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Central Valley standout player Anthony Bonales ranks first in JGANC standings
Bonales finishes third at Salinas tournament, lead cut to three points
Anthony Bonales ranked in the top six in the JGANC Team Points-Boys 14-17 Tabulation standings in 2012. Hes battling for the top spot this year. - photo by Photo courtesy of JoDee Bonales

Anthony Bonales played in the 58th Annual Charlie Culver Junior Masters Championship, July 8-9, at the Salinas Country Club.

Bonales placed third with a two-day-total of 147 (73-74).

"I tried my best to win it again," the Central Valley High School senior said.

Anthony's steady play over the past year has him closing in on a major honor.

He ranked first in the Junior Golf Association of Northern California Team Points-Boys 14-17 Tabulation standings as of July 9. He's racked up 243 points.

"I check it every now and then," said Bonales, a top-six finisher last year. "I get updates. It's nice to see my name on top. I've been playing and practicing a lot. It makes a huge difference."

Anthony holds a three-point lead over San Jose's Shintaro Ban (240 points, eight events).

Ban shot a tournament-leading 140 (73-67) en route to capturing the Bumgardner Junior Memorial title on July 9 at Modesto's Del Rio Country Club.

"The guy that is No. 2 is a good friend of mine," Anthony said. "He's a really good player."

Bonales has played in 15 events since last July.

He's placed first four times, second and third once, and fourth, fifth and sixth three times.

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

He's trying to earn a spot on the Hogan Cup Team. The Hogan Cup tournament will be staged in Oregon. Players are selected by using score averages and ranking. The best junior golfers from the Western United States and Canada are pitted against each other. Medals are awarded to the top three teams as well as the top three individuals in the field.

"To get first (in the JGANC Team Points-Boys 14-17 Tabulation standings) would be a big achievement," Bonales said. "It's all about being consistent and placing. I'm going to try to keep it up."

Anthony will attend The First Tee Advanced Player Academy at the University of Richmond, July 10-17, in Virginia. Just 24 players worldwide were selected to attend.

"I'll focus on my game for a week and play on different golf courses," he said. "It should be a good experience. Eventually, everything will click."