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Del Oro takes third in Masters, Placer seventh

Eagles will compete at NorCals behind Smotherman?s record-low 65
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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Experience and the weather were definitely on Austin Smotherman?s side Monday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters golf tournament. The Del Oro High senior shot a tournament record low 65 to grab the individual title at The Reserve in Stockton and watched on as the rest of his team helped push the Eagles to a third place finish with a 372 and another trip to the NorCal tournament May 21. ?It was definitely a good day,? Smotherman said. ?I was rolling the ball pretty well, made a lot of putts and just kind of played golf how you?re supposed to with fairways and greens.? Smotherman?s 7-under par was one stroke under the previous record. Smotherman was followed by Justin Raskin at 72, Bobby Mullen and Louie Euer at 78 and Canyon Rowe?s 79. Granite Bay won the tournament with a 363 followed by Christian Brothers at 367. Placer, which earned the school?s first division title last week, came in seventh at 392. The Hillmen were led by Clark Pietromonico?s 73 followed by 79 each from Daniel Gregg and Cody Riecks, Matthew Potter?s 80 and an 81 from Austin Childress. ?Although we finished in the middle of the pack I?m happy for the year we had,? Placer coach Greg French said. The Eagles, which won the section tournament last season, played at the course earlier this season where they shot 384 to win the McNair Invitational but Del Oro coach Hal Steinback said the weather Monday was ideal for golf. ?The wind never came up and scores were low as a result,? he said. ?That course can be had when it?s not windy and today was really beneficial to the golfers.? The weather aided Smotherman, who will head to Southern Methodist University next season. He hit 16 of 18 greens and said he only missed three or four fairways. Steinback, who followed another group, said players from other teams said Smotherman could just have easily carded a lower score. Immediately after the tournament Smotherman jumped in car along friend and former Del Oro teammate Eric Ash to attempt to qualify for the U.S. Open. Smotherman will play today in the first qualifying tournament at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa with Ash, who now plays at Sonoma State, as his caddie. About the top five and two alternate golfers, depending on scores, advance to a 36-hole tournament where about the top three golfers will advance to the U.S. Open. ?So I?m three rounds away possibly from playing in the U.S. Open this year,? Smotherman said. ?Which would be pretty cool having it be in San Francisco. That?s definitely been my No. 1 goal lately.?