MODESTO — Turlock High girls golfer Hannah Gong didn’t have her best day at last Monday afternoon’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South Championships at Creekside Golf Course.
This was her first time back on a golf course after spending a week in Indianapolis for the FFA Convention.
“She was tired,” Turlock coach Mary Krupka said about the team’s top scorer, who arrived about five hours before the tournament started.
One example of Gong’s struggles was at hole No. 9, where she hit into the water for a penalty, and then her next shot landed on the concrete path made for walkers and golf carts.
But, as Krupka said, Gong “battled through” to post her team’s top score of 12-over-par 84, enough to lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back second-place finishes at the divisional tournament. Turlock finished with a 449 — 47 strokes behind winner Lodi High, which also boasted Marisa Hinchman and her individual medalist score of 72. St. Mary’s High took third after carding a 459.
The Bulldogs became the runner-ups against teams from four different leagues and a field of 95 golfers.
Gong didn’t do it alone, of course. Her support came from Kelsi Valenzuela (86), Zara Lopez (90), Sofie Bates (94) and Emma Mendes (95). All of them, as a team, will be heading to next Monday’s SJS Masters Tournament at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton at 8:30 a.m.
“I am very proud of what my golfers accomplished,” said Krupka, whose Bulldogs captured their eighth consecutive Central California Conference title, also held at Creekside. “Going into the match, I was hoping to take second place, and that is what the gals did. I knew first place was going to be a difficult task due to Lodi being such a strong team.”
Four Pitman High golfers competed at the divisional tournament, including Sheyenne Souza (113), Beth Summerville (118), Bella Mata (122) and Sienna Samra (125). Their scores weren’t enough to move on.
TC’s Rojas advances
Turlock Christian High’s Esther Rojas made one of three individual Masters cuts after carding a 5-over 77 during Monday’s SJS Division V Championships at Stevinson Ranch. This is the second time Rojas has made it this far.
She entered the tournament as an individual because TC does not have a formal girls team.
At last year’s Masters, Rojas finished with an 85, missing the Northern California Championships by nine stokes. She is the younger sister of Kathleen Rojas, who is now a freshman on the San Jose State women’s golf team.
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