SACRAMENTO — The Oak Ridge boys golf team pulled out an amazing finish to the regular season, capturing what seemed like for much of the year, an improbable berth in Monday’s Division I tournament.
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After struggling all season, the Trojans took over second place following a great outing in the third Delta River League tournament at Rancho Murieta to move ahead of Pondersoa and the rest of the teams.
The Bruins, who beat league champion Jesuit in a nonleague nine-hole match earlier this season, shot 399 Tuesday at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course in the final Delta River League tournament. They were seven strokes back going in and missed making the playoffs by four strokes. Oak Ridge finished the day with a 402 total, enough to maintain second and move on as a team.
“We qualified as the second-place team and now we’ll get more experience at Divisionals,” said Oak Ridge coach Carl Massey, who did not schedule many nonleague matches this year, opting to keep his golfers practicing and working on their games.
In previous years when both Ponderosa and Oak Ridge competed in the Sierra Valley Conference, the teams played other conference teams twice in nine-hole matches, with two 18-hole tournaments on the schedule. The league champions were determined by points accrued during the year.
In the Delta River League, all the teams play together in just four 18-hole tournaments and the lowest stroke total for the season determines the league champion.
“It was a rough finish,” said disappointed Ponderosa coach Richard Fox.
Two Oak Ridge freshmen, Charlie Cameron and Jesse Goldstein, carried the day with a pair of 79s. Reid Edlund and Tyson Tavalero both shot 81, Cory Dela Cruz came in with an 82 and Josh Kepplinger had an 83.
Ponderosa’s Corey Pereira led the Bruins with a 74, Jeremy Ashburn fired a 78, Brad Peil carded an 80, Derek Trofimczuk had an 83 and Mike Green had an 84. Pereira, Trofimczuk and Ashburn qualified for the division tournament as individuals. Pereira and Trofimczuk are both on the all league team.
The Division I North tournament is Monday at Paradise Valley Golf Course in Fairfield and will include the top two teams from the Delta River, Delta Valley and Monticello Empire leagues. The top three teams and six low individuals move on to the Masters Tournament at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton May 16.
Monday’s tee times start at 11 a.m.