Newport Harbor beats Marina and the challenging conditions at Meadowlark

HUNTINGTON BEACH – The Newport Harbor boys golf teams has the talent to compete with any team in the county.  It’s Sailors lack of consistency that’s preventing them from being in first place in the Sunset League.

Even though there’s just one regular season match remaining, Newport Beach coach Scott Tarnow said club selection and course management are still trouble spots for the Sailors. Maybe, Tarnow said, they are just trying too hard.

“But then, on any given day they can put it together and play well,” Tarnow said.

Thursday was one of those days for the Sailors. Three of Newport’s five scoring players finished in the 30s in challenging conditions at Meadowlark Golf Course, and the Sailors beat Marina, 190-207, , giving them a 198.5 scoring average this season.

The Sailors have proven they can go low, shooting a 179 at Costa Mesa Country Club in a 12-stroke victory against Los Alamitos.

Matt Smith led the Sailors (9-3, 7-2) on Thursday, shooting an even par 35 playing in gusty wind and on unusually  bumpy greens to share medalist honors with Connor O’Brien, who posted a 35 for the Vikings (3-12, 1-5).

“They played pretty good. I didn’t think it was easy out there, and 190 is not that bad,” Tarnow said. “That was Matt’s third good score of the year. Ethan (Barnes) and Noah (Mayne) have been outstanding for us all year. ”

Barnes and Mayne came through for the Sailors once again, posting a 37 and 38 at Meadowlark, just slightly above their nine-hole average this season, which Tarnow said is 36.  The highest score that the Sailors posted on Thursday was a 40.

“Ethan has the ability to make a lot of birdies,” Tarnow said. “He is a scoring machine. If he can stay away from bogeys he can go low.”

Because of the way spring break falls for Newport Harbor, Tarnow has to schedule the bulk of the team’s matches early in the season and have only one Sunset League match remaining, playing host to Fountain Valley at Costa Mesa Country Club on April 25.

So now all the Sailors can do is wait and hope they can get some help. Otherwise, the Sunset League championship will likely belong to Huntington Beach. The Oilers handed the Sailors their only two league losses this season.  

In other boys golf:

No. 1 Servite 181, St. John Bosco 217: Kyle Kinnane shot a 3-under-par 33 to lead the Friars (16-0, 5-0) in the Trinity League match at Los Amigos Golf Course.

JSerra 184, Orange Lutheran 204: Kyle Dougherty, Chase Lasken and Jake Martin each posted an even-par 36 on the front nine at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Course to lead the Lions (10-3, 4-1) to the Trinity League victory.

No. 7 Corona del Mar 187, Beckman 190: Guy Clauss lead the Sea Kings (9-3, 5-1) to the Pacific Coast League victory, carding a 1-under-par 34 at Newport Beach Country Club.

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