Winds reached 25-plus miles per hour at times during last week’s Western Athletic Conference South Division girls golf match between crosstown-rivals Ceres High and Central Valley.
“I was surprised the scores weren’t higher,” Bulldogs’ head coach Ron Edwards said. “All the girls from both teams played well (considering the weather conditions). None of the girls shot max. It was a horrific day because the wind was so bad.”
“That’s probably the worst it’s been out there in my nine years here,” Hawks’ head coach Kelly Wheelock said. “It was tough for all of the girls.”
“I could have done better if the wind wasn’t so harsh,” Ceres High sophomore standout Alysabeth Marquez said. “I definitely had to adjust the way I played and it made it a lot harder to decide what to do, whether I should club up or down and where to aim.”
A newcomer to girls golf, Marquez earned low medalist honors while competing against the Hawks on Wednesday at St. Stanislaus Golf Course.
Marquez edged out Central Valley senior/2019-20 Central California Conference MVP/fellow First Tee member Amelia Daoheung by one stroke in a battle between No. 1 players.
“I knew it was going to be close,” said Edwards, who coached Marquez when she suited up for Ceres High’s boys golf team as a freshman. Ceres High didn’t field a girls team due to a lack of interest.
“They’re both solid players,” he added. “They’re pretty even. We’ll find out where their games are during the next match. The weather is going to be better.”
“That’s one of the first individual matches Amelia’s lost at St. Stanislaus in the last few years,” Wheelock said. “I don’t think it was a pressure thing. Alysabeth is legit. She’s good. You can tell she’s very competitive.”
Marquez and Daoheung shot 39 and 40, respectively.
Marquez buried a six-foot putt on the ninth and final hole to secure the victory.
She grabbed a one-stroke lead after parring the eighth hole. Daoheung’s par putt lipped out.
“I think she (Marquez) was nervous before the match,” Edwards said. “I could tell by the expression in her eyes. She thinks Amelia is better than her. Alysabeth has what it takes to be a great player. If she fixes her mental game, she’ll be better than she is now.”
“I knew it could go either way,” Wheelock said. “For the conditions, both girls played excellent. Not to take anything away from Alysabeth, but I still think Amelia is the best golfer in our league. It will show in the end.”
Marquez didn’t say anything while handing her scorecard to Edwards at the conclusion of the match.
“She didn’t even tell me she beat her (Daoheung),” Edwards stated. “She said she did okay. Alysabeth is a humble person. She’s not cocky about anything.”
“I am very satisfied with the way I played,” Marquez said. “Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but it went well.”
Ceres High teammates Isabella Turner and Bethanie Thornberry posted identical scores of 48. Twin sisters Jazmyne Arendt and Dominique Arendt shot 55 and 57, respectively.
Central Valley’s Sayra Rodrigues, Kaylee Almanza and Nayelie Cruz finished with rounds of 52, 54 and 61.
Lucia Bernal did not compete because she had a dentist appointment.
The Bulldogs won the crosstown showdown by forfeit as the Hawks didn’t have enough players to post a team score.
“It would have been close if we had Lucia there,” Wheelock said.
The Ceres High-Central Valley match was delayed by an hour due to a scheduling conflict with boys and girls teams from the Southern League.
“I thought we had first priority,” Edwards said. “We had to reset everything. Our routine went out the door.”