San Marcos brought two groups of golfers up to La Purisima Golf Course on Monday and the Goleta-based team came away with the top medalist and a first and second place sweep at the Lompoc Easter Invitational.
Tallying a total of 234 strokes, the Royals team of medalist Chad Visser, Bennett Richard and Bryce Quezada earned the best score in the nine high school tournament held in Lompoc. Following them were Blake Bornand, Hayden Schoenfelder and Braden Curtis with their 248 score for San Marcos.
Visser, who is actually not considered the top golfer on a stacked Royals roster, went on to shoot a 1-over par 73 to earn his medal.
“I thought I played really consistently. I had 15 pars today, plus two bogies and a birdie. It’s a great course that’s in great condition. I love playing out here,” Visser said.
He added that his swings came from a different side of the course and an area that he’s not accustomed to: The white tees, also known as the “men’s tees.”
“I’ve never played from the white tees before,” Visser said. “I’m usually used to playing from the blue tees or the tips. It was definitely a nice change to play from the upper tees, which helped a lot plus the greens were great. You just had to be on the right side of the holes, so that was nice.”
Visser was one of three Royals to reach the 70s range in the 18-hole tournament. Richard (75) and Bornand (77) finished the day shooting below 80.
And Bornand, a sophomore, said he struggled with adjusting to the greens and the sloped hills of La Purisima.
“I played mediocre. The greens were really hard and they were soft, to be honest,” Bornand said. “My pace of play was slow, but it’s alright because I like these tournaments because you get to learn a lot. It was a fun tournament.”
Cabrillo went on take third in the team standings with its 256 stroke output. The Conquistadores were once again led by the swings and irons of Justin Buenaventura, who shot a 78 on a cloudy day with some light sprinkles on the course. Buenaventura, though, said he had some lapses in his short game in the tournament.
“I started my first hole with a double, so with that I couldn’t get the momentum going. Plus I couldn’t really make putts, so my short game kind of failed me,” Buenaventura said. “At No. 4, I hit it toward the green side and left with a bogie. That shouldn’t be happening. But I got things to work on. It shouldn’t be too bad.”
Buenaventura added that struggling in the short game is something that’s uncommon for him.
“Recently, I’ve had a lot of trust with my short game, so this (the struggles) were kind of new. But you can’t have it all the time,” Buenaventura said.
Outside of Buenaventura, Isaiah Cisneros shot 86 for CHS while Kyle Stiller finished his day with shooting a 92.
Rio Mesa took fourth with its 259 score, as Kaden Santos led the way by shooting an 82. Thousand Oaks followed with its 260 score as the Lancers were led by Seldon Doyle (75). Righetti, led by Ethan Ashbrook and his 74, took sixth overall with its 266 output.
Ashbrook said that La Purisima is one of the harder courses that he and the Warriors play on.
“From the back, it’s really long and it’s tough,” Ashbrook said. “From where we played, it wasn’t as tough but it’s still really hard out there. This is probably one of the harder courses I’ve ever played. But, out here, a 74 is a pretty good score.”
Atascadero (271) took seventh, followed by Santa Ynez (291), Nipomo (314) and Lompoc (383). Thousand Oaks had a second group of golfers that consisted of Ander and Jonas Slattum, but the third member of that group Morgan Finestone was a no-show, so no team score was recorded.
Hayden Smith led the Pirates with his 85 score. Klay Funez swung his way to an 89 score for the Titans. Nate Williams was the top golfer for the Braves, who finished by shooting a 114.
Orcutt Academy 5, Arroyo Grande 0
The Spartans nearly got a no-hitter from pitcher Nick Guerrero, who wound up allowing one hit in the five-run victory in the opener of the Nipomo Classic for both teams.
The non-league game held at Arroyo Grande High School saw Guerrero fan two Eagle batters. Offensively, six different Spartan players blasted one hit.
Trevor Arensdorf smashed two hits and drove four runners home. Tyler Zafaris, Matt La Rocco, Eliseo Contreras, Caleb Wright and Elijah Vega each got one hit for OAHS, which plays against Le Grand High at Dunn High School at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.