Golf: Gilroy quartet advances to NCGA Zone Championships

The Gilroy Golf and Country Club team of, from left, Julian Corrasco, Thomas Gallardo, Craig Moriyama and Jeremy Theiland smile with their medals. 

GILROY—As day two of the Northern California Golf Association South Bay Zone Championship came to a close, the team representing Gilroy Golf and Country Club headed back to their vehicles feeling defeated.
The day before, Gilroy had a two-shot lead and felt confident it would advance to the NCGA Zone Championship. But a late start—and a little too much celebrating the night before—had thrown a wrench in the team’s plan and it finished behind the winner, Santa Clara Golf Club, by three strokes. Gilroy had missed its’ chance—or so the team thought.
As the four-man squad of Craig Moriyama, Julian Carrasco, Thomas Gallardo and Jeremy Thielen headed back into the clubhouse at Carmel Valley Ranch, they were met by a scoring official asking where they’d been and if they wanted their medals or not. As it turns out, the top two teams advance and Gilroy will be teeing off at the NCGA Zone Championships on Aug. 25 after all.
“We actually thought that she was joking with us,” Moriyama said. “We were just super happy to actually get something. We didn’t even know that the top two teams move on, so we were even happier.”
To make it even sweeter, the team’s feat is one that Gilroy Golf and Country Club General Manager Don DeLorenzo told them hadn’t been accomplished in 10 years.
“It made us feel more proud because most of the time some clubs will just take the four lowest scores for the qualifying tournament, but Gilroy does it where you pick your partner,” Moriyama said. “If you’re teammates there, then your teammates in the tournament.”
Gilroy posted a 14-under score of 128—the two best net scores per hole are taken—on the par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course on day one. The score included six birdies and five eagles, but also two bogeys.
The team notched six birdies again on day two and recorded two eagles at Carmel Valley, but also hit three bogeys and a double-bogey.
The team has played together for about two years and in scramble-type tournaments, but never in a “formal” tournament the likes of this, Moriyama said. Though the quartet had wanted to test themselves at the NCGA Zone Championships, the qualifying matches always came before April 15. For Thielen, who is a certified public account, this made it impossible for him to take part.
The team has a little more than two months to prepare for the NCGA Zone Championship. Moriyama said it won’t change it’s routine; it’ll just be business as usual at the Gilroy Golf and Country Club.
“(We’re) probably not going to do anything different,” he said. “We’ll just practice.”