Country Day sophomore Samrath Pannu shot his personal best, 42, during the final match of the season against Buckingham at Cypress Lake in Vacaville.
Pannu’s score was an all-season low for the team. Freshman Delsyn Beaton scored a 52 and junior Nihal Gulati scored a 58.
Pannu had previously played at Cypress Lake with his father and uncle, which he hoped would give him some knowledge of the course. The team was also allowed to use the red tees on the course instead of the standard white tees. The red tees are placed closer to the green for each hole, which makes gameplay easier.
“The knowledge that I’d gained from playing from the white tees with my dad was all out the door,” Pannu said.
Coach Matt Vargo also said the conditions at the green were more difficult than usual.
“It was pretty windy out there, and then the course is pretty tough,” he said.
The strength of the wind meant that balls had to be hit in different directions than the hole, complicating the shots.
Gulati said the weather didn’t affect his playing.
“I didn’t really account for the wind when I was playing, but I don’t think it made that much of a difference,” he said
It was the layout of the course that he found tricky to play on.
“Almost every hole had a dogleg so that the flag was almost never in sight from the start,” he said.
Beaton said the weather both helped and hindered his playing.
“It depended on where the flag placement was; sometimes it was on the right side and the wind was going right so that helped,” he said.
Beaton was able to make a long drive across the green during the game, which he said was a highlight of his play.
He plans to focus on his putting before the next season.
Despite the weather, Vargo said the team played to the best of their ability.
“It’s tough conditions and it was unfamiliar, and they exceeded expectations,” he said.
A moment that stood out for him was a putt by Gulati. “He had a putt that was the entire green,” he said. “That’s the highlight of the year.”
Gulati said the shot was “pretty sweet.”
Overall, Vargo said he was happy with the team’s performance throughout the season.
“I am so proud of all three of them, they really embrace the game, and they worked really hard all year,” Vargo said. “It was so fun to have the entire team love the game and embrace it and try to get better.”
Pannu said that he was proud of the team’s improvement and of their performance.
“We had fun. We all learned from each other. We all encouraged each other.”
All three players plan to return to the golf team for the 2021-22 season.
— By Samhita Kumar