File photo by The Press Enterprise
RIVERSIDE: The opening to the 2017 golf season took place in Riverside Cup tournament hosted by King.
16 of the top teams from Riverside County and the Inland Empire took part in the 12th annual tournament at Canyon Crest Country Club.
Four returning varsity players led the Wolves to their 5th place finish. Michael Higginbotham led the scoring with a fabulous 75 on a cold and wet day. It is his second straight 75 for King in team tournaments.
Jacob Flaczinski and Joel Gonsier also put in 79’s to give King a solid base. Top returner Sam Butler struggled on three holes but otherwise battled to a 81. The four returners actually put the Wolves close to a podium finish. The 5th score kept was Ivan Ciudad Real making his first varsity start in high school.
Overall the event was a big success not only with how the Wolves finished, but the fact the tournament was even able to finish. All day as rain continued to hit on and off again it was a difficult event.
It is an encouraging start though and shows the ability and potential King has if five guys can put it all together on the right day.
“We will be as strong as our fifth player is this year which is so reflective of why high school golf is a team sport” Coach and tournament director Kevin LeDuc said.
“A lot of people understandably look at it as an individual sport, but it’s so dependent on your team, and even when you are playing poorly to keep battling because your score may be the one that needs to be kept.”
That teamwork will become more essential when the Wolves enter dual matches against Big 8 League and non-league opponents.
The Wolves shot a team total of 402 finishing 17 shots behind the champions Murrieta Valley. The Wolves will play the Nighthawks again on Thursday.