Central Catholic High’s Tyler Ward added to his eventful junior year Monday with a putt his teammates will remember.
Ward holed a downhill 45-foot birdie putt on the final green which lifted the Raiders to a one-stroke victory over Oakdale and the Valley Oak League title. Ward finished with a 3-over-par 75, good for co-medalist honors with East Union freshman Tyler Griggs, during the VOL tournament at Castle Oaks in Ione.
“Tyler knew he needed that to tie Tyler. That was his biggest concern. None of us knew (about the team situation),” Central Catholic coach Matt Yonker said. “We were going to get beat if it was a tie because of a tie-breaker.”
Central Catholic totaled 424, one better than Oakdale. The teams finished the VOL with 13-1 records leading to the important tournament. It was the seventh straight league title for the Raiders and the fourth for seniors Nick O’Brien, Michael Kelley, Bryce Wade and Matthew Brooks.
Ward scored a hole-in-one in February during the Central Catholic Del Rio Invitational.
Griggs, who last year won his age group at the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship at Augusta, Ga., was named the league’s MVP.
The Raiders, Oakdale and East Union plus six individual qualifiers – including Lathrop standout Christian Guzman – will advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III tournament at Yolo Fliers in Woodland.
CCC – Turlock, paced by medalist Preston Magina with a 73 and Arik Bains with a 74, captured the Central California Conference title at Pheasant Run in Chowchilla.
The Bulldogs recorded a 396 to top runner-up El Capitan and third-place Pitman. Chris Giardina posted a 77 for El Capitan.
The CCC’s top three teams join six individual qualifiers for the Section Division I South on Monday at Ripon’s Spring Creek Country Club.
WAC – Sophomore Gary Condit shot a 4-over 75 for medalist honors, leading Ceres to the Western Athletic Conference title at Diablo Grande. The Bulldogs shot 422, 41 strokes lower than runner-up Patterson. The Tigers’ James Perez had the day’s second-best round, a 76.
Ceres and Patterson plus individual qualifiers go to Auburn Valley on Monday for the D-IV tournament.
TVL – Ripon annexed its sixth Trans-Valley League title over the last seven years at Micke Grove. Escalon’s Nathan Sarkozy was the medalist with a 79. Qualifiers move on to Haggin Oaks for Monday’s D-V tournament.
SL – Waterford junior Tyler Nichols shot a 76 for medalist honors at the Southern League tournament at Rancho del Rey in Atwater. Ripon Christian, 10-0 over the regular season, topped runner-up Orestimba by 15 strokes for the tournament title. Ryan Garcia, a senior, led the Knights with a 79.
Ripon Christian and Orestimba plus six individuals will go to Stockton’s Elkhorn Country Club for the D-VI tournament on Monday.
MLL – Four teams, led by Calaveras and Sonora, should contend for the Mother Lode League title on Thursday at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp.