It’s been a cold and rainy start to the golf season but what limited play we’ve gotten in has produced some impressive results on the area preps scene. Also, a former area HS star made her debut on the EPSON Tour this week in Beaumont.

Lions off to undefeated start in dual matches

Over the years, Linfield Christian has had their moments when it comes to golf. Sydnee Michaels won an individual league championship in 2006 as a senior and last season the Lions finished T3 in their CIF-SS Division 6 championship tournament with a 417-team score among others. Daniel Guerra also made it to the second round of individual postseason play.

Linfield’s Daniel Guerra, pictured here, is averaging a 39 for nine holes along with teammate Luke Bohmer. Valley News/File photo

This year’s edition of the Lions, under veteran head coach Mark Moore (PGA Director of Instruction at Eagle Glen), might be off to the best start of his tenure. After Thursday’s 212-220 victory over Corona Santiago at the Golf Club of Glen Ivy, the Lions are a perfect 5-0 in nine hole dual matches, owning wins over three Southwestern League programs (including a sweep of Temecula Valley) by an average of 6.4 shots. In CIF-SS team divisional play, the Lions will be an entrant in Division 5 along with league rival Ontario Christian and Murrieta Mesa. Speaking of the Lions’ quest for an Ambassador League crown, which starts with a pair of away matches this week against Aquinas and Ontario Christian, Daniel Guerra and Luke Bohmer are each averaging a 39 for nine holes early in the season.

Pack with new leader

For as long as there has been a boy’s golf program at Great Oak, Jared Boyatt has been its leader. That is until he stepped down at the end of last season after a remarkable 17-year run that included 15 league titles, 6 CIF-SS team divisional titles, 3 CIF-SS individual champions and 7 Southwestern League MVPs. First year head coach Jeff Sampson, PGA teaching professional at neighboring Redhawk, took over the program and behind his son Nathan (last year’s area Player of the Year) and University of San Diego signee Ryan Abuan should be right in the thick of this year’s Southwestern League team championship race.

Great Oak’s Ryan Abuan, who is committed to play at the University of San Diego next season, should be right in the thick of this year’s Southwestern League team championship race. Valley News/Andrez Imaging

Great Oak won the Norman Xiong Invitational, hosted by Temescal Canyon at Canyon Lake Golf Club on March 13, with a team score of 379 and posted a 4th place finish in Servite’s tournament (shooting 402) to open the season. They are 2-0 in Southwestern League play after a 197-264 win against Murrieta Mesa last Thursday afternoon at Cross Creek in Murrieta.

Poomcharoen makes EPSON Tour debut in Beaumont

There is only one EPSON Tour event in California but at the end of last weekend former Great Oak and University of Iowa standout Monika Poomcharoen found herself monitoring the IOA Championship alternate list with a chance to play in her home state. She was fifth on the alternate list on the Thursday going into the event, and by last Monday afternoon she found herself in the field after additional withdrawals. Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon’s Champions Course in Beaumont hosted the event.

Former Great Oak and University of Iowa standout, Monika Poomcharoen, was fifth on the alternate list for the EPSON tour last Thursday and on Monday afternoon found herself in the field after additional withdrawals. Valley News/Andrez Imaging

Poomcharoen shot an opening round 71 after curling in a thirty foot birdie putt at 18 just before dark and was in a good position to make the cut in her maiden start on the tour. Unfortunately, things did not go well for the graduate of Great Oak High School as she struggled to a second round 77 with four bogeys, a double bogey and one birdie. She posted a two-day total of 148 and missed the cut by two shots. The tour resumes play next week in Tucson for the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic where Poomcharoen, according to the most recent field report, is 10th alternate.

Other professional golf tidbits

For a fifth straight year, Murrieta’s Bear Creek Golf Club has been named host of the California State Open from June 26-29.

PGA Tour Canada qualifying returns to Soboba Springs Golf Course from April 11-14.

The ASHER Tour has two remaining stops in our area. They are at Bear Creek this week, finishing up play on Tuesday and returning to Soboba Springs Golf Course next week with a tune-up event for PGA Tour Canada qualifying a week later.

Derryl Trujillo can be reached by email at