Servite reclaims its spot at the top of Servite Invitational
CHINO HILLS - The trophy from last year's Servite Invitational had a special place in the middle of the Servite boys golf team room, and any time the Friars tried to move it, Coach Dan Jako would put it right back in its place.
The tournament has been around since 2008, and Friars had finished first for six consecutive seasons until Diamond Bar stole Servite's place at the top of the leader board. Jako made sure to put the Brahma's name in big white letters on the trophy so the Friars wouldn't forget the result.
"It stared at them for 365 days," Jako said.
That, apparently, gave the Friars all the motivation they needed to start another winning streak. Four of Servite's five scoring players broke 80 as Servite posted a 370 to claim an 11-stroke victory over second-place Los Alamitos.
Loyola of Los Angeles fired a 388 to finish third with Long Beach Wilson (391) and Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks (393) rounding out the top five.
Brandon Brame holed five birdies to lead the Friars, shooting a 2-under-par 69 at Western Hills Country Club on Monday. He tied for first with Colin Morikawa from La Canada, but finished second on a card-off. The back-nine scores were used to break the tie. Morikawa came in with a 33, which was five strokes better than Brame.
"This is a great way to start the season. I am really glad with how well the team played. We are coming together as a team," Brame said. "This is a great feeling. Me and Matt Wilson both wanted to take home the win, and start senior year off in a good way."
Play was delayed for a little more than an hour after a thunderstorm dumped heavy rain and hail on the Western Hills. Brame said that made the course more difficult. The greens were softer, but still quick. And it played a lot longer, too.
"It was a different course," Brame said.
Wilson and Kyle Kinnane, a freshman playing in his first tournament for Servite, cared a 73 and 74 respectively. Freshman Chad Deegan also fired a 74 for the Friars.
Kinnane was a foot away from going out of bounds on the par-4 16th when he tee shot landed in the trees, but he punched out into the fairway, put his third shot within 3 feet of the pin and saved par. He birdied his next hole, the par-5 17th after he put his approach 5-feet below the hole.
"This is a great way to start. I am happy with the boys. They played well," Jako said. "We did what needed to do. We did what I expected us to do."
Los Alamitos had four players break 80, too. Tim Ham lead the Griffins with a 73 while freshman Seth DeAnda and Ellis Tirado added a pair of 75s. Cyrus DeVera finished with a 78.
"They all get along and play off each other and there are no big egos, which is really nice," Los Alamitos coach John Haygood said." They have a good time which each other, so it's not real serious. Second place? I'll take it."
At Western Hills Country Club, par 71, Chino Hills
1. Servite 370, 2. Los Alamitos 381, 3. Loyola 388, 4. Long Beach Wilson 391, 5. Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks 393, 6. Mater Dei 397, 7. La Canada 400, 8. Beckman 405, 9t. Foothill 410, 9t. Santa Margarita 410, 11. Mira Costa 416, 12. El Dorado 433, 13. Torrance 435