SAN DIEGO – The Chaparral High School boys golf team joined 22 San Diego County teams in the inaugural Bulldog Open tournament. The action took place Monday, March 27, at the San Vicente Golf Resort in Ramona, where Pumas placed tenth among the 23 teams.
“I thought it was a good test for my guys,” Chaparral coach Jon Mitchell said.
High school dual matches involve nine-hole rounds; six golfers from each school compete and the high score is discarded while the scores of the other five golfers are added to obtain the team score. The Bulldog Open was an 18-hole tournament and five golfers from each team competed with the four best scores being added.
Chaparral had a team score of 346. Some schools had multiple teams (a total of 18 schools participated); Olympian (Chula Vista) and St. Augustine White (San Diego) tied for eighth with each having a score of 345 while St. Augustine Purple was the 11th-place team and had a score of 350. Classical Academy won the team portion of the tournament with a score of 317. Ramona High School, which hosted the tournament and plays home matches at San Vicente, placed 13th with a score of 365.
“Hopefully it will make us better for the rest of the year,” Mitchell said.
The San Vicente course is 6,704 yards from the black tees the Bulldog Open participants used, and the 18-hole par is 72. “It’s a hard course,” Mitchell said.
Connor Williams of San Pasqual (Escondido) had the individual low score of 71. Danny Tovar had the low score for Chaparral and was one of five players to shoot a round of 80, which tied them for 14th among the 122 student golfers. Chris Ma was one of three players in the tournament with a score of 83 which tied those players for 20th. Chase Burton took 91 strokes, Conner Thoren completed his 18 holes in 92 shots, and Troy Song shot a round of 93.
“Difficult scoring for our guys,” Mitchell said.
The March 27 date was based on the course availability and was not a rain makeup date. “We got really lucky. It was between storms,” Ramona coach Craig Powell, who organized the tournament, said.
The last rainfall in Ramona prior to the tournament was on March 24.
“The course is in great shape,” Mitchell said.
“The weather’s been good to the course,” Mitchell said. “It was windy, dried out the greens. It rolled super fast.”
Remnants from the storm created a stream which was added to the course water hazards but did not impact play for golfers who avoided that body of water.
San Vicente is part of the San Diego Country Estates development. The course opened in 1973 and a renovation was completed in 2021. A trade magazine called Golf Inc. selected San Vicente as the first-place public course in its 2021 Renovation of the Year recognition article.
“I think they’ve done a good job with the bunkers,” Mitchell said. “I’m happy we got to come down.”
Due to rain, the Pumas had only one dual match prior to the Bulldog Open; Chaparral defeated Vista Murrieta in that March 23 competition.
Mitchell himself grew up in San Diego County. He is from Valley Center and attended Orange Glen High School in Escondido, where Valley Center students went prior to the 1998 opening of Valley Center High School.
The Bulldog Open also included coaches playing, although the coaches prioritized their student participants and did not necessarily complete 18 holes. Mitchell played some San Vicente holes March 27. “It was tough,” he said.
Joe Naiman can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.