Glendale News-Press: Rodriguez, Toribio Grab Lead at Glendale City Golf Championship

Glendale News-Press: Rodriguez, Toribio Grab Lead at Glendale City Golf Championship

By Andrew J. Campa

GENDALE — A field that began with 101 players was narrowed to 40 at Thursday’s first day of the two-day fifth annual Glendale City Golf Championship.

Fidel Rodriguez and Jesse Toribio are tied at two-under-par 58 atop the Championship Flight that includes 14 other golfers, while Burbank resident Ian Martin finished with a top adjusted score of 54 at par-60 Scholl Canyon Golf Course.

Overall, the top 16 players in the championship flight, along with the eight best players from the Deukmejian, Verdugo and Brand Flights, earned advancement to Monday’s final round at formidable par-72 Oakmont Country Club. Starting tee time is at noon.

Rodriguez, who finished second by three strokes at last year’s championship behind St. Francis High and Glendale Community College product Ryan Miranda, is back in the hunt.

Rodriguez carded three birdies with a score of 28 through the front nine of the 3, 039-yard course. Though Rodriguez finished with one of the best scores Thursday, he wasn’t completely satisfied with his effort.

“To be honest, I left a lot out there,” said Rodriguez, a native of Avalon and a Riverside resident. “I made some really good puts for par, which kind of evened it out, but I just have to get my putter working for Monday. I’ve been pretty comfortable with my ball-striking.”

Rodriguez’ foursome teed off at 8:32 a.m., eight minutes ahead of the group that included Toribio, the San Gabriel resident who was making his city championship debut.

Toribio was the model of consistency, shooting 29 on the front and back nine, while finishing with a birdie on the par-three, 83-yard seventh hole and par-four, 252-yard 15th hole.

“Today was really fun,” Toribio said. “The course was pretty good, but the pin locations today were really tough, if I have to say. It was difficult making putts out there, but you know I had a good day shooting two-under par with pretty consistent play.”

The cut for Monday’s final was at 65 and there were no card-offs.

The final 14 qualifiers consist of Erik Stratton (59), Daniel Kim (60), Ryan Early (61), Ian Shin (61), Harrison Moon (62), Christopher Campbell (63), Michael McKinley (63), Yuhao Xie (63), Lawrence Breaux (64), James Hernandez (64), Justin Mooney (64), Sean Sanguansap (64), Brian Dancses (65) and Eric Means (65).

Scott Christensen, Jason Vaughan and Rick Harris finished with the top gross scores of 63 in the Deukmejian Flight. With a handicap of five, Christensen finished with a 58, while Harris earned a 59 and Vaughan finished with 60.

Keith Shill (61), Matt Soule (61), Allen Black (62), Jim Stone (62) and David Holeman (64) also advanced out of the Deukmejian Flight to Monday’s competition.

In the Verdugo Flight, Jason Marian tallied his group’s best gross score (65) and finished with a 56 after deducting his nine handicap.

Marian will attempt to fend off Carlos Casanova (58), Jerry Piro (58), Patrick Gelwicks (60), Ara Bedros (61), Michael Lifshey (61), William Erickson (62) and Christian Rinaldi (62).

As for the Brand Flight, Martin had a little memento of humility close by.

“I came out here yesterday and I shot an 81,” said Martin, who reached into his back pocket to pull out a scorecard from Wednesday’s practice round. “I have the proof in my pocket here. I just made notes on what I wanted to do today and what clubs I wanted to hit. I did all the same things today, but I putted much better.”

Martin followed up a 34 through the front nine with a 31 on the back nine with birdies on the 13th and 17th holes. Martin’s gross of 65 adjusted with his handicap of 11 gave him the day’s best score of 54.

Despite taking a four-stroke lead over Sulpicio DeGuzman (58), Martin wasn’t focused so much on winning, but perhaps on simply surviving.

“I really hope I don’t screw this up on Monday,” Martin quipped. “You can quote me on that! No, I’m just excited to play Oakmont on Monday. It’s a great spot and I only get to play as often as [tournament chairman] Rick Dinger allows me.”

Martin and DeGuzman will be joined Monday by Michael Cordova (59), Dave Shelburne (59), Michael Kukuczka (60), Dinger (61), Vincent Bedros (61) and Miles Basurto (63).

The only final action Thursday came in the female flight, won by streaky 15-year-old Daniella Di Paolo.

The Sherman Oaks Notre Dame student finished with a 72, with two completely different halves of action.

The youngster struggled to a 14-over 44 through the front nine, only to turn around with three birdies to card a two-under 28 on the back nine.

Source: Glendale News-Press