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Bonner dominates for second tourney victory

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POSTED April 27, 2010 2:07 a.m.
TRACY — Yes, Andrew Bonner is a freshman.

And yes, he is that good.

Bonner continued to amaze Monday in the Tracy Invitational at Tracy Golf and Country Club, where he led Ripon High’s golf team to a third-place finish in the 18-team field.

Ripon’s freshman phenom posted an eye-catching five-under 67, five strokes better than Moreau Catholic’s sophomore sensation and tournament runner-up Carlos Briones.

Moreau Catholic of Hayward took the team tournament title with a 395. Tournament host Tracy followed with a 408, Ripon a 422, Granada of Livermore a 426 and Lincoln of Stockton rounds out the top five with a 429.

Trans Valley League rival Escalon, which leads the conference, tied Bret Harte for sixth with a 436, and Ripon Christian ended up eighth with a 442.

It was the second medalist performance in a non-league tournament for Bonner, who won the Al Croce Memorial Tournament at Lockeford Springs Golf Course with a 68 on March 31.

Bonner’s latest achievement further solidifies himself as one of the best young golfers in Northern California. Briones made headlines as a freshman last year when he won the nation’s oldest amateur tournament, the San Francisco City Golf Championship.

“We’re so used to mid-80s being a top score, but for (Bonner) to be right around par or below consistently in 18-hole tournaments is unheard of,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “He’s really impressing a lot of people not just in the area, but people outside of the area with the way he’s handled himself in tournaments.

“He shows great maturity with how he handles the course. He keeps his focus and scores well, and today he wasn’t even hitting the fairways. He just dominated with recoveries and his short game.”

Bonner birdied the third, fifth, eighth, ninth, 16th and 18th hole, and a single bogey was his only blemish of the round.

The rest of the Indians fared well on the unfamiliar track, and Musseman hopes that Monday’s overall effort is a sign of things to come with big TVL matches looming this week.

Josh Richter and Nick Mendonca each carded an 86, Mark Bigelow a 91 and Matty Gay a 92.

“That was the most solid performance as a team we’ve put together,” Musseman said. “It makes a huge difference for us. Our guys now believe we can beat Escalon, and the timing couldn’t be any better.”

Ripon is in third place in a heated four-way battle for two Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, but the Indians have a match to make up.

Ripon takes on winless Riverbank today at La Contenta Golf Club in Valley Springs, the site of the SJS Division V Tournament. After that, Ripon has a rematch with RC Wednesday at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club, a big showdown with Escalon at Oakdale Golf and Country Club Thursday and yet another with Modesto Christian at Modesto Municipal Golf Course next Monday, May 3.

Valley Oak League
Manteca 241, Lathrop 313
The Buffaloes (8-7) assured themselves at least a .500 record for the regular season after coasting past Lathrop Monday at Manteca Park Golf Course.

Nick Gonzalez continued his rock-solid play with three-over round of 40.Kenny Summers added a 47, Brandan Vilaysack a 48, Casey Benson a 52 and Tim Baker a 54.

Cedric Starling paced the Spartans with a 52.

— Jonamar Jacinto

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