Bishop Gorman girls golf coach Jim Stanfill says his golfers have been accomplishing goals all season.
There’s just one left on the list.
The Gaels begin their quest for a state title today in the two-day Division I state tournament at Bear’s Best Golf Club, coincidentally their home course. Today’s first round begins at 9:50 a.m., with Thursday’s final round at 10:20 a.m.
“Our goal this season (was) to give the seniors a state title in their last year, and we’ve been checking off our boxes,” Stanfill said. “We went 5-0 in league, improved at our away tournament we went to … and then won the regional title.”
Leading the way for the Gaels is senior Katie DeJesus, who finished third last week in the Sunset Regional. She is followed by freshmen Megan Orgad and Jennifer Le, senior Maddy Black, freshman Danielle Oberlander and sophomore Sarah James.
“It’s a unique group (because) we’ve (had) six, seven, eight girls at any given time who can give us four scores that can put us right where we need to be,” Stanfill said.
Yet after winning last week’s Sunset Region title with a 372 in the one-day event at Siena Golf Club, Stanfill knows his team will have its hands full against defending state champion Spanish Springs, which returned all of its starters from last year’s team and dominated last week’s Northern Region championship after shooting 315 on both days of the 36-hole tournament. Coronado shot 332 to win the 18-hole Sunrise Region tournament.
Those teams will be joined by region runners-up Desert Oasis (Sunset), Green Valley (Sunrise) and Bishop Manogue (North).
DeJesus, Sunset champion Aspen Bryant (Cimarron-Memorial) and runner-up Allison Weiderman (Desert Oasis) have the potential to contend for the individual title, along with the Sunrise’s top two golfers — champion Amy Ruelas (Foothill) and runner-up Mercedes Khumnark (Green Valley).
Though the event takes place where the Gaels host their regular-season matches, Stanfill insists there will be no home-course advantage. Bear’s Best normally is a par-71, 5,043-yard venture over 18 holes but will be played over 5,532 yards at a par 72.
“We’re playing the golf course different than we would play it on a league match,” Stanfill said. “You still got to put a tee in the ground, you gotta swing, and you gotta put the ball in the hole.
“At the end of the day, it’s golf. It’s one shot at a time, and your round is not over until you pull the ball out of the 18th hole.”