Golf falls to Poly in preseason match

By Alex Nakagawa

Assoc. Sports Editor

The South Pasadena boys’ golf team hit a rough patch today, falling to Polytechnic School of Pasadena. This game marked the team’s first official preseason game, and the start of a new season for the Tigers.

The team brings in a brand new group of faces to the team. Former South Pasadena High School mathematics teacher and varsity football coach Ed Smith led the varsity team for the first time after long-term coach Richard Goto’s retirement last year. The Tigers lost a key player in SPHS alumnus Henry Sue, who led the team every game in stroke count. However, the team will look to rely on a mixture of fresh talent and hard-nosed experience.

Freshmen Damian Ugalde and Brandon Zhu debuted in their first varsity match against a tough Panthers team that beat the Tigers by a substantial margin last year. They both ended with scores of 53 and 59, respectively.

Leading the team this year will be the five returning golfers from last year’s squad. Sophomore Elliott Lee led the Tigers with a score of 47. Senior Cristian Cotaya finished with a 49. Sophomore Andrew Son and senior Robert Lee finished the day with 51 each. Junior Eddy Moon was sick during today’s match and was unable to play, but hopes to return for the next game on March 24. Junior Myles Mullen played today as the team’s seventh golfer; therefore his score did not count towards the team’s total.

The Almansor Golf Course was especially unforgiving today, with cold and windy conditions deterring the Tigers from hitting the fairway with consistency. Nevertheless, the Tigers hope that today’s loss will only encourage the team to play with more focus for next game.

“I saw some great skill shown from both teams and was impressed by how my teammates performed,” Son said. “I hope to see the skill and performance level at our next game.”

South Pasadena will have two weeks to prepare for its first league match-up against San Marino on March 24. The Tigers plan on practicing hard on their own to prepare for a tough schedule against teams such as La Canada and Flintridge Prep.