STEVINSON — While the last few players were wrapping up their final holes, Turlock Christian High boys golf coach Jeff Cederlind had a worried look on his face as he paced the dining area of Stevinson Ranch Golf Club on Monday. There was no word yet on this season's Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI winner but he knew one thing.
“It's close,” he said.
By then, his top golfer struggled on his final hole, taking 12 shots on the par-5 after sailing the ball out of bounds three times. It made the situation even tenser for Cederlind, who racks up division titles annually.
About 45 minutes later, bad news came: The Eagles were two strokes short.
Capital Christian High of Sacramento won the team title with a score of 448 to move on, edging Turlock Christian (450) and Jim Elliot (450). It meant for the first time in six years, the Eagles are without a division title, ending their season.
The Eagles won the tiebreaker — after having a better sixth and final score than Jim Elliot — to settle for second place.
Also, senior Beau Warda's 81 was enough to put him in a three-way tie with two other players for the third and final individual spot for the Masters.
Ultimately, he came up short.
In all, it was an uncharacteristic day for the Eagles at their home course, which, on this day, had a strong south wind. Warda led the Eagles, followed by Chase Ulrich (86), sisters Kathleen (92) and Esther Rojas (94) and Kyle Cederlind (97).
“I'm kind of disappointed at how we played as a team,” Jeff Cederlind said. “We're a lot better than the way we played today.
“But that's golf.”
The Eagles were shooting for their sixth straight division title and another trip to the Masters, which will be held Monday at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton and to feature local athletes. But there's good news for Turlock Christian, which captured its seven consecutive league title this season.
The Eagles will have everyone back next season except Warda, now a senior.
“I'm really proud of the season we had,” Cederlind said. “But our goal was the Section title, and we didn't get it. But we'll get at it next year and the pressure will be off of us.”
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