NBL golf: Sophomore leads Vikings over Panthers

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Montgomery High’s golf team, led by super sophomore Nick Rogers, moved a step closer to its second straight North Bay League title Tuesday by defeating Santa Rosa, 198-232.

Rogers shot 36 on the front nine at Oakmont West, and while not disappointed with a par score, he wasn’t all that excited.

“It was kind of boring,” Rogers said. “One birdie, one bogey and seven pars. I had good looks for more birdies, but those were all downhill putts and I couldn’t get one to fall. Also, it got real windy and that made it tough.”

For Montgomery, now 4-0, this was the start of a busy week. Thursday, the Vikings play Cardinal Newman at Fountaingrove Country Club; and on Friday they travel to Ukiah for a make-up match.

“This is the biggest week of the season for us,” coach Marcelo Bautista said. “If we win these next two, we’ll be in pretty good shape to repeat.”

After losing only one player from last year’s league championship team, Bautista was looking forward to the 2012 season.

“Every player that came back has improved,” Bautista said.
“We’ve matured as a team. The guys committed to practicing and playing year-round. To get better at this game, that’s what you have to do.”

Following Rogers on Tuesday were: Julian Landen 38, Jake Franzel 39, Arman Buhary 42, Jeff Johnson 43 and Paul Kuhn 43.

“Arman is a good example of what can happen when you play all year,” Bautista said. “He’s lowered his average three or four shots.”

Johnson and Landen have been consistent off the tees while Franzel has added distance to his drives. Kuhn has played with a calmness not usually seen in sophomores.

“This team is definitely capable of making it through NCS and to the state finals,” Rogers said.

Santa Rosa’s low man was Aaron Walker with a 39.

“He’s a junior but this is his first year playing high school golf,” coach Jake Fitzpatrick said. “He’s competed in junior tournaments and is close to a scratch golfer.”

The Panthers, now 1-4, recently lost two of their top four players. One decided to join the swim team and the other became academically ineligible.

Santa Rosa’s other scores were: Jeff Degolia 44, Trenton Peterson 45, Bryan Ward 49 and Chris Sharp 55.
Ward accomplished two milestones. He shot under 50 for the first time and also got his first birdie. That was on the 463-yard seventh hole.