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Bulldogs going for the win at state golf tournament

By: Matt Long
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Folsom High’s golf team set out to qualify for the state tournament this year and after a long season achieved their goal. On Tuesday the team plays for the California Interscholastic Federation state title at Santa Maria Country Club. “It was a great ending to a year that had a one goal and one not easily accomplished,” Folsom coach Steve Burgess said after Nor-Cals. “Knowing that you set a goal and were not bashful about achieving it and then to go out and do it was a great feeling and a huge relief. This is a quality group of young men.” The Bulldogs qualified by placing in the top-three at the Northern California championships at Diablo Grande on May 24. Folsom scored a 366, which the team knew was a good score, but they had to wait to see what their opponents did. Joel Slak led the Bulldogs with a one-under-par-71, tying for 11th-best score of the round. What helped Folsom even more was the tight grouping of the rest of their scorers. D.J. Christensen, Brian Knoll, Taylor Knoll and Dalton Theis finished within three strokes of each other and close behind Slak. Christensen and Brian finished one-over-par with 73s, while Taylor shot a two-over 74. Theis came in with a 75, three-over-par. Alex Morgan rounded out Folsom’s scoring with a respectable nine-over par 81. “Believe me when I say the tension was overwhelming,” Burgess said. “As scores were posted and lots of under-par numbers being displayed on the board, emotions went from confidence to qualifying to maybe not qualifying and back again.” In the end Foothill (Pleasanton) won the tournament with a 362 and Folsom tied Christian Brothers for second with a 366. “We were pretty excited when we found out we made it,” Taylor Knoll said. “We definitely celebrated that night after Nor-Cals.” Slak, who didn’t play on the team last year, is happy to be playing for Folsom this year. “Yeah, for sure I’m glad I’m on the team,” Slak said. “It’s a great team. Steady play has been the key for us. Shooting par and getting it done. We’ve been very consistent. To qualify for state is great. We now have the opportunity to win it. If we all play to our potential, I don’t think any team can beat us.” No matter what the outcome to Tuesday’s tournament, make no mistake the Bulldogs are playing to win it. “We’re going for the win,” Knoll said. “If we all play to our potential, we will have no problem doing that.”