When the golf team’s top six – senior Miles Edwards, junior Harrison Moon and sophomores John Snyder, Jackson Crawford, Ted Zhou and David Situ – went to Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club for sectionals on May 7, they arrived at a real devil of a course.
“There were quite a few rattlesnake sightings,” Snyder said.
Snyder said he had seen one the day prior when he and Crawford were running through a practice round of the course as well.
But not even the rattlesnakes, strong winds and hilly terrain could prevent the boys from making Country Day history and seizing the title of section champion.
In fact, according to co-coach Matt Vargo, they “totally crushed it.”
The team finished first with 431 strokes, 39 strokes ahead of second-place Vacaville Christian High School.
In addition, finishing with only six strokes over the 72-stroke-par 18-hole course, Snyder placed second in the section.
That’s not to say everything went perfectly for Snyder.
“I was literally shaking on the first tee,” he said. “My putting was also extremely up and down.”
Regardless, Snyder said he had some “bright spots” along the way – such as his three birdies in a row on holes 12-14.
In addition, Snyder said he had made some improvement on his short putts, chipping and driving from the week prior, deflecting some negative effects from the “unusually slow” greens.
Snyder wasn’t the only teammate to receive special recognition.
Crawford, at eight over par, placed third in the competition.
Only Snyder and a player from Ripland Christian scored in the 70s, but Crawford said that had he not hit a random ball in the fairway earlier in the course, earning him a penalty, he would have had 79 strokes.
Mistakes aside, Vargo said that beating the 12 other schools was no small feat.
“That course was tough,” Vargo said. “It’s really hilly, windy – has a lot of unplayable environmental areas.
“They handled adversity.”
Moon said that one of the factors that made it an adverse course was the length.
“There were just a couple of things that threw me off – like the extremely slow greens, hilly fairways and roughs,” Moon said.
“But what really bugged today was that the match took about seven hours; it dragged on forever.”
Moon said some opponents took more than 10 strokes on holes, prolonging his and Zhou’s games until the very end.
According to Vargo, the whole team was waiting excitedly for Zhou, as his score had the potential to make or break the team.
“We knew that as long as Ted put up a decent number, we’d win,” Vargo said.
And come through he did. Zhou performed his best match of the season finishing with 99 strokes, 27 above par.
Last year, when the course wasn’t at Diablo Grande but was of similar difficulty, the champion schools, Sacramento Adventist Academy and Ripon Christian High School, tied with a total of 500 strokes.
And whereas only Edwards advanced to the CIF San-Joaquin Section Masters last year, this year all six have qualified for the competition on Friday, May 11, at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton.
No snakes will slither on that course, but there may be inclement weather conditions or difficult areas to challenge the team.