Enochs grad on top at Spanos

ragostini@modbee.comMay 28, 2013 

    alternate textRon Agostini
    Title: Staff writer
    Coverage areas: Sports
    Bio: Ron Agostini has served as a sports reporter and columnist for The Bee for more than 35 years. His stories and columns have won state-wide, regional and national awards and he's a board director and past president of the California Golf Writers and Broadcasters Association. He's a graduate of Fresno State.
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Sunrise. Taxes. And Shawnee Martinez lapping everyone at The Reserve At Spanos Park.

All three can't be avoided, especially the third.

We're joking. Sort of.

Martinez, the Enochs High graduate who just completed a solid freshman year at Long Beach State, did it again last week at The Reserve.

This is the venue in northern Stockton where she won a record three straight medalist honors at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.

Proving once again the perfect fit of her game to the course, Martinez shot a 74 and topped a field of 36 in qualifying for the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championships. The former Enochs star fought through windy conditions with three birdies to dodge three bogeys and a double bogey.

Her closest pursuer was Fresno State's Madchen Ly, who trailed by two strokes. The reward for Martinez and nine others is a trip to the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., for the Public Links on June 17-22.

Martinez should not be intimidated by the national stage, given her qualifying for the U.S. Girls' Junior in both 2010 and '11. Her confidence also grew this spring with the 49ers.

She led Long Beach with a stroke average of 76.82 strokes per round en route to two top-10 finishes and one top-20. Along the way, the 49ers captured three tournament titles and placed second at the Big West Conference Championships.

"I'm so proud of Shawnee and this huge win," Long Beach coach Joey Cerulle said. "It's yet another accomplishment in what should be a very good career at The Beach."

• FRESNO CITY — A trio of Cal State Stanislaus players, fresh off their ninth-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships, impacted the 86th Fresno City Amateur in a big way.

Rob Damschen, who shared the lead going into the third and final round, tied for second at Riverside (69-70-71—210), one stroke behind champion and Cal senior Pace Johnson of Clovis. Paul Smith, one stroke off the pace with 18 holes left, placed sixth (73-67-74—214). And Trevor Clayton, another Clovis product, tied for seventh (72-70-73—215) with three-time defending champion Danny Paniccia.

Downey High graduate Brian Nova, the leader after the first two days who made some news in the late 1990s with his cash matches against Michael Jordan, tied for 13th.

• THE SHAG BAG — Monday's Sectional Qualifying for the U.S. Open will feature two local entries: USC senior Sam Smith of Turlock and Erick Justesen of Murphys.

Smith, Paul's brother, overpowered Sunnyside CC in Fresno by shooting a 67 for second place in local qualifying. He'll spend his 36-hole Sectional, golf's longest day, at Hawks Ridge in Ball Ground, Ga., following the NCAAs at Atlanta.

Justesen, a former All-American at Stanislaus, will be tested at two neighboring venues — Big Canyon and Newport Beach CC. Justesen shot a 71 and shared the medalist award at The Golf Club at Creekmore in Raymore, Mo. ...

Thinking of former Stanislaus star Jim Gormley, the longtime head pro at Palos Verdes Golf Club, who underwent his first chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkins Lymphoma. He coaches several LPGA Tour players, including Lizette Salas, the former USC star who nearly won the Nabisco this spring. Gormley completed his sixth season as a volunteer assistant at USC, which won the NCAA title. ...

Coming up: The 31st Modesto City, June 8-9, at Creekside and Dryden Park; the 66th U.S. Junior Amateur, July 22-27, at Martis Camp in Truckee; and the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, Sept. 21-26, at CordeValle in San Martin south of San Jose. Anne Sander won the SWA four times, including once at Del Rio CC in 1990.

HOLE-IN-ONE — Sonny Crim, Oakdale, 167-yard ninth at Escalon, 6-iron.

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter @modbeesports.

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