Santa Margarita golf team adds to Mater Dei's woes


RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – Two teams that have recently played for a state boys golf championship find themselves in a slightly different position this season.

Both Mater Dei and Santa Margarita are just hoping to get one of the Trinity League’s three automatic berths into the postseason.

And after Wednesday’s match at Tijeras Creek Golf Club, it appears that the Monarchs will have little room for error the rest of the season if they are going to have any chance to defend their CIF-SS championship.

Four of Santa Margarita’s five scoring players posted a score in the 30s to keep Mater Dei winless through its first four Trinity League matches. Patricio Espinosa posted a 1-under-par 35 on the front nine, helping Santa Margarita edge the Monarchs, 190-198, in the Eagles’ league-opening match.

“We usually have a couple good players,” said Espinosa, who has medaled four times this season at Tijeras Creek and five times overall this season. “But this year we have an all-around good team.”

Carter Irwin added a 37 for the Eagles (7-5, 1-0) while teammates Brad Skenderian and Greg Memo each added a 39.

“This is a group that I think will be playing five or six over,” Santa Margarita coach Chuck Morales said. “What we have is a group that is blossoming slowly.”

Jack Lebeau led the Monarchs (1-7, 0-4) with a 38 and Isaiah Aguirre added a 39. Aguirre and freshman Bill Rosenthal have assumed an unexpected leadership role on the team after Marcus De La Rosa and Issei Tanabe, two key players from last year’s state-championship qualifying team, decided to leave the Monarchs this season.

Both Rosenthal and Aguirre are averaging slightly over 39 for nine holes this season.

“The guys are working real hard and trying to find ways to get that two, three shots better to get to that level we were at last year,” Mater Dei coach Derek Uyesaka said.

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