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Ripon in good spot after narrow victory
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MODESTO — For the first time in Trans Valley League dual-match play, Ripon High standout Andrew Bonner was not the medalist.

That honor went to Modesto Christian’s Ryan Riner Monday after carding an even par 35 at Modesto Municipal Golf Course, where the Crusaders were undefeated going into the final regular-season showdown.

Despite a rare “off day” from its star, however, Ripon managed to squeak out a 200-201 win to put itself in a good position to make the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs.

The difference was the play of the rest of the Indians (7-3, 9-3 overall), namely Josh Ricther and Matty Gay. Richter shot a 36 for a runner-up finish, and Gay turned in a 39. Zach Capel (42) and Jordan Williamson (46) rounded out the team score.

Every stroke mattered, but the one that stands out is the up-and-down for a par that Gay finished with on hole 9.

Gay’s approach on the par-4 hole sailed past the green, but a nice chip set up a 5-foot putt to seal the deal.

“It was a huge team win,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “Matty really stepped up. With us being so young, he’s provided the senior leadership we have been lacking. He and Ricther were really the difference today.”

As for Bonner, he will have a chance to redeem himself at the Trans Valley League Tournament today at Saddle Creek Golf Course in Copperopolis. Bonner already has 18-hole wins in the Al Croce Memorial Tournament, Tracy Invitational and the mid-season TVL Tournament.

All Ripon has to do today is beat Modesto Christian to secure its berth to the SJS postseason. League-leading Escalon has a comfortable enough cushion to finish as low as third and still claim the conference championship.

“Had MC won today, we’d be going up to the tournament tied,” Musseman said. “This was a big win for us. Now that we have a little bit of a lead on them, we get to go to an 18-hole tournament, which has been our strong suit this season.”

— Jonamar Jacinto