State

Johansen junior wins MMC golf title

From tee to green, there was no better golfer at the Modesto Metro Conference tournament Monday than Johansen High junior Christine Uhalde.

Despite putting woes at times, she held it together to win the medalist honor.

Uhalde shot a 1-over-par 73, topping Enochs freshman Shawnee Martinez by one stroke at Creekside Golf Course.

By virtue of her victory, Uhalde enters next Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South tournament at Lockeford Springs in Lodi as one of the top seeds.

"Not too bad, especially considering I had a four-putt and three three-putts out there," Uhalde said. "I should have been somewhere in the 60s if I'd putted well."

She has at least one more tournament to work on it. Beyer and Johansen advanced as the MMC's team representatives, and Martinez led a group of six individuals not on those teams to advance.

Uhalde started on No. 18 and dominated the front nine, playing it in 2 under. She played the back in 3 over.

"It feels really good to win, especially considering how well Shawnee has been playing," Uhalde said.

Uhalde knew her day was going to be a good one after she played No. 1. She hit her drive through the fairway of the dogleg-left par 5, then punched out of the trees to within 100 yards. She put her chip shot close and made the short birdie putt.

"It was a great way to start," she said.

Beyer and Enochs had a battle for the team title that was as close as it could get. Beyer had a 503 total and Enochs a 504.

The Patriots got an 84 from freshman No. 2 player Angela Nuccio that led the way.

"That's a great score for Angela," Beyer coach Rod Taylor said. "One of her best."

It's the first time Nuccio has played 18 holes in a big tournament. She had a 43 on the front and a 41 on the back.

"I didn't putt the ball well at all -- four three-putts. But I struck it pretty well," she said. "The best score I've ever had out here (for nine holes) is a 42."

Beyer No. 1 Kayla Grey shot a 93 to help the Patriots.

Enochs was led by Martinez's 74 and a 96 from Mary Silva.

While Beyer and Enochs were the top teams, Enochs didn't advance as a team because the MMC bylaws state that league play counts for just as much as the final tournament.

So Johansen's 12-3 MMC record outweighed Enochs' 8-7. Modesto was third in the tournament with a 534 total, and Johansen was fourth at 555.

Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at wdeboard@modbee.com or 578-2300.

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