TAFT -- An already tight race for first place in the Southwest Yosemite League boys golf standings got bunched up even more on Wednesday thanks in large part to Frontier freshman Cade Weiner.
Weiner shot a career best 4-over 76 at Buena Vista Golf Course, helping the Titans claim their first SWYL mini tournament victory of the season and pull into a three-way tie with Liberty and Stockdale for first place.
"I was hitting my drives pretty straight," Weiner said. "Then I got up and down for par."
Despite windy conditions, the Titans finished with an impressive team score of 399. Stockdale came in second (406), followed by Liberty (412), Centennial (415), Bakersfield (447), and Independence (587).
"It's pretty big," Weiner said of Wednesday's result. "We needed to win this one."
Halfway through league play, Frontier, Stockdale, and Liberty each have a first, second, and third place finish to their credit.
Weiner, who came into the day No. 6 on the Titans depth chart, was a model of consistency, carding 14 pars and four bogeys.
His ability to stay out of major trouble helped him finish tied with Centennial's Tyler Burnes and Stockdale's Jared Kinoshita for the best round of the day.
Bakersfield's Jacob Postiff posted a 6-over 78 to take fourth. Weiner's teammates Konner Baker and Ryan Chamberlain along with Liberty's Warren Miller all shot 79's to tie for fifth place.
Burnes, winner of the SWYL's second mini tournament, held 10 days ago at Stockdale Country Club, has the top scoring average (74.67) in league play.
He had one birdie, three bogeys and one double bogey on Wednesday.
"I didn't hit the driver real well," Burnes said. "I kind of scrambled today. Scrambled well. Hit the wedges well. ... The course played pretty tough today, just the way the greens were and so I'm happy with my round."
Kinoshita had four birdies and six bogeys. But after shooting par on the front-nine he double bogeyed No. 10.
"It was kind of an up and down day," Kinoshita said.
The junior's strength biggest was his short-game.
"It actually saved me a few times," he said. "I was scrambling most of the round trying to save pars."
Garces boys dominate
The SEYL mini tournament at Buena Vista on Wednesday was dominated by Garces.
Matt Layton had the top individual score (4-over 78) by eight shots, leading the Rams to a 53 stroke victory (432-485) over second-place Tehachapi.
"It went pretty well," Layton said. "It was windy so it was tough to overcome that. But other than that, got the ball in the hole. It worked out pretty well."
Garces has won all four SEYL mini tournaments this year.
"They played well," Garces coach Nick Vallejo said. "They're shooting their averages so there was nothing really special about it. ... Obviously I want them to play a little better but their shooting their averages and I'm happy."