When the female golfers of Davis High teed it up Thursday afternoon at Wildhorse Golf Course, they were 30 strokes behind Franklin in the Delta Valley Conference championship chase.
Almost five hours after starting their rounds in short sleeves (with determination written on their faces), the Blue Devils returned to the clubhouse with jackets on and rosy cheeks hiding chattering teeth.
Playing decent golf in a persistent breeze, Emily Masiel (83) and Yuexin Ziang (89) led the way for DHS, which carded a 454, but shaved only eight strokes off the Wildcats’ league lead. Franklin finished at 462 in the third conference event of the season, while Laguna Creek was far back at 569. Elk Grove and Grant had bad-hair days.
The Pacers fielded only three golfers, each of whom withdrew early on. As the wind picked up and their scores soared, the Thundering Herd had two players resign because of scores and one pack up thanks to an illness.
With only one more DVC tournament ahead — Monday at WildHawk Golf Course in Elk Grove — Devil coach Rhonda Mohr says her girls can catch Franklin, “but we’re certainly the underdogs now.”
“It’s possible … and I know the girls have the spirit to do it,” Mohr told The Enterprise. “We know they’re trying. They’re doing better, so we’re going in the right direction.”
If Davis wants to repeat as league champion (and get its sixth title in the last eight years), it will have to outshoot the Wildcat duo of Gurman Kaur and Kylie Fong. Both shot match-low 81s Thursday to share medalist honors.
Wildhorse, which plays 4,565 yards from the red tees, was a fair layout as the wind from the south forced the girls to use their entire bags.
“On most of the holes, the wind went across the fairways,” Mohr said. “The girls had to figure out how far to hit it to the right or left to compensate for the wind. It was a good test for everybody.”
Kaitlyn Honeychurch turned in a nifty 90 for DHS and teammates Hayley Mitchel (84) and Casey Harris (98) rounded out the local scorers.
When Franklin spanked the Blue Devils, 407-433, at an early DVC gathering, Masiel was brilliant with a 76 at Bartley Cavanaugh (Sept. 26)
Davis and Franklin then had a shootout at the second league meet. On Oct. 3 at The Reserve in Stockton, the ‘Cats clawed out a 447-451 decision over the Devils. That day Masiel carded an 80, but Mitchell was forced to withdraw.
Mohr says the conference gets two squads and three additional players into subsequent postseason events: “We’ll make it,” Mohr thinks, given the huge lead DHS has over the third-place Cardinals.
Mohr added that she was happy with her young team’s growth: “We have a lot of young and new players, so they’re doing very well when you factor that in.”
Of the team’s nine golfers, only Sydney Rosenblum is a senior. Masiel is a sophomore, as are Xiang, Rachel Mobley, JiHye Lee, Harris and Christine Chung. Honeychurch and Mitchel are juniors.
Divisionals are scheduled for Oct. 22, Masters come Oct. 29, NorCals are Nov. 5 and the state tournament is Nov. 13.
— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or 530-747-8047.