The St. Mary’s boys golf team completed the 18-hole course know as the 2000 regular season on Wednesday, shooting a 217 at Tilden Park Golf Course to defeat Pinole Valley, and improve to 14-4 on the year.
Scheduled in the middle of St. Mary’s spring break, Wednesday’s match was not a particular priority for the Panthers, who competed without most of their top golfers. Still, the squad’s depth and consistency kept the score relatively low – much lower than Pinole Valley, which shot a 245 on the hilly course. Pat Rau and Kyle Davies led a tight pack of Panther golfers, both shooting 42. St. Mary’s rounded out the scoring with two 44s and a 45, giving Pinole little opportunity to pick up ground.
“I didn’t exactly have my A-team out there (because) it was non-league,” St. Mary’s coach Phil Doran said after the match. “They did just what I expected them to do.”
At 11-3 in league, the Panthers have already captured second place, and will enter Monday’s league playoffs competing chiefly for individual berths at North Coast Section. Undefeated Alameda, which took first place in the Alameda-Contra Costa Athletic League with a 14-0 regular season, is expected to be the league’s only full team to be invited to NCS playoffs.
“Alameda’s already won league, so what we play for is three positions to go to NCS,” said Doran, who believes his team has the skill and depth to beat Alameda with its best effort. “We believe in our heart we can beat them. I think we’re evenly matched – we’re not that far away from Alameda.”
The Panthers, who sent two golfers to North Coast playoffs last year, hope to have at least three athletes representing them this season. Brian Haller, the only returning NCS entrant from 1999, is expected once again to earn a berth, with No. 1 golfer Chris Weidinger and No. 2 Ian Salisbury also in the running.
“Hopefully we’ll get two or three (to NCS),” the St. Mary’s coach said.