Two years ago as a skinny 15-year-old freshman playing No. 5 for Granite Bay, Jeffrey Inouye-Wong shot a team-best 1-under-par 72 at San Gabriel Country Club to lead the Grizzlies to an unlikely state high school boys team championship.
It wasn’t quite shock-the-world stuff, but Granite Bay was the third (and last) seed from Northern California in an event a Sacramento school hadn’t won since the six-team format was introduced in 2004.
Today, Inouye-Wong and the state tournament return to San Gabriel, but regardless of the outcome, it won’t be the same because his teammates won’t be with him. Inouye-Wong, a team player through and through, will compete as an individual after finishing tied for fifth in the NorCal tournament from which his team failed to advance.
“When I found out I had made it and the team didn’t, it didn’t feel right,” he said.
Not that Inouye-Wong, now a 17-year-old junior, won’t give his best as the Sacramento area’s lone representative. San Gabriel is a stern test, and the harder the course and higher the stakes, the more he seems to shine.
“I like the pressure,” he said. “I feel like I can manage my game better than others on tough courses.”
His expectation? “Try my best and see what happens.”
• Gold River’s John Catlin tied for fourth last week in his first PGA Tour Canada event. He earned $6,200 in the season-opening PC Financial Open in Vancouver, British Columbia. The top five money earners at season’s end earn a spot on the Web.com Tour.
• UC Davis senior Matt Hansen was named the school’s 2013-14 male student-athlete of the year. Hansen, a four-time All-Big West Conference selection, set a school record for stroke average at 70.22, UCD announced. He will graduate next week with a degree in economics and plans to turn pro this summer.
• Roseville’s Clare Sorensen and Sacramento’s Taryn Yee qualified last week for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links next month in DuPont, Wash.
Call The Bee’s Steve Pajak, (916) 326-5526.