Sonoma County golfers struggle in windy conditions at NCS tournament

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The season came to an end for Redwood Empire high school golfers on Monday in the NCS Tournament of Champions as no team or individual shot low enough to advance to the NorCal Championship.

Of the 19 Sonoma County golfers competing, Healdsburg senior Jona Holty had the best score. He shot a 4-over-par 76 at Roddy Ranch in Antioch.

Of the three area teams playing, Montgomery tallied the lowest score with a 427. Maria Carrillo had a 444 while Analy finished with a 496.

In order to advance to next Monday’s NorCal Championship, a team had to shoot 384 or better. The last individual to qualify had a 72.

Windy conditions played havoc with Empire golfers. Even Holty felt the gusts cost him a few strokes.

“It was quite windy,” he said. “I never got comfortable.”

Holty had one birdie, five bogeys and 12 pars.

“I hit most of the greens in regulation but then I had difficulty putting. They were difficult to judge.”

Grady Wann, the Healdsburg coach, felt his player did the Sonoma County League proud.

“He had a good season and scored very well in the postseason,” Wann said.

“He’s been on the team four years and he’s turned out to be a good golfer and more importantly, a gentleman.”

The second best score by a local golfer was 82 turned in by Maria Carrillo’s Jake Eastman.

“I was happy with the way I played,” said Eastman, a sophomore. “The wind made the course play long.

“The greens were pretty quick and I tried to adjust for that.”

Montgomery has won the North Bay League six years in a row, but the Pumas figure to challenge the Vikings next season.

Five of their six golfers participating in the TOC will be back next year.

One of those is freshman Michael Kelleher. He shot an 85, second best on his team.

“I’m pretty happy with my score,” Kelleher said. “The course was difficult but I drove the ball decently and kept it in the fairway.”

The other three scores used by Carrillo were: Simon Choe (90), Cameron Fernandez (92) and Mason Wheeler (95).

Montgomery had five of its golfers finish in the 80s. Rory Fette led the way with an 82. He was followed by Justin Peterich (85), Carson Wyatt (86), Jared Friday (86) and Devon Becker (88).

“I’m super pumped for the kids especially Fette and Peterich,” coach Jess Stimack said. “They’re both improving and this will give them tons of confidence.

“I think NCS is the most competitive section in the state, if not the country. The East Bay is a hotbed of good golfers.”

Nick Pearson turned in the low Analy score with a 90. He was followed by Zane Hess (95), Calvin Metcalf (103), Brandon Hellengren (103) and Max Ringrose (105).

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