The Bret Harte and Sonora boys golf teams teed off under partly cloudy skies and slightly windy conditions Thursday afternoon at Mountain Springs Golf Club.

They were playing to preserve their undefeated seasons.

When the last putt dropped, it was Bret Harte who took home the win by six strokes, 246-252.

As expected, Bret Harte was a strong opponent, said Sonora coach Paul Jeffers, who is in his first year with the team.

“It was a very closely contested match,” he said.

Bret Harte’s Nick Kristoff was the medalist, coming in with the low round of the day, 38.

“They tend to always have a really good group of players,” Jeffers said of the Bullfrog team. “They have a strong golf community.”

Junior Hunter Hanson and freshman Kade Bankston carded the low rounds for the Wildcats with 48s.

Sonora’s response to their first loss of the season is something that Jeffers says is what he’s come to appreciate most about the group.

“They don’t get too down on it,” he said. “They are thinking about what they could have done better.”

Course conditions were a bit different for both teams. It’s the season for aerating and sanding greens in preparation for the summer season. The teams also played the back nine instead of the usual front nine, said Jeffers. The change takes away a bit of the home course advantage.

Despite the loss, Jeffers says he’s feeling optimistic about the rest of the season.

“I think going forward we will be stronger for the experience,” he said.

The roster is deep, he said. And the Wildcats don’t have to rely on one player to go low on any given day.

The team continues to play catch-up because of the wet spring, playing three matches a week leading up to the May 3 league tournament at Castle Oaks in Ione.

Monday they’ll play Summerville at Mountain Springs at 3 p.m.

And next week they’ll again meet Bret Harte. The teams are still working out which day works best with their weather-interrupted schedules.

The CIF Sac-Joaquin divisional tournament is set for May 7, also at Castle Oaks in Ione.

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