Clovis golfers place in top spots at multi-state tournament

Clovis North golfers Andrew Lee (left) and Aidan Tran (right) get a range session in before they take on the South Course at Terra Lago. (Photo courtesy of Jed Noonkester)

Two Clovis high school golf teams finished within the top 13 spots out of 42 competing schools at the Champions Invitational on March 29 and 30 at Terra Lago golf course in Indio, California.

Clovis High placed No. 6 in the tournament with a team score of 919, while Clovis North placed just a few spots behind at No. 11 with a team score of 927.

The tournament hosts 42 teams competing from California, Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Kansas, Texas and Canada. The tournament follows a college-style format, with 5 golfers playing 36 holes the first day and 18 the second, with the lowest golfer’s score being dropped.

“The Champions Invitational is the No. 2 largest golf tournament in the country,” said Clovis North head coach Jed Noonkester. “It’s good for us to see that kind of competition.”

The Cougars were led by senior Jackson Lake, who posted a score of 215 over three rounds, placing him in a three-way tie for second place in the individual standings.

The Broncos’ leading golfer was freshman Aidan Tran, who placed sixth in the individual standings with a three-round final score of 217.

Tran’s outing was highlighted by his shooting a 68 in the second round of the tournament, tying the second-lowest score for any individual golfer in a single round over the weekend.

Noonkester said Tran’s play this season has been exciting to watch, calling him “a special talent” and saying that it is Tran’s care for his teammates and the team’s performance as a whole that make him “an absolute team player.”

The young golfer has already tied a course record at the Riverside Golf Course earlier this year and continues to earn top marks in tournament play.

“When he got to the 13th hole, he was five under, and I thought, ‘He has the chance to do something really special,” Noonkester said. “He birdied all the par fives and finished with an eagle on the last hole. He didn’t have a five on his scorecard.”

The two teams will have their work cut out for them when they meet again on April 1, along with the other four teams from the Tri-River Athletic Conference (TRAC), at the Fort Washington Country Club golf course.

“The TRAC is one of the hardest divisions,” Noonkester said. “Not just in California, but in the country.”

Clovis North currently leads the TRAC with Clovis West and Clovis High in second and third place, respectively.

Seth Casey
Seth Casey is an aspiring journalist, an avid sports fan and a Fresno/Clovis native. He currently attends Fresno State, where he is pursuing a degree in Media, Communication and Journalism with an emphasis in print journalism. He is excited for the opportunity to work at the Clovis Roundup and looks forward to serving the Clovis community and its residents by showcasing all the city has to offer.