre-round chat was to stay focused.
“I told them to not take their foot off the gas,” he said. “Everyone came in with individual goals but the main goal of everyone was a state title.”
This is the fourth title for the Gorman boys golf team having won in 2002, 2003 and 2014.
“It’s been awhile,” Allen said. “But we’re excited to be building a great program and we’re looking to win more than every 10 years or so.”
From the first day of the season, Allen said the team was focused.
“No matter the adversity or the success we had, we were always looking to this day and knowing this was the ultimate goal,” he said. “They had this picture in their heads all season.”
Bishop Gorman, 593
Shadow Ridge, 620
Spanish Springs, 635
Palo Verde, 638
Bridger Johnson, a sophomore at Shadow Ridge, won medalist honors by one stroke over Spanish Springs Harrison Hashimoto.
For Johnson, it was a battle until the end.
“I didn’t want to get ahead of myself,” he said of his mindset for the final 18 holes. “I was just thinking one shot at a time.”
Johnson finished fifth in state last year as a freshman.
“This was so amazing,” he said. “And I’m so relieved right now. It feels so good to win.”
It was his final tee shot of the tournament that proved to be a calming influence.
“I felt a little pressure on the tee on the 18th hole,” he said. “But I hit my drive right down the middle and that settled the nerves.”
Johnson said his game was solid heading into state but he knows there’s still work to be done.
“I was playing very well heading into state,” he said. “I finished second in the regionals so I was confident. But I still have work to do with my putting. It cost me a couple of shots to the field with a couple of three putts. Those were frustrating but I still did enough to win and that’s a great feeling.”
With the medalist honors, Johnson said next year there’s at least one more goal in mind.
“We finished second as a team,” he said. “We’ll be working all summer to fix that and hopefully be in position to win.”
Bridger Johnson, 71-74—145
Harrison Hashimoto, 73-73—146
Daniel Golin, 75-73—148
Brent Chung, 78-70—148
R.J. Arone, 74-75—149
Nolan Wilson, 76-73—149
Jay Carr, 71-78—149