Stevenson, Carmel and Salinas advance to CCS Finals – Monterey Herald

MONTEREY — Jack Jarvis’ preparation for college next fall does not currently include extending his golf career. A re-examination may be on the agenda.

“If I keep shooting like this, maybe my mind will change,” smiled the Salinas High senior.

Right now, Jarvis is completing his final prep season, picking up medalists for the second straight Tuesday at the Central Coast Section’s Morning Regionals at the Laguna Seca Golf Course.

After scoring a career-best 3-under-68 at last week’s Gabilan Division Finals, Jarvis shot a 67 on the same course to help his team advance to the CCS Finals next Tuesday at Laguna Seca.

The Cowboys, who extended their season with a place overall in the tournament, finished behind Carmel and Stevenson to give the Pacific Coast Athletic League a lead in the top three spots in the morning regionals.

The top four teams in both brackets advance to the section finals along with nine people from each bracket in a scheduled morning start.

“I didn’t hit my best ball,” said Jarvis, who was three shots better than a trio of runners-up that included Carmel’s Jonathan Chen and Cole Kroeker. “But I made some good chip shots. I wasn’t aiming for long putts to par.”

Jarvis was crisp on the back nine with his drives and chips on the fairways and putts on the always challenging greens, recording five of his six birdies and shooting 3-unders.

“It wasn’t like I played poorly in the front nine,” Jarvis said. “But the 10th hole was a turning point. It’s a tough hole and I birdieed it. I left a few putts out there. The score could have been lower.”

Playing in the morning produced mixed results for the players, as the wind on Laguna Seca’s back nine tends to pick up late in the morning.

“It was a little easier with no wind,” said Kroeker, who was carding a 1-under-70. “The course is shorter. But it’s still a difficult golf course.”

Kroeker, who travels to Sonoma State to golf in the fall, doubled his score from the previous week when wind played a role in the Gabilan Division Finals.

“I won’t change anything before the final,” said Kroeker. “I stuck to the same game plan today. Maybe I’ll pay more attention to the greens.”

After struggling intermittently last year, Kroeker is clearly in a better frame of mind, playing with the confidence and composure he attributes to his maturity.

“Last year I played to prove myself to people,” Kroeker said. “I was in the middle of the recruitment process. With my future set, I just feel a lot less pressure. Part of that is maturity. I worked hard on the mental aspect of the game.”

Kroeker and Chen’s results were somewhat overshadowed by teammate Cullen Pritchard, who caused a sensation with a hole-in-one on the 12th hole. His 73 over 18 holes put Carmel in 2nd place.

“I didn’t see it,” said Pritchard, who used a six-iron on the 179-yard hole. “I just heard someone scream. I’ve never had a hole-in-one in a tournament.”

While Gabilan Division champion Stevenson wasn’t having his best day, all five of his scorers were shooting in the 70s, with Luke Brandler and Adam Rohizam both finishing on even par 71s.

“Playing in the morning should be easier,” said Rohizam. “I had the feeling that the course was played more easily. The wind was manageable. I don’t know why I didn’t shoot better.”

The junior transfer from Malaysia described the defense as challenging from a mental point of view as he was getting pains in his neck with every swing he felt.

“My throat just started twitching,” Rohizam said. “I have no idea why. I was struggling with my concentration. My putting wasn’t helping me when I needed it. I missed a couple of three-foot putts and a four-foot putt. That’s the difference when you 2-under is.”

Brandler felt that playing in the morning meant a bigger change than expected as the grass is a bit wetter and the winds were calm on the first nine holes.

“It was almost more difficult,” said Brandler. “We’re used to playing in the afternoon when the wind picks up and the greens are drier. It messes up your numbers. I thought it would be easier without wind.”

Brandler, who finished 1-1 in last week’s league finals, will be looking to refine his putting, which he says let him down a bit in the regionals.

“I didn’t take advantage of the par 5,” said Brandler. “I hit it well. I hit my irons well. But cyclically I wasn’t quite right with my putter.”

The Pirates were the only five-man team in the ’70s when Steven Lai hit a 72 while Pepperdine Curtis Da Silva and Drew Doll both finished with 76s.

“We just wanted to get to the finals,” said Stevenson coach Justin Bates. “Of course we have to shoot better next week. I think we need at least three guys who are underperforming to shoot for the section title.”

Stevenson, who finished third in last year’s Group Finals, posted a team-low 366 at Tuesday’s Regionals, with Carmel finishing with a 375 and Salinas with a 384. Reigning CCS champion Crystal Springs Upland scored a 367 in the afternoon.

Individually, York’s Taiga Minami shot a 72 to advance as one of nine people not linked to a qualified team. Palma’s Gabriel Herbst finished the afternoon round with a 73 to extend his season.


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