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Boys golf preview: Team chemistry is all that matters to Woodbridge

STAFF WRITER

The Woodbridge boys golf team stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the practice green at Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course, putters in hand and patiently waiting on the countdown.

Three. Two. One. And in perfect unison, the Warriors’ clubs moved forward sending a line of golf balls rolling toward the hole. Each one hit the bottom of the cup.

It was an exercise in teamwork and a perfect example of what the Warriors are all about this season: a group of players working together as one.

“We are doing a very good job of bonding with each other. We want to get our team chemistry better,” Woodbridge team captain Andy Bhushan said. “We know if we do that, the scores and everything will take care of itself.”

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More in the 2015 O.C. boys golf season preview:

Boys golf preview: O.C. top 10

Boys golf preview: O.C. top players to watch

Boys golf preview: Other top players to watch

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Now about those scores. Jack Chun has already had a brush with the PGA Tour and he’s only a sophomore. He earned a spot in Monday qualifying for the Northern Trust Open, but his even par 71 on the Zarahias Course at Industry Hills Club wasn’t quite good enough to make the cut to play with the pros at Riviera Country Club last month.

The Warriors have already broken 280 - or even par on a par-36 course - shooting a 3-under-par 277 in the season opener during a 35-stroke victory against Mater Dei, making the Warriors the No. 1 team in the county.

Hide Yohsihara, who qualified for the So Cal Championships last season, medaled in the match with a 2-under 34. Nick Kumamoto and Andy Bhushan came in with a 1-under 35. And Justin Sheparovich shot an even-par 36, while Joseph Chun and Marcus Dhillon each posted a 1-over 37.

All of this early-season success hasn’t changed the Warriors. They aren’t suddenly dreaming about CIF state or Southern Section titles. Winning the Pacific Coast League championship isn’t a part of the conversation right now.

The Warriors’ goal is very modest.

“We just want to get better on and off the golf course every single day,” Bhushan said. “Nothing else is important.”

Except for coming up with unusual contests or challenges, such as the one on the putting green, or showing up to school early so they could meet in Coach Tracy Robert’s classroom at 7:30 a.m. to chip golf balls into the trash can or putt balls across the carpet. They see each other socially, too, away from the golf course, Roberts said, which he said has “allowed us to focus on the end result not being such a big deal.”

The Warriors spend so much time around each other they are more like brothers than teammates. Chemistry, Roberts said, can be an overused word in sports, but there’s not one that better descirbe the Warriors’ strength this season.

“It (chemistry) just helps you play better. When you are talking with your teammates on the course, it helps you relax,” Woodbriudge junior Justin Sheparovich said. “We just want to become better people, and every single day we are around each other the chemistry gets better, so everything (on the course) will take care of itself this season.”

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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