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When money runs low, MJC golfer tees it up

How many golf-team members would care enough about fund raising to supervise their own benefit tournament?

More to the point, how many are willing to dive into such a thankless project?

Modesto Junior College freshman Will Bossard said, "Let's do it."

Twice.

Bossard opened his MJC career Tuesday against West Hills but, rest assured, he's already made a major impact at MJC and Davis High.

More than 100 players overcame rain to take part in the Jerry North Golf Classic, named after the retired Davis golf coach, last Saturday at Diablo Grande's Legends West course. The tournament, which benefited the golf programs at Davis and MJC, was Bossard's second foray into fund-raising golf.

Both events have been major successes.

"The tournament is not about me," said Bossard, a lefty and a 5-handicapper. "It's about the golfers at Davis and MJC and making things better for them."

His idea was spawned in English class during his senior year at Davis. Bossard and friends examined the situation: Their upcoming season, to begin in less than two months, didn't appear promising. They had no money for team apparel or fuel costs for non-league matches and other road tournaments.

"Why not a fund raiser?" he thought.

The first problem: No one knew where to start.

"We got three or four foursomes together, and it sort of ballooned on us," Bossard said. "We tried to get as many people as possible and agreed not to charge too much ($50 per player)."

Thanks to help from his swing coach, Greg Silva, at River Oaks in Ceres, Bossard secured Diablo Grande's Ranch course for his venue. He then chased down 22 hole sponsors at $100 per customer.

The tournament, staged less than two months after its conception, drew 88 players and netted more than $3,000.

Just like that, the Spartans boasted home-and-away team golf shirts, wind jackets, hats and private lessons for team members. They traveled to matches at Stockton Country Club, Brookside CC (Stockton), Oakdale CC, Greenhorn Creek (Angels Camp) and Stevinson Ranch.

They even exceeded expectations by winning a 22-team tournament, which included eventual Northern California champion De La Salle, at Stevinson.

All due to a team member who didn't accept the status quo.

"I wanted to make sure he knew what he was getting into, so Greg and I advised him along the way," said North, who retired last June after coaching the Davis golfers the last 14 years. "Will is a leader who has a certain drive that most kids don't have. The golf community is lucky to have someone like him."

After last weekend, Bossard now is 2 for 2 in supervising successful fund raisers. Are more on the way?

"Next year, we're going to make it much better, maybe with 150 players," Bossard said. "It's definitely an eye-opening experience."

Rewarding, too.

THE SHAG BAG — Sue Fiscoe, Modesto's director of golf and president of the Northern California chapter of the PGA, accepted the Herb Graffis Award — recognizing the section's efforts toward the growth of the game — during last week's PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla. ... Merchandise inspection: Fiscoe noticed Callaway's new square-headed driver along with the company's expanding equipment selection for women. "They're the first to offer two distinct lines of equipment, one for top-caliber players and also a more forgiving club," she said. Fiscoe also acknowledged the expansion of choices for junior golfers. ...

East Union High senior Jay Brink has received the Jacqueline Clampett Jones Scholarship, a $5,000 grant, from the Junior Golf Association of Northern California. ... The National Golf Foundation honored Stevinson Ranch during its fifth annual Customer Loyalty Awards. The linksy Merced County course was recognized along with three other entries in the Premium-Public 70 category. "The winning facilities should be proud of their accomplishments in the areas of customer service, course maintenance and amenities," NGF spokesman Ben Fowler said.

HOLE-IN-ONE — Dave Kaja, Copperopolis, 169-yard fourth at Saddle Creek, Copperopolis, 7-iron.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at 578-2302 or ragostini@modbee.com.

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