The Yosemite High North Sequoia League championship boys golf team ended its season last week, placing fourth at the CIF D-II Central Section Championship Tournament at River Island Country Club in Porterville.
Hanford won the title with a team score of 424, 12 strokes ahead of second place Bakersfield Christian (426).
El Diamante of Visalia shot 447 for third place and the Badgers shot 464 for fourth, after a practice round of 422 the day before the tournament.
Uzzell second at Section Tournament
Lane Pulliman of Hanford shot a 71 to win the individual title, with two Yosemite players placing second and third - Spencer Uzzell, the three-time NSL MVP and the only senior on the team, shot a 77 and Michael Stieler scored 80.
Uzzell had a great senior year, winning all seven NSL matches he played in, but he almost did not return to the team this year, having not touched a club for eight months at the end of last season. He wasn’t sure he wanted to continue playing golf, but after some consideration he decided he wanted to attempt to be the NSL MVP for three consecutive years.
“I’m glad I decided to play this year,” Uzzell said. “It was exciting to play on this team winning another league title, getting the third MVP award for the third straight year, and helping some of the younger golfers along the way.”
Uzzell, who was riding in a golf cart with his dad Greg at Sierra Meadows Golf Course when he was 4, and started playing the game when he was 8, is uncertain about his future in golf.
His best 18-hole round of golf during his four years on the Badger golf team was a 64, and his average score this season was 76.
Other Yosemite finishers at the Section Tournament were freshman Josh Barba (9th), sophomore Dylan Allen (11th), and freshman Koa Estele (12th). The sixth player on the team is yet another freshman, Jackson Thearle.
Yosemite coach Reg Turner said Uzzell’s strength all season has been his putting but he had a couple holes where missed puts probably kept him from qualifying for the CIF Southern Regional tournament.
“Spencer has had a great season, but unfortunately he missed three four-foot puts that are usually pretty automatic for him,” Turner said. “If he would have made two of those three he would have been one of just a couple YHS golfers in the history of the school advance to the Southern Regional.”
Turner said he was proud of his young team’s performance winning the sixth consecutive league title and advancing to the Central Section D-II tournament considering Uzzell is the only senior on the team.
“Yosemite’s boys golf program will be pretty strong over the next few years as this year’s team was made up of just one senior (Uzzell), one junior, a sophomore and three freshman.