On what was a brutal day for golf, Erik Sanchez of Shadow Hills High School found a way to shoot a relatively decent score and advance to CIF-Southern Section postseason play.
Sanchez, a junior at Shadow Hills, survived strong winds that buffeted the De Anza League players all day at Desert Dunes Golf Course in Desert Hot Springs to shoot the best round of the day, a 94 that was much better than the score might indicate.
“It was more than awful,” Sanchez said of the constant winds and the gusts that reached 30 mph and drove the temperature down late in the day during the league individual finals. “Before the round started it was not too good. The wind, I think, slowed down slightly toward the middle of the round.”
Combined with a 90 on the same course Tuesday, Sanchez finished the 184, third among the 18 players who advanced out of Tuesday’s preliminaries. That made Sanchez one of four DAL golfers to move on to CIF-SS individual regional play Monday at Indian Canyons Golf Resort in Palm Springs.
That no player was able to break 90 Thursday was one indication of how difficult the conditions were. And like many players, Sanchez was just happy to finish the round.
“Thankful that I made it,” said Sanchez, 17 and playing his first competitive year for the Knights golf team. “A lot to work on. I couldn’t putt today. Just little things, things in the short game that need a lot of work.”
Jared Lindley of Twentynine Palms was the league champion and MVP with a two-day score of 176, including a 99 Thursday.
In addition to making the CIF-SS regional, Sanchez is also league first team by finishing in the top six players. D.J. Sailor of Rancho Mirage High School finished fifth at 190 to make first team, while Daniel Sandoval of Shadow Hills also was first team with a tie for sixth at 193.