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CV freshman shines on junior circuit
Anthony Bonales started playing golf four years ago.

Tony Mangipane, his grandpa, introduced him to the sport.

"He got me into the game," Anthony said. "He taught me how to play. We just go out and practice a lot."

Bonales has enjoyed a fair amount of success since becoming a member of the Junior Golf Association of Northern California in 2009. The soon-to-be freshman at Central Valley High School recently won the overall boys title at the George Maroney tournament.

Anthony competed in the 14-15 boys age group. He also outplayed the 16-17 field.

Bonales posted an overall score of 1-under-par 143.

He shot a 68 at Dryden on Wednesday, July 21.

He fired a 75 at Creekside on Tuesday, July 20.

"I was pretty ecstatic," Anthony said. "I didn't think I'd do as awesome as I did. All the practice really paid off."

Bonales won six tournaments and placed at four other events while competing in the 12-13 age group in 2009. He claimed low-medalist honors with a 3-under-par 69 at the Micke Grove Junior Classic.

Anthony has won two titles this year. He placed second (74-74-148) at the 58th Bumgardner Junior Memorial golf tournament.

"I wasn't very good when I first started," Bonales said. "I've improved a lot. I never get tired of playing."

Anthony practices five days a week. He spends close to 20 hours working on his overall game.

"I hit around the green, chip and putt," he said. "It's not as easy as other sports. You can't master it."

Bonales participated in the River Oaks Jr. Golf program from age 10-12. He also competed in match play.

The last three years, Anthony has been a member of the First Tee program at Modesto Municipal Golf Course. He was a student and volunteer instructor this summer.

"It's such a good program," Bonales said. "It reaches out to kids who can't afford it. It also teaches you life skills."

Academics will continue to be a priority in Anthony's life. He shared valedictorian honors after posting a cumulative GPA of 4.0 at Blaker-Kinser Jr. High School. Bonales' mother JoDee is a fourth-grade teacher at Sinclear Elementary.

"School is so important," Anthony said. "My dream college is Stanford."

"We push education more than anything else," said Mark Bonales, Anthony's father.

Anthony will begin his four-year varsity boys golf career at Central Valley High School this fall. The Hawks have never posted a winning record in conference play.

"The last couple of years, they haven't been very successful," he said. "Hopefully, we can change that this year."