Davis High boys golf coach Karl Ronning likes to give his team different types of experiences throughout the early-season tournament schedule, knowing that’s the best way to prepare for its Delta Valley Conference slate and, after that, postseason play.
After the past two tournaments, the Blue Devils probably feel like they’ve seen both sides of the spectrum. One week after being disappointed with its performances, only to find out it had won the Wolfpack Invitational, DHS posted the best score a Devil team has carded at the annual Atwater Invitational, only to finish fourth on Monday.
Though Davis shot a blistering 315, better than its scores in winning the event two previous times, it ended the day behind Harbor of Santa Cruz (305), San Benito (313) and Nevada Union (313).
“This is exactly why I always say we come into a tournament with our first goal to play our best, not to win,” Ronning explained. “I was really happy with the scores, the kids were really happy … it was a good learning experience because it really puts into perspective how we just want to keep improving and be playing our best at the end of the season.”
The locals were paced by Michael Chen and Cyrrus Espino, who each shot 76′s, with Chen taking ninth in a tiebreaker.
“He’s playing with a lot of confidence, and with a lot of patience which is really key,” Ronning said of Chen, who also won the tournament’s closest-to-the-pin contest when he came within 18 inches of the hole on No. 3.
Fellow senior Chase Dossa shot a 79 on Monday and Preston Walchli added an 84 to complete the Blue Devils scorers. Andrew Arnheiter carded a 93 as the fifth competitor for DHS, which will play a tournament hosted by Woodland and Yuba City at Yocha Dehe Golf Course next Tuesday.