This past summer Little League golf came to San Diego County. Twelve teams from 12 different golf courses around the county participated, with boys and girls competing in the same 13 and under age division. The format was a two-person scramble and fun was had by all. This year the team from Encinitas Ranch Golf Course, coached by John Mason, won the San Diego City Championship. The team (top) included, from left to right front row, Dylan Oyama, Nicolas Barth, Justin McGrath, Gian-Luca Martinez, Tiana Teatai Ariki; back row Tommy Stephenson, Darian Zhao, George Wythes, Ryan Fredericks, coach John Mason, Christopher Weedman and 7-year-old Jay Leng on Christopher’s shoulders.
After the City Championship an All Star team was formed (right) which consisted of front row Christopher Weedman, Encinitas Ranch; Gian-Luca Martinez, Encinitas Ranch; Ryan Ffrench, The Grand Del Mar; Alex Conley, Santaluz; back row coach John Mason, Darian Zhao, Encinitas Ranch; Justin McGrath, Encinitas Ranch; Shane Ffrench, The Grand Del Mar; Ryan Smith, Aviara and assistant coach Trevor Young of The Grand Del Mar. Not in picture Tommy Stephenson, Encinitas Ranch and Kevin Jiang, The Grand Del Mar. This team traveled to Palm Springs where they defeated the All Star team from Arizona and advanced to the West Coast regionals at Haggin Oaks golf course in Sacramento. On Saturday Aug. 17, they defeated the All Star team from Portland, Oregon in the morning and then the All Star team from Los Angeles in the afternoon to advance to the final match the next day against the defending national champion San Francisco team, winner going to the national finals. The San Diego players were awesome, hanging in there against a much larger opponent and almost pulled off the upset, losing the match by one stroke. The Nationals were conducted this year in Atlanta, Georgia.
Congratulations to all the players, coaches and parents in San Diego for a great 2013 and looking forward for the fun and excitement to start again in June 2014. For information about playing in next year’s event please contact John Mason at 760-473-8483.