By Bill Tamburrino
Coach Jerry Patenaude’s varsity golf team pulled off the biggest upset and biggest victory in the program’s history.
The Bulldogs beat defending state and CIF champion Torrey Pines 189-191 at San Vicente Resort on Friday, March 16. Torrey Pines (13-1, 1-1) came into the match undefeated. The Falcons had not lost a match in over two years.
The victory was even sweeter because Ramona lost to Poway in the Palomar League opener on March 15. The Dawgs are now 7-2 on the season and 1-1 in league matches.
In the opening match of Palomar League play it was apparent that team depth would play a big role in deciding league matches.
In Ramona’s 197-211 loss to Poway at Stoneridge Country Club, five golfers shared the medalist honors. Joe Fortunato and Ryan Graf both shot 38 for the Bulldogs while three Poway golfers — Max Alcorn, Drew Oslance and Tyler Schultz — also shot 38.
In prep golf, six golfers play for each team and only the top five scores count. If the match is tied, the sixth score for each team decides the winner.
Ramona’s Christian Rajcic shot a 41, so his score went up against one of the 38 rounds shot by the Titans. Brandon Zane carded a 44 but the Titans fourth golfer, Chris Dahms, shot a 41. Poway’s Chris Drum shot a 42, eight shots better than Tanner Angel’s 50.
Depth again was the difference in Ramona’s upset of Torrey Pines. All five of the Falcon’s scoring golfers shot in the 30s.
Ramona had three golfers shoot in the 30s. Zane and Rajcic shot 36 to share medalist honors with Tailin Song of Torrey Pines. Zane’s 36 was his best round of his career and he shaved eight strokes off his previous day’s score against Poway. Rajcic improved five strokes from his Poway card.
Ryan Graf, the most consistent golfer on the Bulldog team, shot a 37. Graf has shot in the 30s in every match he has played this year. Zane, Rajcic, and Graf’s scores gave the Dawgs a four stroke advantage in head-to-head play against the top three golfers from Torrey Pines. Fortunato and James Andrews both carded 40. Torrey Pines’ fourth and fifth golfers shot 39, so Ramona won the match by two strokes.
“I am very proud of the team’s effort,” said Patenaude. “We knew that we could beat them, and everybody came together and we did it. Brandon (Zane) and Ryan (Graf) came through with PRs (personal bests). Christian (Rajcic) shot a great round. Joe and Mike (Fortunato and Andrews) also shot very well. It was a team effort. It had to be to beat a team like Torrey Pines.”
Last Monday the Dawgs competed in the first round of the City Cup Invitational at Escondido Country Club and Rajcic had his best day as a Bulldog, shooting a blistering 66 on the par 70 course. Going into the final round, Rajcic has a four stroke lead over Justin Beck and Justin Hickey of La Costa Canyon.