STOCKTON – Will Brink was locked in a five-man playoff at Monday’s Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament at the Reserves at Spanos Park for one qualifying spot at the Northern California Championships
It was familiar territory for the East Union High sophomore, who, about a week ago, qualified for the event by winning a four-man playoff at the SJS Division IV Tournament.
“This time, I just tried to relax,” said Brink, who admitted that nerves got the best of him during his previous playoff go-around.
He did just that, beating out Taylor Brown of Yuba City, Taylor Knoll of Folsom, Anthony Bonales of Central Valley and Ripon High’s Andrew Bonner.
Brink won the three-hole playoff – the extra rounds at Spanos started at the 10th, jumped to the 18th, and returned back to No. 10 to settle matters – with a birdie on the 347-yard, par-4, 10th hole.
As an individual qualifier, he will join the likes of Paul Smith of Turlock (69), Corey Pereira of Ponderosa (73) and Charlie Cameron of Oak Ridge (73) at next Monday’s Northern California Golf Association / California Interscholastic Federation Nor Cal Tournament at the Butte Creek Country Club in Chico.
“Will hit the ball tremendously,” said East Union coach Dennis Wells prior to the playoff. “I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
He did recommend that Brink use a 3-wood on the 363-yard, par-4, 18th hole earlier in the day. The young southpaw, instead, went with the driver. His ball landed in the water hazard.
“This time I took out the 3-wood,” said Brink, who hit the green on the second shot in all three playoff holes.
His estimated 235-yard drive made for a nice setup shot with the wedge.
Bonner, meanwhile, had to scramble. He landed his drive on No. 18 just outside of the fairway bunker. But his second shot sailed into the sand trap adjacent to the green.
After safely chipping out, Bonner sank his putt from inside 10 feet to save par and keep his playoff hopes alive.
“Andrew three-putted five times,” said Ripon High coach Chris Musseman of his player’s outing prior to the playoff.
Brink was left a long putt for birdie on No. 18 that nearly ended the playoff right then and there. But his ball lipped out of the hole, with Brink settling for par.
Brown also had a chance to win it, but his birdie short putt fell inches short.
Back to No. 10, Bonner hit some bad luck. His drive landed a few inches out of bounds. He not only took a penalty stroke, but was forced back to the tee box to take another drive.
Brink had another good drive at No. 10. Earlier in the day, he settled for bogey.
He and Brown both landed their second shots on the green, with Brink coming closer to the hole. Bonner’s fourth shot fell right of the green and into the draining basin.
Brown’s birdie putt rolled a bit wide. He settled for par.
Brink then seized the opportunity, draining his birdie putt.
The Masters consisted of 111 players, including 14 teams and 27 individual qualifiers.
In the team competition, Del Oro captured the event by compiling 381 points, edging Davis (382) by a point and Granite Bay (388).