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ON THE BRINK

East Union standout enjoying breakout summer

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ON THE BRINK

East Union’s Will Brink tees off during the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament on May 14.

Bulletin File Photo/


POSTED August 4, 2012 12:41 a.m.

The city’s top junior golfer will get to play alongside the state’s best starting Sunday with the North/South California State Boys Championship at San Joaquin Country Club in Fresno.

Will Brink, who will enter his senior year at East Union High, was selected to compete for North team, which includes Ripon star Andrew Bonner. Bonner leads the Junior Golf Association of Northern California points standings. Brink currently is eighth.

Then on Monday, both Brink and Bonner will compete as individuals in the three-day 52nd California Junior Amateur Championship, which also takes place at San Joaquin Country Club.

“I’m looking forward to it so much,” Brink said. “There will be a lot of great players there, and I’ve never seen the guys from Southern California play before. It is going to be a great experience.”

Brink has certainly earned the invitations to play in Fresno.

His breakout summer run includes championships in the Eric Leeworthy Memorial and Oakdale Rotary Junior Classic. He was also the runner-up to Bonner in the Tokay Junior Woodbridge Invitational and finished in fifth-place ties in a JGANC Qualifier for Junior World #2 and the Del Rio Bumgardner Junior Memorial.

Last week at Ripon’s Spring Creek Golf & Country Club, Brink earned a first alternate berth to the U.S. Amateur Championships (Aug. 13-19, Cherry Hills Country Club in Colorado) by carding a two-day score of 139 (70-69) in the sectional qualifier.

Perhaps his best has yet to come, because Brink is playing his best golf.

“It’s been fun,” he said. “I’m still not there yet, but I’m definitely feeling more comfortable playing in these tournaments. I do feel like I’ve gotten a little better, it’s just a matter of focusing on what I need to do for each shot and not where I’m at score-wise.”

That mentality helped him mount an epic come-from-behind win in the Junior Tour of California’s Summer Series VI at Stockton’s Brookside Country Club this past Monday and Tuesday.

Brink forced a sudden-death playoff with San Jose native Austin Weatherholt by scoring an impressive 29 on the final nine holes. He registered seven birdies during that stretch, one that provided a major boost of confidence.

He took that momentum into the playoff, claiming the tournament title with a birdie on the par-4 first.

“It’s my best nine (holes), by far,” Brink said. “I just tried to be aggressive with my shots and started making birdies one after the other.

“It’s nice to know that I could do that in a tournament when I have to. And it wasn’t like (Weatherholt) was falling back; he shot a 68 with no bogeys and was solid all day.”

Brink hopes his hot streak catapults him to greater success at the high school level and, ultimately, captures the attention of college coaches. He is a two-time Valley Oak League MVP who qualified for the NCGA/CIF Northern California Boys Championship as a sophomore.

“I try not to think about it, my main thing is just going into each tournament one shot at a time and not get ahead of myself,” Brink said. “But I’ve been working on my game the whole summer to have the experience to play somewhere for a college. It’s definitely been a driving factor.”

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