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Servite, Mater Dei open with tournament victories
CHINO HILLS – The Servite boys golf team should just leave its first-place trophy at school instead of lugging it with them when it’s time to play the Servite Tournament once again.
It would just save them the trouble of having to carry it back to the campus with them after playing 18 holes at Western Hills Golf Course.
The Friars have been playing host to the event since 2008, and Servite has finished first in all of them.
On Monday, five of the six golfers who teed off for the Friars at their home course in Chino Hills posted a score in the 70s, which helped Servite finish in first, ahead of Long Beach Wilson and Diamond Bar.
“Our goal though is to have everyone on that board in the 70s. Anytime you can do that you will have a good shot at winning,” Servite coach Dane Jako said. “I think Diamond Bar and Wilson are very good teams. If we play them on neutral sites, it would take everything that we have to beat them.”
El Dorado junior Matt Lutz won the individual title, draining a 15-foot putt on his final hole to post a 2-under 70.
“I played in tournament over the weekend and didn’t do that well, so I didn’t have much expectations coming in,” Lutz said.
But he knew his friend, Hunter Epson of Long Beach Wilson was at 2-under par with two holes to play, including a par 5, so Lutz thought 3-under was going to be the score to beat. Lutz’s goal was to birdie two of his last four holes, but he finished birdie, birdie, par, birdie instead to win by one shot.
Martin Manalo holed two birdies and eagled the 503-yard par-5 to lead Servite with a 1-under 71, putting him in a tie for second with Epson. Manalo, who won the tournament last year with a 69, was awarded second because he shot a 35 on the back nine while Epson came in with a 36. Lutz, Manalo and Epson were the only players in the field to come in under par.
At first, Manalo said that he was a bit disappointed that he couldn’t defend his title on a course that he plays just about everyday with the Friars, but then he saw how well the team did.
“So yeah, I am happy with the 71. Last year, I got a couple of good breaks. This year, I got a couple bad ones,” Manalo said. “It is our home course, so there’s high expectations.”
Court Lewis (74), Davis Holman (73), Matt Wilson (78) and Brian Francke (79) were the other Friars to break 80 on Monday.
MATER DEI WINS AYALA TOURNAMENT
Mater Dei was the only team in the Ayala Tournament to have five players post a score in the 70s, and the Monarchs carded a 383 at Los Serranos Country Club, which put them in first place, four shots ahead of Sunny Hills and Edison, who tied for second.
Sunny was awarded second place on a card-off.
Grant Rapoza posted an even-par 74 to lead the Monarchs.
Jacob Bliss (76), Ryan Mendoza (77), Marcus De La Rosa (78) and Koichiro Soto (78) also broke 80 for Mater Dei.
“It was truly a team victory,” Mater Dei coach Ollie Martin said in an email.