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Hilly course challenges area golf squads
They say the greens break towards the Sutter Buttes, but even with that bit of advice the Arbuckle Golf Club is one of the most difficult courses of the season for teams in the Mid-Valley and Sacramento Valley leagues.
Players from the two leagues took to the hilly, tree-lined course on Monday expecting high scores, and their expectations were met.
Colusa High shot the best team score on the front nine (265) and Durham had the lowest team score on the back nine (249).
Both teams picked up five points in the SVL standings but Durham's overall score of 523 bested Colusa's stroke total by three (526).
Los Molinos claimed the Mid-Valley League win by default because Williams and Esparto didn't bring full teams.
Willows High's Jack Foley shot a 95 for the lowest score of the day, and Colusa's Chris Avila (97) and Nate Lyss (99) were the only other players to break 100.
Last year as a freshman Foley shot a 136 at the Arbuckle course but was more prepared this time, he said.
"It's a lot steeper and there are a lot of vertical holes — it goes up and down a lot more than other courses," Foley said. "It's a short course but really narrow."
Foley shook off a 10-shot hole on a par-5 after hitting the same tree twice on the front nine, and rallied to tie Lyss for the best round of the day with a 44 on the back nine.
The increased difficulty of the course and the memory of his struggles last season took the pressure off, he said.
Nick Reed shot a 103 for the Honkers for the fourth best score of the day and Willows, which was missing its top player, finished third overall with a team score of 560.
Avila led Colusa with a 97 in his first season as the RedHawks' top player. The move into the top spot added a lot of pressure but Avila said he quickly got used to it.
The senior kept his cool while working through the dense foliage surrounding the course and putting on the challenging greens.
"If you get in between the trees it just kills you," Avila said. "Some (greens) were fast, some of them were slow but that's normal for this place."
Lyss shot a 44 on the front nine and was the only player to complete the first half with fewer than 50 strokes, but the course's difficulty caught up with him on the back nine and he shot a 55. Michael Rew (106) and Nic Reynoso (107) also played well for the RedHawks.
Durham used its depth to claim the overall low score. Of the five players whose scores counted, no Trojan shot better than 104 and none worse than 108.
In the MVL bracket, Esparto's Corey Davids shot a 105 for the best individual score and Los Molinos combined for a team score of 706.
Cris De La Cruz and Katie Palmer both shot 139, and Kolt Pitkin shot a 140 for the Bulldogs, who were without two top players who were at a Future Farmers of America event.
The Bulldogs have 11 girls on the 17-player roster and brought three to the match on Monday.
"Our girls don't play in the fall because they all play volleyball," coach Chaz Konopka said. "Our girls listen, they're trying to make contact instead of going for distance."
Williams hosted the match but only had three players so they didn't qualify for a team score. Ricardo Ocampo led the Yellowjackets with a 121 and Nick Mayes shot a 136.
All the teams will be back in action on Wednesday at Colusa Golf and Country Club, with play beginning at 11:30 a.m.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at458-2121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.