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Guzman cards 7-over 79 in 1st NorCal tourney

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POSTED May 23, 2017 12:43 a.m.

ROSEVILLE — Christian Guzman’s strong start did not carry over into the rest of the CIF Northern California Regional Golf Championships held at Sierra View Country Club on Monday.

The first NorCal qualifier out of Lathrop High had back-to-back birdies on holes 1 and 2 but did not have another until the 17th, finishing 7-over-par 79.

“After that birdie-birdie start I thought he was going to have an awesome day,” Lathrop coach Cesar Fernandez said. “He actually hit some good shots, he just had some tactical errors here and there and struggled with his chipping.

Three teams and nine individuals qualified for the state tournament set for May 31 at Pebble Beach’s Poppy Hills Golf Course. 

The NorCal tourney was ruled by Bay Area schools, with the Sac-Joaquin Section being shut out of state bids. Harker of San Jose carded an even 360 for the team title. Joining them at state are Mission San Jose (366) and Archbishop Mitty (369). Mission San Jose’s Aaron Chen was individual medalist with a 67. An even 72 was the cutline for state.

Guzman followed his early birdie binge with five bogeys on the next six holes. The big whammy was on the 392-yard, par-four ninth hole, which he triple-bogeyed. He was 6-over at the turn.

“He hit his 3-wood on the ninth hole and probably should have went with the hybrid, so he ended up in the forest,” Fernandez said.

The main struggle for Guzman was his short game. That was also the case last week in the SJS Masters, when he managed to finish with an even 72 and earn his spot to NorCals in a four-way playoff.

“He had six or seven birdie tries and the only one he could convert was a 25-footer,” Fernandez said. “It was a good learning experience for him, and we’re all really proud that he was able to make it this far. I just told him the still has next year to do it again, he just has to refocus his goals and work hard over the summer.” 

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