Sonora sophomore Billy Kiriluk shot an even-par 36 on Thursday at Mountain Springs Golf Club to lead the Wildcats over rival Oakdale 215-218 and into first place in the Valley Oak League.
Kiriluk parred all nine holes on his way to earning co-medalist honors.
“It’s exceptional for a golfer in his second season to shoot even par in such a crucial match,” said Wildcat head coach Steve Lee. “He’s basically playing against the top players in the league who are seniors. The secret to this golf course is keeping the ball in the fairway and Billy has done that all year.”
Cayden McLaughlin added a round of 40 for the Wildcats (12-2), who are tied with East Union and one game up on Oakdale (11-3).
“Cayden threw up a great number today,” Lee said. “He was very, very solid. But overall it was a great team effort.”
Sonora also had Brandon Phelan card a 44, Tyler Hammond a 47 and Kade Barajas a 48 in the team’s regular-season finale.
The VOL championship will be decided Wednesday with an 18-hole tournament at Poppy Ridge in Livermore. The team that prevails between Sonora, Oakdale and East Union, wins the title.
“We took the kids their over spring break and they had a great time,” Lee said. “It’s a hilly course. It’s as close as you can get to Mountain Springs. I’d like to say that gives us an advantage over the valley schools that play on flat courses. We’re used to the side-hill, down-slope stances.”
After the VOL tourney, the top three teams and top six players not on the top three teams, advance to the Divisional tournament on May 6.