Boys’ golf falls short of qualifying for CCS Finals after stellar season


Photo Courtesy of Jim Cyb

Freshman Ethan Cyb winds up for a drive on the 5th hole at Laguna Seca Golf Course. Cyb would birdie the hole as part of his impressive CCS showing.

Alex Kelly, Business Manager

Boys’ golf competed in the Central Coast Section (CCS) tournament on Tuesday, May 9, finishing in sixth place and falling just two spots short of qualifying for the second round. Although the competition marks the end of their season, the Panthers displayed dominance this spring, winning the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) Bay Division in unprecedented fashion with just a single loss. 

“I think it was a very good conclusion to the season, it was a very positive outlook for what’s to come for Burlingame golf,” senior Andres Valldejuli said.

The structure of the CCS tournament is very different from that of regular season PAL  league play. Rather than being partnered with another player on the team, each golfer is placed in a foursome with three other golfers from other schools around the region. The tournament is also over 18 holes rather than normal league matches of nine holes.

“Not being with my own playing partner that I’m used to, that threw me off a bit,” Valldejuli said.

Adding to the difficult set of circumstances was the unfamiliar course, Laguna Seca, two hours away in the Monterey area. While local teams like Carmel High School and Salinas High School play the course regularly and live nearby, the Panthers did not have prior experience on the course and woke up at  5 a.m. to make it on time to the start of their round.

“We weren’t able to play practice rounds since we were so far away, and we were all really tired, so I think definitely it was a bit of a disadvantage being so far away,” senior Charlie Galenter said.

Despite the challenges, the team still performed well across the board. Sophomore Zach Newman and Ethan Cyb had strong performances, carding a five over par 76 and seven over 78, respectively. Galenter was the third best Panthers on the day with a solid 81. 

Burlingame was held back from a stellar day by one hole in particular: hole 15. The entire team struggled on the hole, with Valldejuli and Galenter taking nine strokes and freshman Cole Weyer taking 11 strokes to complete the hole. The long hole was made even more challenging with hazards and out of bounds along the side of the fairway. 

“Putter was rolling well, but one really bad hole, hole 15 really messed that one up and overall left some room to be improved on,” Galenter said.

Even with a somewhat disappointing end to the season, the team still has plenty to be proud of. This was the Panthers’ third consecutive season qualifying for CCS, and the young talent of the four freshmen and sophomores who competed in the tournament means the Panthers will certainly be making more CCS appearances in the coming years, with the hope of advancing to the next rounds.  Valldejuli and Galenter, the graduating leaders of the team, are not only proud of their performance this year but also the team culture which they’ve helped build.

“I’m extremely proud of the relationships I’ve built, but then to help just build our team for the future, I’m leaving in a really good place knowing they’ll be more than fine,” Valldejuli said.