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Duvalls 1-under 36 leads Lancers
East Union’s Tanner Bragg digs his way out of the bunker on hole nine during Thursday’s Valley Oak League-opening match against Manteca at Manteca Park Golf Course. - photo by HIME ROMERO
The Valley Oak League’s reigning MVP, Kyle Harman, has some competition.

And it’s coming from his own team.

The senior standout shot an even 37 in East Union’s 199-265 Valley Oak League season-opening victory over crosstown rival Manteca Thursday on Manteca Park Golf Course’s front nine, but sophomore Jordan Duvall did him one better with a 36 for medalist honors.

East Union, which has aspirations to advance to the state tournament as a team this year, turned in an impressive first-match effort even though it took two days to get the round in.

The match originally started Wednesday, but the lead group walked off the course on hole five after it was called to lightning.

“I was worried about it, but they adjusted well,” East Union coach Dennis Wells said. “I was real happy with the 199 they came in with.”

Duvall, the team’s No. 3 golfer, was paired with freshman phenom Will Brink, a fellow lefty. Brink carded 40, and 2009 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament qualifiers Guillermo Barajas and Tanner Bragg scored a 42 and 44, respectively. Evan Lewis recorded EU’s throw-out score of 45.

While the overall team score doesn’t indicate as much, restarting the match in the middle of the round did affect some. Duvall was at even par after Wednesday but bogeyed the sixth hole. He went on to birdie the final two holes.

Bragg, playing with the first group, triple bogeyed hole six but still managed to turn in a respectable score.

“I always expect more than what I can get sometimes,” Wells said. “The goal I set for the guys is to shoot in the low 190s by midseason and in the 180s by the end. We were trying to send a message to the rest of the league with our first match, and I think we did with the 199 despite the circumstances.”

Nick Gonzales led Manteca with a 44. Kenny Summers and Casey Benson each checked in with a 50, Chris Pinpin a 60 and David Tolbert 61.

East Union will next play a make-up match against Sonora Monday back at Manteca Park. Manteca plays host to Ceres Tuesday.

Sierra 210, Sonora 228
The defending VOL champs kicked off 2010 play in style at Manteca Park Golf Course Thursday.

Miguel Dominguez turned in the low score of 39. Paul Michaleto and Drew Allen finished with 42s for the Timberwolves. Teammate Ryan Leasure turned in a 6-over-par 43, while senior Chase Hunter made his varisty debut with a 44.

Sierra (1-0 VOL) will have its hands full in its next match, locking up with East Union Wednesday at Manteca Park.

Ripon 221, West 262
RIPON – The Indians opened the season on a positive note, cruising to a comfortable 41-stroke win over West High Thursday at Spring Creek Country Club.

Freshman Andrew Bonner earned medalist honors with a 2-over-par 38. John Richter came in behind Bonner with a 42, while teammate Zach Capel shot a 45.

Nick Mendoca and Mark Bigelow rounded out the Ripon scorecard with a 47 and 49, respectively.

The Indians will try and make in consecutive wins to open the season when they travel to Modesto to meet up with Beyer High on the Dryden Park Golf Course Wednesday.
— Jonamar Jacinto