Many golfers talk about consistency like it's the great white whale, the unattainable goal that always seems just out of reach.
Then there's Garces senior Christian Sanders, who goes about his business and pumps out rounds like Thursday's 1-under-par 71 at Sundale Country Club as if he was walking the dog.
"I've just been pretty consistent," Sanders said. "Some rounds, I'm not hitting my driver well but I'm putting well. Sometimes I don't putt but I'm hitting a lot of greens. I've just been steady."
This effort helped Garces to a 393 team score and its fifth Southeast Yosemite League mini-tournament title in as many tries.
The league wraps up with an area qualifier Monday at Mifflin-Buena Vista, but the Rams are already guaranteed a spot at area (back at Buena Vista on May 6) because they've clinched the league title.
"We don't have the depth we did last year, but these guys all work really hard," coach Nick Vallejo said. "In my three years coaching here, this is the hardest-working group I've had."
That starts with Sanders, who will attempt to walk on for the golf team at St. Mary's, but it extends throughout the team. On Thursday, Matt Layton shot 79, and Will Naworski and Johnny Hathaway each shot 80. Colton Rudie gave the Rams a solid fifth score at 83. Still, the 393 was well behind Garces' season best of 375.
"It's not bad; no complaints," Vallejo said. "We're just hoping we can turn it on at the right time. We'll see how we do at the last league tournament."
North shot 466 to finish a distant second, led by an 87 from Hunter Hopkins. Tehachapi finished in 483 behind Wesley Barton's 81 and Highland, which sits second in the overall league standings, shot 501 and finished fourth.
The Scots' score just goes to show you how maddening golf can be -- one week, you have it, one week you don't.
But Sanders seems to have found a way around that -- his bad shots never seem to affect him much. He hit an approach to within 5 feet on the par-5 18th, and though he missed the putt, he still birdied the hole to end the day under par.
"He says pretty level-headed," Vallejo said. "He's worked hard here for three years, and it really pays off."