Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West takes area boys golf title

MADERA -- Juston Smart played nearly stroke for stroke with Clovis East High teammate Bryson DeChambeau individually, but Clovis West still continued its team mastery at the North Area Golf Championships.

DeChambeau and Smart came in as the top two individuals while Clovis West won a fifth straight team title during Monday's tournament at Madera Municipal Golf Course. Stockdale (372) won the South Area title, while the Central Area tournament is today at Kings Country Club in Hanford.

DeChambeau, a standout sophomore who placed among the top 25 at the Southern California Regional last season, shot a 1-under 71 to earn medalist honors.

Smart, a senior who plays No. 5 on the Timberwolves ladder, was a shot back at 72 to join 14 other golfers from this tournament moving on to the Central Section Individual Championships on May 25 at Dinuba's Ridge Creek Country Club.

Smart made two birdies and missed an 8-foot putt for an eagle on No. 4. He finished a stroke ahead of Bullard's Tanner Manser and Clovis West's Taylor Fallahsafa.

"I was definitely gunning for an under-par round, too," Smart said. "It's my senior year, my last chance. I was just aggressive the whole round. I decided to go for everything instead of playing it safe."

After scoring birdies on four of his first 15 holes, DeChambeau saw a potential 4- or 5-under round crumble over the final three. He double-bogeyed No. 16 and bogeyed No. 18 to settle for a one-stroke victory.

"It was an OK round," DeChambeau said. "I putted pretty good, but got a little unlucky with things. That's the way golf is, though. I'm starting to hit my peak. Just a couple more rounds and hopefully I'll start shooting some low numbers."

Clovis West had five of the top 16 individuals en route to shooting a 371 that edged Bullard's 378 for the team title.

The Golden Eagles, Knights and Division II champion Fresno Christian advance to the team championships -- which also will feature the top two teams in D-I and the top team in D-II from the Central and South areas, as well as a wild card -- May 18 at Porterville's River Island Country Club.

"There's a lot of tradition here," said Clovis West junior Troy Sweeney, the son of former Fresno State quarterback Kevin Sweeney and grandson of ex-Bulldogs football coach Jim Sweeney. "We're just trying to uphold that."

Fallahsafa, a freshman playing No. 6 on the ladder, paced the Golden Eagles with a 73. Sweeney and Brian Waterhouse shot 74s while Matt Swindle and Grant Yamaguchi carded 75s. All five qualified for the individual championships.

Collectively, the Golden Eagles are shooting for their third straight section team title.

"It's team golf, one through six. We just need everyone playing well," Swindle said. "We are far from polished, but we're coming together. I think we have a great chance next week."

A win next week at River Island would send the Golden Eagles back to the Southern California Regional, a tournament they won in 2007.

"We can definitely get down there," Waterhouse said. "We all believe in ourselves. We can do it."

Bullard qualified three to the individual tournament -- Manser with a 73, Michael Tolladay at 74 and Brandon Stites at 75 -- while advancing to the section team tournament.

Fresno Christian won Division II with a 419 behind 75s from Tyler Zaentz and Jeff Roseth.

Other individual tournament qualifiers included Clovis North's T.J. Masters at 74, and Clovis North's Ryan Corbin, Memorial's Corey Novak and Buchanan's Landon Polterock at 75.