Servite opens season with a victory
CHINO HILLS - Servite was out to prove a point on Monday here at Western Hills Country Club, and show that this team was more than just about one guy.
"We wanted to show that we could move on and be fine without Patrick (Cantlay)," Servite senior Michael Bonicatto said. "There were a lot of people saying we were done without him."
Cantlay, the defending state champion and two-time CIF Individual titlist, is gone now, playing for UCLA.
"We wanted to show that we have a lot of good players on this team," Bonicatto said. "We have a lot of kids coming up who could be what Patrick was, and that just speaks to the depth of our program."
Bonicatto was one of three Friars to post a score in the 70s as Servite won its own tournament for the third consecutive season.
The defending Southern Section champion Friars carded a 385 at the Servite Invitational, putting them 17 strokes clear of second-place San Juan Hills. Servite weren't far off what the Cantlay-led Friars did last year. They won the 2010 tournament with a 379 after Cantlay finsihed with an even-par 72.
Harvard-Westlake placed third on Monday with a 403 while Corona del Mar and Los Alamitos tied for fourth, posting a 404.
No one in the 100-player tournament finished with a score under par. The greens were fast, and the pins were tucked away in some hard to reach places. Add some gusty late afternoon breezes to that, and Bonicatto said the course was playing more like a par-75 or 76.
"I wanted it that way. I wanted it to be a true test of golf. We set it up with a U.S. Amateur qualifier in mind," Servite coach Dane Jako said. "But we played just about as bas as we could play today. We wanted to have all six players in the 70s."
Bonicatto, Preston Valder and Martin Manalo were the only ones to do it, shooting a 74, 75 and 76 respectively. Bonicatto ended up in a four-way tie for first with Mike Moorhead (Corona del Mar), Max Goodley (Harvard-Westlake) and Eric Taylor (San Juan Hills).
Bonicatto, though, was eliminated on the first tiebreaker because he bogeyed the par 4, 399-yard first hole.
After the card-off, Goodley finished first, Moorhead second and Taylor third. Moorhead and Goodley had identical scores through the first three holes, but Goodley eagled the 403-yard, par-4 No. 4, rated as the toughest hole at Western Hills. Moorhead birdied it.
After his tee shot, Goodley had 110 yards to the pin, and he holed his approach with a 3/4 pitching wedge.
Moorhead, though, had plenty of chances to win the tournament outright on the back nine. But he had a par putt lip out on the No. 12 and took a bogey, and then he burned the edge on No. 15 and cared a bogey 6.
"I got unfortunate with some breaks on the greens, but I wasn't hitting the ball that great either," Moorhead said. "I've got a lot to improve on."
At Western Hills Country Club, par 72
1. Servite - 385
Michael Bonicatto, 74; Preston Valder 75; Martin Manalo 76; Tyler Little 80; Tyler Smith 80
2. San Juan Hills - 402
Eric Taylor, 74; Grant Prescott, 76; Mike Page 80; Owen Taylor 81; Dane Walker 91
3. Harvard-Westlake - 403
Max Goodley, 74; Charlie Benell, 77; Andrew Sohn 79; Bakari Bolden 85; Ernie Zaferis 88
4t. Los Alamitos - 404
Chirs Lang, 80; Matt Grant, 80; Connor Campbell, 81; Jonathan Young, 81; Daniel Gregory 82
4t. Corona del Mar - 404
Mike Moorhead, 74; Brian Mull, 79; Karick Brown 80; Ryan Grable 84; John Davenport 87
6. Villa Park - 405
Ryan Tetrault, 75; Kethan Reddy, 79; Eric Perrellla 80; Garrett Groom, 84; Kyle DeSilva, 87
10. Tesoro - 417
Kelby Scharmann, 81; Chris Dolendo, 81; Joe Kron, 82; Austin Stinson, 85; Chase Van Bergh, 88
12. El Dorado - 433
Luke Kinan, 78; Matt Lutz 81; Frank Bevill, 90; Travis DeRose, 91; Jacon Corbin, 93
13t. San Clemente - 434
Kevin Allen, 80; Channell Kershaw, 84; Eric Dickey, 88; Tom Goodall, 90; Alex Hayes, 92
13t. Brea Olinda - 434
Rak Cho, withdrew; Mihcael Choe, 78; Trevor Polverini, 81; Luis Kim, 87; Matt Shaw, 89; Jeremy Verone, 99
15. El Toro - 445
Michael Stankovich, 83; Corey Mazo, 87; Tyler Hall, 90; Cole Becker, 92; Andrew Kim, 93
Max Holden, 84; Brant DeBoer, 87; Drew Gumila, Jonathan Babbs, 92; John Viscounty, 96