The high school girls golf season opened Monday with the annual Loren Roberts Tournament at Emerald Lakes Golf Club.
All Elk Grove Unified teams teed off at a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start to not only get the season underway, but to honor the professional golfer who literally kept high school golf alive during tight fiscal times a few years ago.
The school district was planning on eliminating the sport in 2010 in a cost-saving measure, but Roberts who was playing in a Champions Tour event in the region at the time heard about plan and turned over his earnings to keep golf going in Elk Grove.
Pleasant Grove won the team championship Monday with a score of 202, on the strength of Kendall Doty’s four-over-par 37 and Ari Samuel’s six-over 39.
|Pleasant Grove H.S.'s Ari Samuel
Franklin was second with a team total of 219. Promising freshman Courtney Cervellin fired a five-over-par 38 and sophomore Ashley Cho had a 41.
But, medalist honors went to Elk Grove sophomore Jillian Knox who fired an even-par 33. She almost had a hole in one on the par-three sixth sticking her tee shot just inches from the cup.
|EGHS' Jillian Knox makes a par putt on the par-five fourth hole
“She’s special,” Elk Grove golf coach Clifford Cheathon said.
The Herd finished third with a team score of 224. Cosumnes Oaks had a 245 team mark.
Denise Fass, the Pleasant Grove coach, thinks this year she’ll have several good players including Doty, a senior and Emily Avila, also a senior, along with Samuel, a sophomore, fellow soph Allison Curtis and freshman Lexi Martin. Martin fired a four-over-par 40 Monday.
Wildcats’ coach Shelly Walsh has a pair of promising young players Cervellin and Cho.
“They also play in summer tournaments which really helps them,” Walsh said.
|Franklin H.S. freshman Courtney Cevellin tees off on #5
Typically, the top teams in the Delta League have been St. Francis and Davis, but the potential is there that Franklin and Pleasant Grove could have the squads to compete, as well, this season. There will be three 18-hole league matches with all squads competing this fall on top of the dual matches scheduled throughout the season.