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Benedictus fires season-low 74; Vaqueros are 7th in Sandpiper Invitational

Mikha Benedictus was 3-under after 7 holes and shot a season-best 74 at Sandpiper GC. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Mikha Benedictus was 3-under after 7 holes and shot a season-best 74 at Sandpiper GC. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Mikha Benedictus shot a 2-over 74 on Monday and tied for 10th in the Sandpiper Invitational men's golf tournament at Sandpiper Golf Club.

Cypress won the 12-team tourney with five players between 73 and 76. The Chargers totaled 371, beating Riverside by five and Monterey Peninsula by seven. Canyons was fourth at 381 and tournament host SBCC took seventh at 391.

The event was a preview of the State Championships, which will be held on the same par-72, 7,159-yard Sandpiper beachside layout in Goleta on May 14.

Myoung Kim of Orange Coast was the medalist with a 3-under 69.

Benedictus, a former Dos Pueblos High star, started at No. 3 and he was hot right away with three birdies in his first seven holes.

"I started out really strong and then I started falling apart on the back," said Benedictus, who had five birdies. "I lost a ball on 13 and made a birdie on my second ball, so that was a good bogey. A few holes later, I had more trouble and I ended up shooting 5-over on the back nine.

"I missed a good portion of the season with a broken hand and this was my fifth tournament. It was a good learning experience today. Our team has been a little bit up and down this year. We won our only WSC event in my first round back and we shot our best round of the season (369). If we pull together and come out strong, we can do something special."

Felix Dine added a 78 for the Vaqueros, Kotaro Noda shot 79 and Zach Steinberger and Gabe Cloquet carded 80s.

"It was a little frustrating because this is our home course," said SBCC coach Chuck Melendez. "We've put in a lot of practice in the last week or so. But it's golf and this is not an easy course. The disappointing thing – and this has been the trend of the year – is we lost strokes at the end.

"Zach was 1-over two-thirds through his round and shot 80. Mikha got off to a great start, then struggled on the back nine. We have to keep working at it to finish strong."

The Vaqueros will take next week off, then play in WSC No. 10, hosted by Citrus at San Dimas GC on April 23.

Sandpiper Invitational
At par-72 Sandpiper CC
Final scores

 Team --  1, Cypress 371. 2, Riverside 376. 3, Monterey Peninsula 378. 4, Canyons 381. 5, Orange Coast 386. 6, Reedley 388. 7, SBCC 391 (won 6th-man card-off). 8, Mt. San Antonio 391. 9, Ventura 396. 10, Saddleback 398. 11, Taft 402. 12, Glendale 403.
 Medalist -- 1, Myoung Kim, Orange Coast, 69. 2, Ryan DeHart, Riverside, 70. 3 (tie), Brian Neilsen, Riverside; Adam Nelson, Reedley, 71. 5, Joey Herrera, Ventura, 72.
 SBCC scores -- 10 (tie), Mikha Benedictus 74. Felix Dine 78, Kotaro Noda 79, Zach Steinberger 80, Gabe Cloquet 80, Jack Heavey 83.
 SBCC overall record -- 75-36.