By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
VISALIA – The Golden West Blazers had a rough go of it at Valley Oaks Golf Course last Thursday during their 249-264 win over the Exeter Monarchs during their last non-league match.
“We barely did enough to get the win,” Golden West head coach Rick Lantrip said. “As a team we played decent and average.”
The cold and breeze conditions on the Oaks Course were less than ideal for a day out on the links, and made it difficult for Golden West’s top two players to score well. The Blazers’ second player Carlos Carrillo’s had a up-and-down round. He shot a score of eight over par, 44, giving him second behind Exeter’s Jacob McDaniel who bested him by a single shot.
“It was a mixture of a lot of things,” Lantrip said. “Their rhythm was a little off.”
Carrillo began his round anyway a golfer would by hitting his tee shot on the par-4 first hole down the middle to less than a hundred yards. From there he his approach to 25 feet from the back tee placement, and made his par in two puts.
In the time it took for Carrillo to walk from the green to the next tee box his game took a swing for the worse. His choice to hit less than driver on the par-4 second backfired when he ended up in a water hazarded which cut across the fairway. He was able to salvage a bogey after hitting the green with his third shot, and getting down in two puts.
As the weather continues begin to get warm this week playing conditions for the Blazers will improve, and just in time as Golden West begins West Yosemite League matches this Thursday back at Valley Oak against the El Diamante Miners.
It will be difficult for the Blazers to top the Miners considering they had the best score among all WYL teams at last years area tournament with a 412.
Lantrip, who made the transition from coaching the Blazers’ baseball team to golf, believes that Golden West is in the middle of the pack, but has a lot of unknowns. They saw, and scored better than a couple of their WYL rivals during a tournament in Lemoore at the beginning of the year when they took second.
As for Carrillo rising to be number one like he was last year? It just depends on how he scores.
“We’ll see who is going to be our number one at the end of the season,” Lantrip said.