Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association members Daichi Molde (boys 12-14 bracket) and Kyndall Newman (girls 15-18 bracket) won titles in the prestigious 2019 Nevada State Junior Championships held June 24-25, 2019, at Toiyabe Golf Club in Washoe Valley. –By Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Daichi Molde birdied three of his first six holes of the tournament and breezed to a 17-stroke victory.
It was his first time playing in the state junior tournament and the freshman-to-be at Coronado made the most of his chance.
“My putting was actually really good on the front nine,” he said of his first day’s play. “But as soon as I went to the back I didn’t putt as well as you can see.”
He added his main trouble came with overcoming a few bad swings and a few bad thoughts.
“I got upset with myself on the back nine,” he said. “I wasn’t in control of my putting or my iron shots. I had two bogeys in a row and then a 9 and another 9 back-to-back.”
But, he righted the ship. “I finished with a par and a three-putt bogey,” he said. “I need to start learning to control my temper and work on the mental part of my game. If I had great mental control, I could have shot better. I was pretty down on myself.”
The second day he had his game and his thoughts in order and breezed to the win. “I was reminding myself not to get down,” he said. “I started with a birdie and got myself in a good mindset.”
He added he definitely has goals as he eyes starting his freshman year in the fall. “I definitely want to be on the varsity team and just play consistent golf,” he said.
Daichi Molde, 82-79—161
Braden Armstrong, 86-92—178
Gabriel Dutra, 96-83—179
Kyndall Newman made it two victories in a three-year stretch (along with a third-place finish last year) at the Nevada State Junior Championship, posting a six-shot victory. Hailey Stevenson, another SNJGA player, finished third.
It was anything but a cakewalk for Newman.
She carded her lone birdie of the first round on the 18th hole and then opened her second round with a birdie. But then came trouble as she stumbled on the final eight holes of the second round, shooting a five-over 41 that included a triple-bogey.
“The fifth hole was bad,” said Newman, who will be a junior this fall at Arbor View. “I didn’t have the best tee shot and then I put it in the water. After that I stayed focused and didn’t let the triple get to me. I didn’t want that hole to ruin my round.”
She played the next three holes even-par with a par, a bogey and a birdie to help get the round back on track. She then put it on cruise control to the victory, coming home with a one-over 37 on the back nine.
“I’ve been working on keeping my mental game strong and not letting a bad hole determine how I finish my round,” she said. “And my putter definitely was a key factor for me.”
Coming into the tournament, she said she had one goal in mind. “I wasn’t going in it to win the tournament,” she said. “I didn’t feel any pressure. I knew I just wanted to play my best and have a good two days of golf.”
Kyndall Newman, 76-78—154
Lily Landt, 83-77—160
Hailey Stevenson, 78-83—161