Thursday's Central California Conference showdown between Turlock and Pitman High's boys’ golf teams proved to be a very significant contest as the battle for second place heated up.
Both schools came in with equal records in league at 3-1, tied for second, and trailing only undefeated Buhach (4-0), with the winner given the opportunity to be represented as a team at the upcoming divisional tournament.
Pitman played host at their new home, the Turlock Golf and Country Club, and after a solid front nine start from the entire Pitman team, Turlock's Logan Adams paved the way for his team after shooting a low score of 82 in the final nine holes, and the Bulldogs topped the Pride 419-451.
“I am really happy with the way we performed today because when we played Buhach last week we didn't shoot real well. But to come out and see them shoot the way they can is nice to see,” said Turlock head coach Jason Boswell.
“These kids worked hard and they go to different schools, but at the end of the day it’s just a fun rivalry for sure,” said Pitman head coach Matt Jeans. “We would also like to thank Turlock Golf and Country Club for giving us the opportunity to call it home.”
With the win, Turlock ends the regular season at 4-1 to end their year in second place in the CCC, snapping their streak of CCC champions at 11 consecutive.
“Really the kids were the ones to make it happen,” said Boswell. “I think we lost about four games tops during that span. Great turnout to be able to accomplish what we did but like I said it’s been the kids who have done it all really. They are awesome.”
Both teams were also playing for the opportunity to clinch a spot in the divisional tournament, which essentially means the top two teams in the CCC would move on as a team.
After winning their last two league matches, Pitman (3-2) drops their second league match of the year to end the season in third place.
“The parents from the opposition come up and tell us that we have great kids and I think that says a lot,” Jeans said. “But I mean it is nice because they [Turlock] sends their whole team to divisionals and we will send four which is huge for us.”
Pitman seemed to have the upper hand after the first nine holes with senior Emerson Thompson leading the herd, shooting a team-low of 87.
“I thought we did pretty good, but I didn't shoot my best round today. It could've been a lot better but it still feels good to have the team’s top score,” said Thompson. “Everything was on point except for putting. I couldn't get the putt down.”
In hole number 14 in the back nine, Thompson launched a great drive with power and after a solid second shot it took him three putts to make the hole.
“That made me break down in the back. I took a five there, but that was the catalyst that made me break down mentally,” Thompson said. “I ended up bogeying in the last four because I couldn't get back on track, couldn't get it together.”
Turlock was led by Adams, who did the opposite of Thompson, bogeying the first three holes.
After a hesitant start in the front nine, Adams turned his game around in the back nine where he shot a 38.
“It’s a great feeling. I’ve been working hard over the last four years and to be at this point is nice,” said Adams. “I definitely got off to a slow start but I brought it back in the back nine. I feel like a lot of our guys put in the time to be successful so it’s a team effort when it comes down to it. Individual matters, but also the team obviously.”
Turlock's second top scorers where Zevey Lopez and Logan Loucero, who finished tied for second with an 83. Bailey Old shot an 85 and Connor Old, 86.
Pitman's second top scorers were Vandon Weaver and Colton Lundquist who each shot a 90.
The CCC Championship tournament will take place at Merced's Country Club at 8 a.m. Monday.
“I am looking forward for our team to do well at the CCC Championships so I want to go in and compete against Buhach and hopefully come away with a win,” Adams added.