The Bonales brothers, Anthony and Matteo, finished in third place while competing at the Corporate Challenge in front of several hundred spectators last Friday at Del Rio Golf & Country Club in Modesto.
“To share that experience with him was amazing,” said Anthony, a 2014 Central Valley High School grad. “That’s something I’ve always wanted to do. He was my caddie the last time I played in it in 2015. He was new to the game of golf. Fast forward five years, and we’re playing together. We had a good time.”
“That’s the first time we’ve played in a team event together,” said Matteo, a junior at CVHS. “The atmosphere was great. There were 300-plus people watching. It was a fun experience. I’m glad I helped him (Anthony) get to the final hole for the first time. I hope to play in it again.”
Anthony and Matteo advanced to the fifth and final round of competition.
They parred the ninth hole.
“I’m not too disappointed,” Matteo said. “We barely lost. The other two teams made birdies.”
“We were a little unlucky,” Anthony added.
The Bonales brothers avoided elimination when Anthony buried a 30-yard chip shot on the seventh hole on the Bluff Course.
Matteo’s shot was just as impressive on the par-3, 230-yard eighth hole.
The ball landed 10 feet from the cup.
“We both hit some phenomenal shots."Anthony Bonales
“We both hit some phenomenal shots,” Anthony said.
“We practiced at Del Rio the week leading up to the event,” Matteo said.
The 12-team alternate-shot format tournament served as a fundraiser for First Tee of Central Valley program.
A total of $100,000 was raised.
Anthony and Matteo were sponsored by Turlock Dairy Refrigeration Inc. and Flooring Liquidators, respectively. Each company contributed $2,500.
“Our goal was to make $50,000,” said Anthony, a current board member for First Tee of Central Valley. “We were able to achieve that and a lot more. We’re helping hundreds and hundreds of kids. They’ll be able to use that money for a ton of different opportunities.”
Anthony graduated from Central Valley in 2014.
Bonales enjoyed a success-filled career on his way to becoming Central Valley High School’s all-time greatest male golfer.
Anthony, the Western Athletic Conference’s top player as a senior, sophomore and freshman, qualified for Divisionals four times.
He advanced to Masters twice.
Bonales almost punched his ticket to NorCals as a freshman. He tied for fourth place at Masters. He lost in a five-man playoff for the final berth.
Bonales continued his playing career at Division-I UC Riverside. The Highlanders claimed the Big West Conference title for the first time since 2005 in 2016.
Bonales graduated from college in 2018.
He’s worked as an accounting analyst for The Wonderful Company in Los Angeles since January.
“I got a great opportunity down here to push my horizons and take on a bunch of different responsibilities,” he said. “I still get to play golf. But not as much as I want to.”
Matteo is a junior at Central Valley.
Bonales didn’t perform like an underclassman during his first season in 2019.
He earned first-team all-Central California Conference honors for his impressive play.
Bonales placed third at the CCC Championships.
He took second at the conference’s midseason tournament.
Bonales compiled an 8-4 record during the CCC dual season.
He finished in eighth place at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III Tournament. The top six individuals moved on to Master.
Bonales and the Hawks had their 2020 campaign cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m looking forward to high school golf and the summer,” Matteo said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to commit (to a college) somewhere if I get some good offers.”
“He can be as good as he wants to be,” Anthony stated. “He has a better swing and fundamentals. He’s a lot more talented. I’ve seen him grow a lot. He can continue to get better. I got into golf at an earlier age. I was just a grinder. He gives me a run for my money when we play now. If I hit a couple bad shots, I’m not going to win.”
“I’m getting close to his caliber of golf,” Matteo added.