WALLA WALLA - Sophomore Nathan Espinoza, shooting bogey-like golf, carded an 89 in leading the Sunnyside Grizzlies at yesterday's Columbia Basin Big Nine conference opener.
The first 4A/3A league match of the season for the 13 boys golf teams was staged at the par-72 Walla Walla Country Club.
Espinoza snared one birdie Monday afternoon enroute to coming in with the low score for the Grizzly linksters.
"He's making good progress," Sunnyside Coach Ryan Wattenbarger said of Espinoza, who's just starting his second full year of golf.
Yesterday's 89 by Espinoza turned out to be the ninth low score on the day among all 3A golfers.
Espinoza also had the low round for the Grizzlies last Friday at the Kennewick Invitational, held at the par-65 Tri Cities Country Club. There, he made his way into the clubhouse with an 81.
"For this early in the season, Nathan is starting to put it together," said Wattenbarger.
The Grizzlies' team score at Monday's conference opener was rounded out with an even-100 by Nick Navarro, a 104 by Jacob Bos and a 112 by Andrew Rodriguez. That left Sunnyside with a four-man total of 405, last among the 13 competing teams and a full 35 strokes back of the 12th place finishing Eisenhower Cadets.
The 3A Hanford Falcons, behind medalist Alex Cantu's 1-over-par 73, won top team honors Monday with a match-low score of 309. The 4A Southridge Suns and Walla Walla Blue Devils tied for second, four strokes back at 313.
Sunnyside's lone girls golf team member, Renae Visser, was ill yesterday and unable to make the trip to Moses Lake to compete in the Big Nine league opener.