ELKO – Two Elko golfers are going down under.
Freshman Gabby Bement and sophomore Caresse Basaraba have each earned invitations and will represent Team Nevada at the 15th annual Down Under Cup on the Gold Coast of Australia.
The experience will be a 10-day affair, departing July 5 and returning on July 14.
Upon arrival in Australia, the athletes will take in sight-seeing of Brisbane and Queensland – visiting kangaroo fields, a wildlife sanctuary and the Great Barrier Reef – and play two 18-hole practice rounds, nine of which will occur under the lights at night.
The girls will compete July 10 in the All-American Tournament – an 18-hole event – and put their skills to the test in the Down Under Cup International Tournament from July 11-12.
The international tourney will consist of two 18-hole rounds, pitting the 80-person USA Team against some of the best youth golfers from Australia.
Fundraising is a large part of the process in completing and competing in the Down Under Cup.
There are several ways to donate to Bement’s and Basaraba’s cause; online at downundersports.com/payment/DA32-2C0B-3EEa and downundersports.com/payment/8889C02250C7or by phone by calling 435-753-4732.
The girls will also sell T-shirts for $25 each – available through and delivered by Bement or Basaraba – or call Down Under Sports at 435-753-4732.
Basaraba was named a 1st-Team All-League selection of the Division 3A North in her second season of varsity action, finishing with an average of less than 100 strokes per round.
Bement was a 2nd-Team All-League golfer during Elko’s run toward back-to-back regional championships and a runner-up finish in the state tournament in a bid to defends its 2016 state title.
She closed the 3A North season with an average of 104.7 strokes per round, a number she will look to decrease to the upper 80s or low 90s as a sophomore, currently working with a swing coach out of Nashville, Tennessee.
Basaraba tied for 11th in the Division 3A Nevada State Golf Championships on Oct. 18 and 19, 2017, at Mountain Falls Golf Club in Pahrump – finishing with a two-round total of 196 on scores of 95 and 101 – earning a 2nd-Team All-State nod.
Bement shot a 97 in the opening round of the state tournament but fell to a 105 in round two, closing the tourney in 16th place with a two-day card of 202.
With the graduation of senior and two-time defending league MVP Annika Criss (2016 state runner-up, 2017 sixth-place and 1st-Team All-State golfer) on the horizon, Basaraba and Bement – along with now-junior and 1st-Team All-League golfer Sarah Sarbacker (91.8 strokes per round, third-best in the 3A North) – will look to lead the Lady Indians to a third-consecutive league championship and make another push toward a state championship in the fall of 2018 and for years to come.
Sarbacker placed ninth in the 2017 state tournament with a two-day total of 182 on rounds of 90 and 92, joining Basaraba on the 2nd-Team All-State selections.
Congratulations to Gabby Bement and Caresse Basaraba for being honored by Down Under Sports and being chosen to represent the state of Nevada and Team USA in the 15th Annual Down Under Cup this summer.
For more information on the event and other sports (football, basketball, volleyball, track and field and cross country) or how to get involved, visit downundersports.com.