good times local news media events catalyst santa cruz california “Morgan metro silicon valley news local events san jose weekly Pajaronian local news articles Watsonville California Pajaro Valley” title= santa cruz media events local california weekly king city rustler newspaper media local events car sales buy new car media
59.7 F
English English Español Español
June 19, 2021

Prep Golf: Mustangs, Cougars meet for ‘bittersweet’ match

GILROY—Thursday’s crosstown showdown was a match of firsts and lasts.
For the three Gilroy golfers, it was their first time playing Christopher. For three Cougar seniors, it was their final match against the Mustangs.
But whether they were just starting out or enjoying their crosstown finale, both groups found themselves laughing and smiling alongside one another as they traversed the course at Gavilan.
“It was nice; the girl I was playing with was very sweet,” Christopher senior Natalie Gutierrez said. “It was kind of interesting because I was playing with a teammate and she’s only been playing for a little bit. The person next to me was also only playing for a little bit, so it was nice to be able to help them out and see them improve.”
Gutierrez was the match medalist, carding a 39—including a birdie on Hole 4—and leading her team to 253-318 win over Gilroy.
It’s the last time that Gutierrez and senior teammates Alex Granados and Jordan Carresco—who played her final match as a Cougar—will play against the Mustangs, a match they described as “bittersweet.”
The finality of the match hadn’t quite set in for Gutierrez and Granados, but they noted how much they loved playing Gilroy as it always felt like a round between friends.
“It’s unreal,” Granados, who scored a 42, said. “You don’t think that you’re going to be playing these people for the last time. You think you’re going to come back next year and just do it all over again. It’s hard to grasp, really.”
The match was just as special for the three Gilroy sophomores who are just beginning their golfing careers. Alessandra Esposito played her best round to date, finishing with a 59 while alongside Christopher’s Mia Navarro—who was her junior instructor during her time with the First Tee.
“We just had the greatest time; it was definitely my favorite match,” Esposito said. “Even though we didn’t win (as a team), I personally won because I got the best score that I’ve ever gotten.”
The Mustangs only had three golfers competing, but are light years ahead of where they thought they’d be last season. Gilroy had just two girls—both seniors—on it’s team last year, but thanks to coach Daniel Valdez and his offseason recruiting, 11 turned out with interest of joining the team this year.
Lizette Alcantar led the Mustangs with a 45, while Nicole Dan shot a 52 against Christopher.
“Nicole, she was playing up there with the front group and stayed right there with them. Lizette just keeps on putting up awesome numbers for it being her first year and never playing,” Valdez said. “They all finished with smiles on their faces and they had fun.”
Both Esposito and Dan found success on the holes that normally give them trouble. Esposito hit her ball perfectly to land on the green of Hole 4, resulting in claps from her group. Normally, she said, navigating the hilly and windy hole proves difficult, but she was able to hit it safely.
For Dan, the pond of Hole 8 gets her heart pumping after hitting her ball straight towards it one too many times. On this day, however, she told herself she would shoot over the pond and that’s exactly what she did.
“When I came out here, I’d only had like one real lesson,” she said. “Now I can hit a hundreds of yards and it feels good. It’s great to have something that you’re committed to and something that you really, really want to do.”
Christopher’s Navarro hit the third best score of the day, scoring a 44. Carrasco hit a 61, while freshmen Jasamine Posa and Madisen Ruelas finished with a 67 and 75, respectively.
But even the best golfers had their struggles and for Granados, difficulty found her on Hole 7. She hit into a divot and was had to hit in a leaning position to recover.
“I managed to use my pitching wedge to just get it out of there and it went a good distance,” Granados said. “I was able to put it on the green and get it out of there for a good score.”
Gilroy (1-9) will be back on the course to host Salinas at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. There are just three games remaining in the regular season, but Valdez said the team has already had an amazing one.
“I think they’ve already improved,” he said. “My goal was to make it (golf) fun and put smiles on their faces and I think we’re doing that, so I think we’ve reached our goal.”
Christopher (7-2) has hopes of defending its Monterey Bay League title, but will need to get past the undefeated Santa Catalina and Robert Lewis Stevenson teams to do so. The Cougars have four games remaining in the regular season with their next match coming against Trinity Christian at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at home.
“We definitely need to win out,” coach Manuel Gallardo said. “Hopefully we win and then they kind of falter during the (MBL) tournament.”

Please leave a comment


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here