By Bill Tamburrino
The Palomar League is the toughest league in golf in the section and probably the state and to say that Ramona is holding its own would be an understatement.
The Bulldogs lost at home to Rancho Bernardo and then avenged that loss on the road. Then the Dawgs avenged a previous loss to Poway at San Vicente Resort.
The Dawgs shot under 200 in all three matches and ironically lost the match in which they recorded their lowest score. The Bulldogs are 12-3 on the year and are 4-2 in the Palomar League, a half a match behind Torrey Pines, the defending state and CIF champion.
Christian Rajcic had a phenomenal week. The senior captain of the team earned medalist honors three times in three matches. He shot under par twice.
Ramona opened the week by tying Rancho Bernardo 193-193 in a rare loss at San Vicente. In golf, six players compete and the scores from the top five golfers are counted. The sixth golfer’s score only counts in case of ties.
After nine holes, the top five golfers from Ramona and Rancho Bernardo were all square at 193. Rancho Bernardo’s number six shot a solid 44 to beat Ramona’s Tanner Angel, who shot a 49.
Rajcic shot a three under 33 to earn medalist honors and beat his counterpart by three strokes. Joe Fortunato tied his counterpart by shooting a one over par 37. Ryan Graf continued to be Mr. Consistency and fired a 39 to tie his head-to-head foe. James Andrews shot a 41 and Brandon Zane shot a 43 to send the match to the tie-breaker.
It didn’t take the Dawgs long to make up for the loss. Ramona traveled to Rancho Bernardo’s home course, Bernardo Heights Country Club, and posted a 195-201 victory. Rajcic shot an even par 36 to take medalist honors by one stroke. Brandon Zane shot a 37 to beat his counterpart by two strokes. Ryan Graf carded a 39 to beat his counterpart by two shots. Fortunato shot a 40 to beat his foe by two strokes. James Andrews carded a 43.
Ramona didn’t have long to celebrate as the Bulldogs hosted a Poway team that had beaten them earlier in the season by 14 strokes. Ramona could be considered a poor host as the Dawgs beat the Titans 195-209 for a 28-stroke turnaround.
Every Bulldog beat his counterpart in the match. Rajcic shot a two under par 34. Graf shot 38. Andrews carded a 40. Fortunato shot 41, Zane 42, and Ben Anderson-Parks shot 43.
“Christian (Rajcic) is in a zone,” said Coach Jerry Patenaude. “He has played in 16 matches and is nine under par in those matches, and that is with a 41 in an early match. Graf shoots a 37, 38, or 39 every time out. Fortunato and Zane have both been medalist. We will be playing for the league championship on Tuesday, and Torrey Pines is very tough to beat at their place (Rancho Santa Fe), but I like our chances.”
Ramona has became an elite program in Patenaude’s tenure.