2019 SCGA Team Play Recap
Four SCGA member clubs from far and wide traveled to the Anza-Borrego Desert over the weekend, as two squads were crowned champion after a final day of heated battle in the Team Play Championship at Rams Hill GC in Borrego Springs.
In the Thursday Division, Porter Valley CC earned its first Thursday Division Team Play title, defeating Annandale GC, 25-23. Meanwhile, for the first time ever, Rancho Vista GC captured the Saturday Division by defeating Fullerton GC 26-22.
Sunday’s respective championship matches culminated a four-month regular season and month-long postseason at the majestic desert wonderland, where perfect weather conditions created a memorable atmosphere for players, captains and spectator galleries alike.
After riding a manic momentum shift towards the end of the day, Porter Valley CC was able to pull themselves from a huge deficit and found the podium in dramatic fashion.
With six holes left to play, there was a lot of Annandale white showing on the scoreboard. But the five-time Saturday Division Team Play Champions didn’t give up and fought to the finish.
“It’s been the ultimate roller coaster season,” said Porter Valley CC captain Sal De Silva. “Even today we had an up-and-down go about it. Thought we had lost and eventually pulled it out with gutsy play down the stretch."
Porter Valley CC found consistency from the middle of its lineup. Arni Osvaldsson squeaked out a 1up victory to turn the tides while John Heath won 2 & 1 to continue the Porter Valley surge. Nicholas Ortiz, Chris Campochiaro and Tony Lamela combined to win three straight singles matches to put a splash of Porter Valley red on the board. Jacob Kushner and Hovig Nargizian edged out their opponents, before Mark Raymer put the nail in the coffin with a 1up victory out of the anchor position.
“This means the world to us,” said De Silva. “This win has revitalized the club. We used to be looked at as the step child, but now we’re the team to beat. We’ll be back.”
It was a first-time feeling for the Rancho Vista GC squad and an ecstatic captain Don Younger could hardly believe the turnaround his club has seen.
“This competition means everything to our little private club,” said Rancho Vista GC Captain Don Younger. “We’ve come a long way since the start and we actually lost 48-0 at one point if you can believe it.”
The heavy hitters for Rancho Vista set the tone early and took care of business in the fourball matches, sweeping the first three matches in convincing fashion. Brady Chelette & Alex Massari (2 & 1), Raymond Munoz & Justin Rockey (6 & 4) and Donald Younger & Rick Strattan (4 & 3) all emerged victorious for the eventual champions.
In singles matches, Rancho Vista built an early lead after Munoz, Rockey, Younger and Strattan routed their opponents. Fullerton put together a furious charge from the middle of their lineup, winning five straight matches to pull back into it. But in the end, it was Dan Massari, Brent Bryne, Stephen Walker and Oliver Chao who won their singles matches to shut the door on Fullerton.