- Golf Boys
Top billing at the Central Coast Section boys golf championships belonged to the West Catholic Athletic League.
Archbishop Mitty senior Daniel Kim, bound for UC Davis, claimed medalist status with a 4-under 67 on Tuesday at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey, while St. Francis edged out Menlo School by four strokes for the team title.
“This last month they really played some good golf,” St. Francis coach Brian Inkster said. “It’s been nice watching them improve and kind of bond together as a team. It just makes it that much more fun.”
It was strength in numbers for the Lancers, with a trio of golfers carding a 1-under 70 at CCS — freshman John Heckel along with seniors Tyson Dinsmore and Moibhi Tyndall.
“They’ve really been neck-and-neck all year-round,” Inkster said.
All three of them made the all-WCAL first team.
“Tyson has been our rock all year,” Inkster said
Meanwhile, Heckel helped lift the Lancers to another level.
“There’s not a rule against it, but typically the freshmen they want to start in JV that first year,” Inkster said. “But John was texting me, ‘Can I try out? Can I try out?’ He has a good résumé, so once I saw him play it was a slam dunk. There was no decision to be made at all.”
St. Francis’ Easton Doyle and Matthew Adams completed the team score of 358 with rounds of 74.
“We’ve been playing together since the end of January,” Inkster said. “You can tell early on there was a lot of potential there and as time went on and everyone started supporting one another, nobody was really greedy in thinking, ‘I want to win this thing personally.’ We’ve been thinking all along, both with the WCAL title and CCS, is that if we’re going win this thing, we’ve got to do it as a team. And I was nice to see them do that.”
While Mitty, last year’s CIF state champion, was eliminated a week ago at the CCS Regionals, it’s up to UC Davis-bound Kim to represent the Monarchs during next week’s NorCal championships at Woodbridge GCC in Lodi.
Also advancing as individuals were Carmel’s George McNeeley (3rd, 69), Menlo-Atherton’s Jackson Lee (4th, 69) and Harker’s Daulet Tuleubayev (t-7th, 70).
Menlo School senior Max Ting, the runner-up at CCS by a stroke with a 3-under 68, will be joined by his teammates at NorCals, unlike last year when he qualified as an individual.
“It’s my senior year and the goal from the beginning of the season was to get that spot, make the cut as a team,” Ting said. “Obviously, St. Francis played really well, so congrats to them, but we’re all really looking forward to the challenge playing at NorCal next week — and I think our team’s ready.”
Princeton-bound Ting teed off from the back nine and was 3-under at the turn after birdies on the 12th, 14th and 18th holes.
“I would’ve loved to win CCS as an individual, but I was out there mainly trying to put a good number for the team,” said Ting, who picked his spots on the course and for the most part used his 3-iron and 3-wood off the tee rather than the driver.
“Towards the end of the round the wind started to pick up a little a bit, so I started playing away from the pin, kind of aiming for the middle of the green and playing it a little bit more conservatively,” Ting said. “Which I think was fine, considering that 3-under would be a score to count for the team and there wasn’t a need for me to take that many risks.”
Menlo freshman Jeremy Yun shot a 1-over 72 to tie for 16th, followed by teammates Charlie Hsieh (19th, 73), Seth Pope (t-20th, 74) and John Weingart (t-26th, 75).
The state championships, which will be held May 30 at San Gabriel CC, will feature the top three teams at Monday’s NorCal tournament as well as the top nine individuals not to qualify on a team.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Inkster said. “Just one step at a time.”
After watching his team place second at the Central Coast Section regional the week before, St. Francis High boys golf coach Brian Inkster was confident the Lancers could finish on top at the CCS finals.
“It was the same course as the regional, and we played a tad sloppy that day,” he said. “I knew if we played our game, we had a good chance.”
Inkster nailed that prediction like it was a 1-foot putt. St. Francis beat runner-up Menlo by four strokes May 15 at Laguna Seca Golf Ranch in Monterey.
“We came to play,” said Inkster, who took over the team this season. “It was wonderful.”
John Heckel, Tyson Dinsmore and Moibhi Tyndall led the Lancers by each shooting a 1-under-par 70 – only four competitors in the 66-player field did better – while teammates Easton Doyle and Matthew Adams posted rounds of 74 to tie for 20th.
“My top three players all shot 70, which was great. Having my top three under par was really key, and they were all 3-under par at one point,” Inkster said. “And my next two were right around par until the last three or four holes.”
Dinsmore – who agreed that the Lancers didn’t play their best at the regional – said the course “was a little easier the second time around.”
Among the five who counted toward St. Francis’ team score of 358, Heckel is the lone player who wasn’t on last year’s team, which placed fourth at CCS.
“He’s a really good freshman,” Inkster said. “He’s really come on this month and probably has the lowest stroke average on the team for the year.”
Los Altos resident Dinsmore added that Heckel “was a huge help this year and played really well for us.”
Last week’s win propelled St. Francis into the Northern California championships, played Monday (after the Town Crier’s deadline) at Woodbridge Golf & Country Club in San Joaquin County.
“I think we’ll do well and can make it to state,” Dinsmore said prior to NorCal. “We’ve progressed a lot this season.”
The state championships are set for May 30 at San Gabriel Country Club in Southern California.
But Dinsmore doesn’t want to look too far ahead without savoring the success St. Francis had at CCS.
“To win – and to win in good fashion – was super fun,” he said. “It’s one of my best experiences at St. Francis.”