STOCKTON Brandon Baumgarten was 3 over par after four holes in Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters boys golf championships at the Reserve at Spanos Park after going double bogey, bogey, bogey.
Bryan Wise was 2 over four holes into his round after the shotgun start.
It was early, but Granite Bay's chances of advancing in the 2012 postseason were headed in the direction of a recent Tiger Woods tee shot sideways with its Nos. 2 and 3 players struggling.
"I was a little frustrated," Baumgarten said.
Since Granite Bay's six golfers were in different groups throughout the course and unaware of how each was faring, there was no collective panic. Good thing, because Baumgarten and Wise, baby-faced juniors poised beyond their years, rallied impressively over their final 14 holes to post 1-under 71s and lead the Grizzlies to the Masters title.
Granite Bay posted a team score of 3-over 363 to beat Christian Brothers (367) and Del Oro (372). The three teams advance to next Monday's Northern California Regional championships at Butte Creek in Chico.
Jesuit (376) finished fourth.
Granite Bay's team total was the lowest in Masters (which began in 2007) history and second-lowest in section championship history.
"We have the potential to get better," Wise said.
Alex Gibbs and Chuck Pedrone shot 73s, while Jeff Inouye-Wong shot a 75 for Granite Bay, which won the Division II section title last week.
Christian Brothers, 13 shots behind Granite Bay last week and largely in the wake of the area's top teams this season, was led by Andrej Bevins and Kit Carson, each with 67s. Hunter Rappleye shot a 74 for the Falcons.
"We have not had our top three play well on the same day all season until today," said Christian Brothers coach Kirk Purdy. "Other teams might be surprised (by what we accomplished today), but I'm not."
Del Oro, which has been duking it out with Granite Bay in the Sierra Foothill League all season, secured the final NorCal berth on the strength of a Section/Masters record (dating to 1944) 65 from Austin Smotherman. Justin Raskin shot a 72 for the Eagles.
Smotherman, a senior headed to SMU, had eight birdies and one bogey a three-putt that came after three straight birdies.
Granite Bay and Del Oro represented the Sac-Joaquin Section at last year's NorCals but failed to advance to state.
McClatchy's Julian Woodfork shot a 67 to lead four individuals advancing to NorCals. On a largely windless day, Ponderosa's Corey Pereira, Armijo's Aaron Beverly and Oakdale's Ryan Jones shot 70s.
Woodfork, a late-blooming senior who hasn't decided on a college, had a double-eagle 2 on the par-5 16th hole after sinking a 5-iron from 200 yards.