Just like that, the Davis High boys built a 63-stroke lead on their Delta Valley Conference golf rivals as sophomore Sam Yamauchi’s 2-over 74 paced the Blue Devils on Wednesday.
In carding a team 396 on its home Wildhorse Golf Course, DHS drove, chipped and putted past Franklin and Elk Grove, which finished in a second-place tie at 459 in the first league meet of the season.
Under brilliant skies and temperatures in the 60s, Laguna Creek (551), Monterey Trail (613) and Grant (620) followed. Total strokes at the end of four DVC tournaments will determine the circuit champion.
Winners of all seven previous Delta Valley titles, coach Karl Ronning’s charges look well on their way to No. 8.
Devil senior Cyrrus Espino and junior Preston Walchli posted 79s to tie Franklin’s Alex Dunning for second-best scores of the day.
Espino’s back-nine 36 included two birdies and five pars. Walchli added a pair of birdies on par-5s.
A course that had endured two days of rain, Wildhorse’s fairways drained well and, as expected, the ball was checking up on the soft greens.
“It would have been putting where the challenge was (Wednesday),” Ronning explained.
As good as medalist Yamauchi was, he lipped out on six birdie putts on the afternoon.
A veteran of numerous junior tournaments, Yamauchi drew his coach’s praise:
“Sam has a really solid swing. He strikes the ball really well. He’s been struggling a little bit with his putter, but as soon as he gets that figured out, he’ll be one of the elite players in the greater Sacramento area.
“Great kid. Great family. He’s just a good teammate. He could be a special talent.”
Only Dunning and Laguna Creek ace Tim Fortier (84) had rounds that could touch the full complement of Blue Devils.
DHS 10th-grader Andrew Arnheiter birdied one of the course’s toughest holes — the par-5, 487-yard seventh — en route to an 80 while junior Jackson Kavrell shot an 84 and Patrick Cajandig came home with an 86.
Notes: Way back in the fall, Ronning tried to get Monday or Tuesday of this week for his first DVC match, but Wildhorse had previous engagements slated and the Devils had to settle for Wednesday. It rained most of Monday and Tuesday. “Sometimes you just get lucky,” the coach said with a laugh. … Next up for Davis is conference meet No. 2 on Tuesday at The Reserve in Stockton. … The Blue Devils’ impressive round was 23 strokes off the school record — set in 2008 at Bartley Cavanaugh CG when Tyler Raber and Jordan Majestic were the top DHS scorers. … At age 10, Yamauchi won his age group at a U.S. Kids World Championship qualifier at Wildhawk Golf Course, earning a trip to Pinehurst in North Carolina for the national event.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at email@example.com or 530-320-4456.