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Ripon freshman medalist; Escalon stretches TVL lead

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POSTED April 14, 2010 2:55 a.m.
PATTERSON — It was Ripon freshman Andrew Bonner and everybody else at the challenging Diablo Grande Golf and Country Club Tuesday.

“Everybody else” would be Escalon during the midseason Trans Valley League Tournament, which it won with a team score of 436. Bonner’s Indians were the runners-up with a 459, but the freshman turned in the round’s best score with a six-over-par 78.

Bonner was the lone golfer with a sub-80 score, and what makes it more impressive was that he achieved that despite a quadruple bogey on the par-5 16th hole.

“The kid is just good, there’s not much more I can say about him,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “That 16th hole was brutal for him, but the course as a whole was brutal for everybody.”

Not so brutal for the league-leading Cougars of Escalon, who are 4-1 in dual-match play but broke away from the rest of the pack Monday to open up a four-point cushion atop of the standings.

Individual runner-up Donavan Gardner led five Cougars who finished in the top-10, carding an 84.

“Escalon is solid from top to bottom,” Musseman said. “What separates them from the rest of the league is that their (No. 6 golfer) is as good as their 1, so their scores are very consistent.”

Ripon’s Josh Ricther finished with the sixth best score with an 88, while Ripon Christian’s Logan Vos ended up with a 90. Ripon Christian, which was tied with Ripon for third place going into the tournament but with the head-to-head advantage over its rival, came in fourth with a 515 team score Tuesday.

Ripon’s Zach Capel was a part of a three-way tie for ninth with a 92. Also contributing for the Indians were Nick Mendonca (96) and Matty Gay (105).

Ross Van Groningen (96), Riley Pizl (104), Tim Hoeksema (108) and Christian Manes (117) rounded out RC’s score.

Ripon and RC will head back into dual-match play Thursday, with Ripon hosting Hughson at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club and the Knights taking on Escalon for a big match at Oakdale Country Club.

“We’re at least back in the hunt to move on in the postseason, but I don’t know if we’re going to be able to win league,” Musseman said. “We’d have to win out and win the season-ending tournament, but it’s good for us to still have something to play for.”

The top two teams in league and the six best individuals on non-qualifying squads qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament. The final TVL Tournament takes place on May 4.

— Jonamar Jacinto
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