Tracy senior Robert Erler said the 18-hole tournament reminded golfers how important their short game will be when they get into their league championship tournaments next week.
“If we hit a bad shot, we need to have the confidence to hit a rebound shot and get bogey or par instead of trying to hit a really big hero shot,” Erler said.
Erler finished in a three-way tie for first place with a score of 77 on the par-72 course.
Erler said his score included one hole with a four-putt and three with three-putts.
“I get those down to two-putts and I would have had 72,” he said.
An even-par result, or under, is Erler’s goal for next week.
Tracy plays in the San Joaquin Athletic Association tournament at Lockeford Springs Golf Course in Lodi on Monday, April 29, the same day West plays in the Tri-City Athletic League tournament at Oakmoore Golf Course in Stockton. Kimball plays at the Valley Oak League tournament at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore on Wednesday, May 1.
West junior Mark Olson said he will improve on the 99 he shot Monday.
“For me, it was definitely my short game (that added extra strokes),” he said. “Overall, I couldn’t get the speed of the green in my mind.”
Kimball sophomore Reese Maxfield shot 92 on Monday and also expected to play a cleaner game next week.
“Last week at The Reserve, I shot 84, so it could have been a lot better,” he said.
St. Mary’s of Stockton won the 16-team Tracy-West Invitational on Monday with a team score of 403, and Liberty High of Brentwood was second (412). Tracy was fourth (443), Kimball was 11th (487) and West was 15th (517).
The five lowest individual scores for each high school are added to calculate the team score.
Contributing to Tracy’s team score were Erler, junior Shivam Swamy (85) and sophomores Talon Simmons (90), Jared Finney (93) and Amit Grewal (98).
Adding to Kimball’s team score were Maxfield, sophomore Tyler McLaughlin (95), freshman Matthew Jarique (99) and seniors Theo Fornaciari (99) and Karan Bains (102).
In addition to Olson, West’s total includes scores from juniors Nick Carrera (95), Garrett Morris (96) and Mark Dionisio (115) and sophomore Tucker Morris (112).
Tracy (6-3 SJAA) and West (6-3 TCAL) each played one more league match Thursday, April 25, and had a chance to finish in second place in their respective leagues.
Scores for Tracy’s final match, against Bear Creek High, and West’s final match, against Stagg High, were not available at press time.
The top two teams from the SJAA and the TCAL will compete in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South tournament May 6 at Creekside Golf Course in Modesto.
Tracy is the five-time defending SJAA champion, but this year Lodi High has the advantage going into the tournament. The Bulldogs need to finish ahead of Lincoln High at the SJAA tournament to advance their full team to the Division I South tournament.
St. Mary’s holds the advantage in the TCAL, and West and Stagg are competing for second place.
Kimball (5-8 VOL) isn’t likely to send its full team to the SJS Division IV tournament at Castle Oaks Golf Course in Ione on May 6, but some golfers could still qualify, depending on how they place as individuals at the VOL tournament.
West’s Carrera said his team is skilled enough and spends enough time playing and practicing that the Wolf Pack could claim that second-place spot.
“Now we’re more experienced and have more players that have actually played the game for more than a year,” he said, adding that he expected a strong showing at the TCAL tournament. “Next week should be a lot of fun.”
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.