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Bonales enjoys once-in-a-lifetime links opportunity
Hawk standout attends First Tee Advanced Player Academy
Anthony Bonales was recently named to the Hogan Cup Team. The Hogan Cup tournament will be staged, Aug. 9-11, in Oregon. The best junior golfers from the Western United States and Canada will face off. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Anthony Bonales doesn't regret taking a week off from Junior Golf Association of Northern California competition.

The soon-to-be senior at Central Valley High School spent, July 10-17, at the First Tee Advanced Player Academy at the University of Richmond. Just 24 players worldwide were invited to attend.

Idle for nine days, Bonales dropped to No. 2 in the JGANC Team Points-Boys 14-17 Tabulation standings.

Anthony held a three-point lead over San Jose's Shintaro Ban before flying to Virginia.

Ban (282.50 points, 11 events) moved to the top spot after placing second at the JGANC/NCGA Nor-Cal Players Championship and tying for 12th at the Sacramento County Junior.

Bonales racked up 243 points through Sunday.

"The standings mean a lot," Anthony said. "But I wasn't going to pass up a trip I'd never get to experience again. It's something unique and I'll remember it for the rest of my life. I just got back a couple days ago. There were a lot of good players out there from all over the country. I got to live on campus. I met a lot of cool people. It was really awesome."

Bonales finished in first place with a two-day score of 140 (67-73) while competing in the First Tee Advanced Player Academy Tournament.

"I played well and had a great time," said Anthony, who topped 23 other participants.

Bonales has played in 15 JGANC events since last July.
He's finished first four times, second and third once, and fourth, fifth and sixth three times.

"I'm going to work on my game really hard the next couple of weeks," he said.

Bonales, along with Ban, Chico's Tyler Collier and San Jose's Justin Suh, were recently selected to the Hogan Cup Team.

The Hogan Cup tournament will be held in Oregon, Aug. 9-11, at Riverside Golf & Country Club.

The best junior golfers from the Western United States and Canada will be pitted against each other.

Medals will be awarded to the top three teams as well as the top three individuals in the field.

"That's pretty awesome," Anthony said while talking about his selection to the Hogan Cup team. "It's truly one of the best things to ever happen to me. It's an honor. I'll be really pumped up to represent Northern California. I can't wait."

Anthony has already qualified for JGANC North/South Team Match Play.