It’s one of the toughest courses in the area, yet there is nothing like playing at home. And that proved to be the difference during the 20th Annual Oakdale Rotary Junior Classic July 20 at Oakdale Golf and Country Club.
Oakdale’s own Mable Wong put a tremendous round together, outlasting all the competition on the girls’ side of the field by posting a 74 for the lowest overall gross score of the tournament classic.
Wong posted her 18-hole score in the girls 12-14 year old division, finishing some 15 strokes ahead of the nearest competition in her age division. Madchen Ly and Morgan Thomas of Clovis and Fresno, respectively, posted impressive scores of 75 to finish tied for the 15-17 girls’ top spot, but could not get lower than Oakdale’s dominating Wong.
“It was really rewarding for me because she is a student of mine,” Oakdale Golf and Country Club head professional Mike Dowd said. “For her, she wanted to win an overall, that has been her goal all summer. Not only to win her flight, but to win against all the girls in every age bracket. So for a girl 12-years-old to beat all the girls up to 17 years of age, it’s pretty impressive.
“It was really great to see somebody excel like that.”
The boys lowest overall score saw Oakdale standout Austin Whitworth just on the outside looking in as his round of 76 left him just two strokes off of the overall low gross score and out of a three-way playoff with Jonathan DeLos Reyes (Antioch), Raymon Tira (Stockton) and J.T. Smart (Fresno) for the overall low gross title.
Whitworth started out his round with three consecutive birdies and looked to be a shoe-in for the boys low overall until he ran into trouble on the monstrous par-5 hole No. 17, leaving the hole with a nine to practically eliminate his chances with one hole to play.
DeLos Reyes made the mark in the two-hole playoff for the crown, beating his two opponents and claiming the title.
DeLos Reyes participated in the 14-15 year old boys division, while Smart was able to fend of Whitworth in the boys 16-17 year old division.
Oakdale got strong performances from Danny Wong who shot a personal best 80 in the 12-13 year old boys division, Kyle Intorf (83) in the same division.
David Ortloft had a solid nine-hole round in the boys 10-11 division, as did Ian Stogdell (87) in the boys 14-15 year old division. The players all may have seemed to have an advantage, yet there truly is no help when it comes to the O.G.C.C. layout.
“I actually thought Oakdale showed up well,” Dowd said. “I mean Austin should have won the thing, he played very, very well. For Danny (Wong) I don’t think he’s ever broke 80 at our course, so his score was pretty good in a tournament.”
Both Wong and Whitworth continued their impressive run by winning the Maroney Junior Memorial golf tournament in Modesto the following two days.