They didn’t always have their golf shirts tucked into pleated pants, fresh spikes leaving marks as they marched down fairways this spring.
But Monday the Wallenberg boys’ golf team was all business and for the second straight season, proved it was the best in the San Francisco Section. The Bulldogs (10-3) defeated previously unbeaten Lowell 467-475 at Lincoln Park Golf Course and will advance to the NorCal tournament Monday at Richmond Country Club. Led by medalist T.J. Jang (who shot an 8-over 76), most of the members of a team that appreciates the lighter side of the game had their fresh polo shirts obscured by hooded sweatshirts by the end of the day as they lifted the championship trophy.
“We’re all really good friends and our first priority is always to go out there and have a good time,” Jang said. “That sometimes shows in our wardrobe, too. But I think that relaxation helps us play our best when it counts.”
Jang finished third in the individual race last year and said he struggled to find his game early on Monday. The senior bogeyed four of the first five holes but turned things around when he birdied the par-4 ninth and proceeded to par the first six holes of the back nine. The senior bested Steven Camozzi of Galileo by two strokes to take the title.
“I just had to remind myself early on that there was still a lot of golf to be played,” Jang said. “And try to forget some of the bad shots I hit.”
Wallenberg also had to overcome the mental hurdle of having lost to the Cardinals (12-1) twice during the regular season. All six Bulldogs are seniors, however, and coach Pat Mulligan could sense his team was relaxed entering into the match.
“They’ve all been there before,” Mulligan said. “And five of these six guys play at least one other sport, so they’re used to being in competitive situations.”
Kurtis Wong shot an 86 and was followed by Wallenberg teammates Yoseph Gebremeskel (98), Daivy Ly (103) and Chibuzo Emeka (104). Edward Chen carded an 85 to lead Lowell.
Camozzi will join Wallenberg next week in Richmond, as the senior had the lowest individual total of anyone not on the team champion.
SAN FRANCISCO SECTION TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
At Lincoln Park Golf Course, par 68
Wallenberg 467, Lowell 475
T.J. Jang 76, Kurtis Wong 86, Yoseph Gebremeskel 98, Daivy Ly 103, Chibuzo Emeka 104. Total 467.
Edward Chen 85, Aaron Chin 92, Sam Berry 95, Max Mackenzie 101, Andrew Huang 102. Total 475.
T.J. Jang (Wallenberg)76
Steven Camozzi (Galileo)78
Edward Chen (Lowell)85
Kurtis Wong (Wallenberg)86
Victor Chew (Lincoln)89
Aaron Chin (Lowell)92
Sam Berry (Lowell)95
Bryan Wang (Washington)97
Marcus Wong (Lincoln)97
Yoseph Gebremeskel (Wallenberg)98
Ken Escobar (Burton)99
Max Mackenzie (Lowell)101
Andrew Huang (Lowell)102
Daivy Ly (Wallenberg)103
Edwin Mak (Lowell)103
Chibuzo Emeka (Wallenberg)104
Alex Hoo (Washington)106</p>
Peter Huang (Wallenberg)111