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Tough day for local golfers at SJS Masters tournament
Ethan Gonsalves
Denair’s Ethan Gonsalves finished the Masters golf tournament with four others at 1-over-par 73, good for sixth place (Photo contributed).

STOCKTON — The Reserve at Spanos Park, site of Sac-Joaquin Section Masters golf tournament, was not kind to local golfers Monday.

Turlock’s Christian Maggard, the defending Masters champ who won the section’s Division 2 championship a week earlier a Turlock Golf and Country Club, shot a 4-over-par 76 — tied for 18th place.

Meanwhile, Denair’s Ethan Gonsalves, who captured the section’s D-6 title a week earlier at Cherry Island in Elvert, finished with four others at 1-over-par 73, good for sixth place.

However, Gonsalves left the golf course not realizing he’d be in a playoff to determine who would join five others in advancing to next week’s Northern California tournament.

“I didn’t have much information about the scoring,” said Gonsalves, who, after learning he was in the playoff, hustled back to the golf course only to find that he was too late. “I just have to take it for it was.”

Denair golf coach Greg Gaudio did not return calls by the Turlock Journal seeking comment.

After 12 holes, Gonsalves was leading the tournament at 3-under, but the wheels came off on 13.

“Bad tee shots on 13, 14 and 15,” said Gonsalves, who will play for Stanislaus State next year. “I went bogey, bogey, double. Definitely some frustration there, but I try not to let emotions take over when I play.”

Gonsalves narrowly missed an eagle putt on 16, and settled for the birdie,

“That got the momentum shifting a little,” said Gonsalves.

Maggard, meanwhile, had three birdies during his round and was in position for several more.

“I felt like I hit the ball pretty good,” said Maggard. “Every single time I felt I hit a good shot it just took a bad a bounce ... and ended up in bad spot. From there, I had to do some scrambling and it’s really hard to scramble all day.”

In addition to Maggard, Harry Clark and Aiden Salcedo each finished with 80s.

Salcedo was near the top of the leaderboard at 2-under midway through his round, but the senior played the final nine holes in 10-over.

“It’s not a position I’m in very often in a tournament of this scale,” said Salcedo, who will attend Augustana College in the fall. “I just started to think a little too much, and it through me off my game.”

Logan Bream finished with an 87 for the Bulldogs, while Daniel Joseph carded a 108.

Absent was senior Clark Van Gaalen, who opted to play in a U.S. Open qualifying round at Sunnyside Country Club in Fresno. 

Van Gaalen, who will play golf next year at the University of Oklahoma, shot a 69 at Sunnyside, missing by one stroke a playoff to advance to the finals qualifying.

With Van Gaalen, Turlock was a contender for the overall team title. Without him, there was very little chance the Bulldogs could've overtaken team champ Woodcreek (Roseville), which beat Turlock for the D-2 title last week by just six strokes.

“Obviously, his absence affected us,” said THS coach Jason Boswell. “He’s the best player on our team. These guys came out and did the best that they could without him. And when you don’t have somebody who’s been part of the team all season, it affects you.

“But when you have players that have to make decisions based on being really good … I am in support of what these kids feel like they need to do.”