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Rosenthal leads relaxed Mater Dei to CIF-SS championship
ONTARIO – There is a different vibe on the Mater Dei boys golf team this season, junior Issei Tanabe said. Gone are the days of stressing over every number on their scorecards.
The Monarchs, he said, have a very relaxed and easy atmosphere on in which having fun and building strong bonds with each other have become the focus.
They all get along, now, and that Tanabe said has brought out the best in them.
The leader board outside the clubhouse here at Whispering Lakes Golf Course is proof of that.
Mater Dei was the only team to have two players post a sub-par round on Monday and won the CIF-SS Western Team Divisional by three strokes.
Bill Rosenthal led the Monarchs with a 3-under-par 68, and that combined with Tanabe’s 70 helped the Mater Dei post 10-over-par 365 to win their second Southern Section title in the past three seasons. Trinity League rival Servite finished second with a 368, and will join the Monarchs at the SCGA So Cal Championship qualifying tournament at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs on Thursday.
“I told the parents at the beginning of the season how blessed I felt to get this honor to coach the team, and how spoiled with talent I was,” Mater Dei first-year coach Curtis Robinson said. “These boys did a fantastic job trusting me and believing in me and playing golf the way they know how to play golf. I am beyond excited.”
The last time Mater Dei finished first in this tournament, the Monarchs qualified for the CIF State championship. Tanabe said he sees no reason why Mater Die can’t do it again this season.
“But we have to keep believing in ourselves, and trust ourselves. We have to focus on one shot at a time, and focus on the present, then yes, I think it (making it to state) is possible),” Tanabe said. “This means a lot to me. I am humbled and honored to win CIF. Our ultimate goal is to win state, and that is a long way from here.”
Tanabe said he could have “hit it better and rolled in a few more putts” on Monday, giving Rosenthal the credit for the Monarchs’ triumph.
“He deserves the day today,” Tanabe said.
Rosenthal carded five birdies and posted the lowest score of the season by six strokes.
“I am not very low, but I got up and down whenever I missed the green and that was key,” he said. “we can shoot good individual scores, but it is best to win as a team. We have really grown this year. There is a new mindset on the team. We have fun. I think that is key in golf.”
Servite coach Dane Jako didn’t find Monday’s round very enjoyable despite being just one of the two teams to make the SCGA cut at Whispering Lakes. He said he couldn’t remember a time when he was more upset.
Even though all six Friars posted a score in the 70s on Monday, their 368 was 15 shots higher than what they posted last season here.
“There are no red numbers up on the board, and you aren’t going to win like that,” Jako said. “I don’t think they were focused. I think they feel they can just show up and win, and it isn’t that easy.”
At Whispering Lakes Golf Course, par 71, Ontario
- Mater Dei 365, 2. Servite 368, 3. Santiago/Corona 375, 4. Riverside Poly 384, 5t. JSerra 385, 5t. Walnut 385, 7. Santa Margarita 388, 8. Martin Luther King 392, 9. Temescal Canyon 395, 10. Orange Lutheran 401, 11. West Torrance 402, 12. St. John Bosco 414, 13. Redondo 416, 14. Citrus Valley 417, 15. Gabriellino 443, 16. Hemet 458, 17. Alta Loma 469, 18. Academy 483