The fields are set for both the team and individual Central Section boy’s golf championships after the South Area tournament at Mifflin-Buena Vista on Monday.

Stockdale High, the top team all season, proved they are the best as it shot a 381 to best runner-up Garces High by 10 strokes. Both teams advance to the Central Section team championships this Tuesday at River Island CC in Porterville.

Also joining the Mustangs and the Rams will be Frontier High (Division II) as the Titans shot 404, which was the third best on the day but No.1 in D-II.

The tournament was also a qualifier for the individual championships which will be May 21 in Madera. The top 15 advanced and the group was led by Tyler Whitehead from BHS who carded a 1-under-par 71 to win medalist honors. Fourteen other players including the leading players from Stockdale, Garces and Frontier will play for a chance to win a section title and advance to the CIF Southern Cal Regionals.

It took a score of 78 to advance.

Patel, Ernst moving along

While Bhavik Patel was making his third straight cut and finishing in the top 20 for the fourth time this season on the Tour, Derek Ernst was winning his first PGA Tour event in his 9th start of the year.

Patel and Ernst have been competing against each other since their junior golf days. Ernst went to Clovis West and then to UNLV while our local star Patel attended BHS and then Fresno State. In the PGA Tour Q-School last November in La Quinta, Ernst earned his PGA Tour card (limited status) by finishing in the top 25 while Patel earned exempt status on the Web tour for his 38th place finish.

Patel finished 13th in the Stadion Classic at the University of Georgia in Athens last week and earned $10,920. That moved the 22-year-old into the 22nd spot in earnings with $56,920. The top 25 at the end of the year earn their PGA Tour playing card for 2014. The tour is off this week.

Ernst, who has been struggling on the PGA Tour, was actually headed to Athens to compete against Patel when he got a call and was told he was in as the 4th alternate for the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. It was a life-changing call.

Ernst won the tournament when he canned a 4-foot birdie putt on the final hole to tie David Lynn and then beat Lynn on that same 18th hole in the playoff with a 15-foot birdie putt.

The win earned Ernst more than just the cool $1.2 million winners share.

Ernst got to compete this week in The Players Championship (he missed the cut), will play in the next two World Golf Championship events, the 2013 PGA Championship, the 2014 Tournament of Champions and the 2014 Masters. And, by the way, he is exempt for two years!

Meanwhile, Patel will return to action in South Carolina next week in the BMW Charity Classic.

I could see Patel and Ernst battling down the stretch in a PGA Tour event in the near future. They are both that good. Ernst has now proven he belongs and Patel is on his way!

Season over for CSUB

The CSUB men’s golf team concluded its season with the America Sky Conference Championships at The Dominion CC in San Antonio where it placed eighth.

Daniel Richardson led the Runners with rounds of 72-72-76. Also competing for CSUB were Dylan Lym, Chase Goodvin, Matt Hammons and Patrick Bell. Richardson, Hammons and Bell are seniors.

Fessler gets nod for NCAAs

Former Liberty High, BC and current Fresno State player Ruffie Fessler received an at-large invitation to compete in the NCAA Division I men’s golf championship this week.

Fessler averaged 72.64 strokes per round this year which ranked 11th in the Mountain West Conference. Bhavik Patel received the same kind of invitation in his last year at FSU in 2011 and finished 38th.

Rutherford 11th at D-II Nationals

Former Frontier High All-Area golfer Tavia Rutherford completed her sophomore year at the University of Souix Falls with an 11th place finish at the NCAA Division II Central Super Regionals in St. Joseph’s, Mo.

The top three individuals qualified for the D-II National Championships and Rutherford was equal 4th heading into the final round after rounds of 78-79. A final round 86 dropped her to 11th. Rutherford was the Cougars No.1 player this year.

Chip Shots

Qualifying has begun for the 2014 California State Amateur Championship which will be played June 17-22 on the Monterey Peninsula CC course in Monterey and the U.S. Open which will be played at historic Merion GC and results will be in this column as I receive them.

May is “Free 10 minute Lesson Month” at the Foss-Kern River golf course courtesy of Jacque Servadio, LPGA. Each Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Servadio will offer quick tips but space is limited so call to reserve a spot now at 301-5944.

The 3rd North High Red & Grey Classic will be May 18 at the Mifflin-Buena Vista GC. It’s a 7 a.m. shotgun start. Call Alan Smart at 805-0863 for more information.

The first Footwork Elite Hoop Dreams golf tournament will be June 15 at BV. Entry is $300 for a team of 4 or $80 for an individual. Entry includes fees, cart rental, lunch, prizes and other stuff. Call Ron at 817-4325 for more information.

The 4th Roger Gunning Memorial golf tournament will be June 20 at the Bakersfield CC. Entry is $150 per player (4-player scramble) and proceeds benefit local youth baseball and scholarships to BC baseball players. The tournament was completely filled last year so early entry is a must if you want to play. LA Dodger legend Maury Wills will be the guest speaker at the awards dinner following play. Contact Bob French at 428-6843, Teri Graf at 205-3830 or George Culver at 706-3775 to get more information on playing, sponsoring or volunteering.

Updated information (stats, etc.) on local players that are now competing in college golf (Men and Women) is always encouraged by Tee to Green as are golf related stories and information you believe that the readers would want to know about. Send the info to the email address listed below and don’t forget about those holes-in-one! And thanks in advance!

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