By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
DINUBA – The Monarchs’ golf team maybe young this season, but are making the turn towards improvement. Out of the top six players who competed in last week’s Central Sequoia League tournament at Ridge Creek Golf Course five were freshman. Still, they were able to take fourth place by carding a 513.
“When a lot of these players play a big course it is kind of daunting to them,” said acting head coach Steve Maaske. “Dinuba is a course that if you hit it left or right you’ll lose a golf ball, but they’re getting better and their beginning to understand what we are trying to do.”
None of the Monarchs’ top five players broke the 90 mark. Their lowest score came from their number two player Jacob McDaniel. He missed accomplishing that feat by two, turning in a 91. His tee shot on the par-three seventh hole went far right. With no trees to get in the way McDaniel tried to hit the ball over a green side bunker and up onto the elevated green. He hit behind the ball, catching it heavy, and sent it into the bunker. From there it took him one to get out and two puts to finish with a double-bogey.
McDaniel almost hit his ball into another bunker after his tee shot again went right on the par-four eighth hole. On the side of a hill he caught it thin out of the tall fescue. The ball rolled along the ground through a fairway bunker and landed on top of the lip on the other side. With a clean lie he hit it to the center of the green. Two puts later he was in with a bogey.
The last hole of the front nine once again saw him leak his drive right. Although blinded from the pin on his second shot McDaniel had a clean lie. Able to make solid contact his second shot ended up ten feet from the left edge of the green. A chip and two puts later he carded another bogey.
“He was able to keep it in play pretty good today,” Maaske said.
McDaniel is the most experienced player entering this season after having played the last eight months in Exeter’s summer program. Something both coach Cory Reed and Maaske are stressing to the players to participate in.
“If they don’t play then they are just starting over again after nine months,” Maaske said.
For the Monarchs’ top player Dawson See the front and back nine holes were two different stories. The front held too many double bogies on his way to a 51. The par-four sixth hole was one. One put from the fringe and two on the green got him down in six strokes. He recovered and carded a 42 on the back for a 93.