Golden Eagles tighten up golf race

By: Mike Ray, Loomis News Sports Editor
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There’s an old saying in golf that if you play it long enough, you’ll see something new everyday. Such was the case for the Del Oro High golf team last Thursday as the Golden Eagles pulled off a major upset over Granite Bay to tighten up the Sierra Foothill League golf race. “It was a nice, surprising win,” said Del Oro coach Hal Steinback. ‘We’ve had some golfers really step up this year and they all came through for us.” Del Oro’s 197-198 win over the Grizzlies on their home course was indeed big, but when you consider that the Golden Eagles were without the services of No. 1 player Austin Smotherman, who was in South Carolina playing in an elite junior tournament, the victory over the previously undefeated Grizzlies was huge. “We had a couple of things going for us,” said Steinback. “Granite Bay was probably a little over confident because we didn’t have Austin and I think they lost a little edge when the round was moved to the back nine.” Steinback noted that because Granite Bay’s front nine greens were being plugged, the match was played on the backside. Del Oro, which had placed second by one stroke behind Granite Bay at the Sierra Foothill League tournament played at Sierra View on Monday, used two big 37s from Ryan Takayama and Jahaan Nargussi to provide the spark in the upset. Takayama’s 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole provided the Golden Eagles with their margin of victory. “Ryan played great,” said Steinback. “It was his best round of the year and what a day to do it.” Del Oro also received outstanding rounds from Canyon Rowe, who netted a 40; Justin Raskin who finished at 41; and Louie Eure who added a 42. On Monday, the Golden Eagles traveled to Grass Valley to take on Nevada Union on a tight Alta Sierra layout. The two teams tied 203-204, but the Golden Eagles won the tie-breaker on the sixth player score. Leading Del Oro was Raskin, with a 37; Euer, with a 39; and Rowe, with a 41. This week, Del Oro has another make-up match scheduled against Nevada Union, and a home match today at Turkey Creek, at 3:30 p.m., against Woodcreek. The Golden Eagles will then defend their championship Saturday at the High Sierra Cal Invitational at Plumas Pines, near Portola. Seventeen teams, including most of the top squads in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and Northern Nevada, will vie in the tourney. Next Tuesday, the SFL title will be on the line when the league hosts its second tournament of the season at Catta Verdera.