Modesto City: Teddy Schrier by 2

by Ron Agostini, The Modesto Bee

MODESTO, CA (June 14, 2009)--Teddy Schrier checks in at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, and his shirt hangs on him like day-old laundry ruffling on a clothesline.

So what if he's slender and skinny, however, when he translates all that leverage into way-out-there power? Schrier, 19, moves it big off the tee, which makes him a perfect fit alongside the power hitters at Cal State Stanislaus.

"I'm just one of the guys with them," he said.

But in the 27th Modesto City Golf Championship, Schrier was a gang of one Sunday as he pounded to a two-stroke victory thanks to twin 70s at Creekside and Dryden Park. The resident of Atwater separated himself from the 41-man championship flight with a 3-under-par 33 on Dryden's front nine, opening a gap so wide that bogeys at 16 and 17 hardly mattered.

And, just in case, Schrier trotted out some final boom-boom on the par-5 18th -- a rip of 337 yards, 20 yards past Sonoma State's Aaron Briones of Isleton and two-time City champion Jeff Thomas of Costa Mesa.

"It ticks me off getting old. It's a hard pill to swallow, but I'm pretty much over it now," said Thomas (69-77 -- 146) who drove Dryden's 326-yard first to win a playoff in 1991. "It's diminishing returns."

Schrier, a graduate of Buhach Colony High, notched the sixth City victory by a Cal State Stanislaus player. Hughson's Randy Ehrlers (72-70 -- 142), 46, parlayed a solid swing and a steady game to solo second place. Modestans Jay Ward (73-70 -- 143) and Patrick Burda (71-72 -- 143) joined Briones (69-74 -- 143) in a tie for third.

"I didn't finish the way I wanted but that's just more experience for me the next time," Schrier said. "Every experience you get in contention helps so much."

Stanislaus' late charge this season was built largely on the improvement by Schrier. He finished his freshman season by shooting a team-low 1 under par 70 on the final day of the NCAA Division II Championships, lifting the Warriors to sixth place.

Schrier's confidence boost carried over to the City, where he quickly assumed control with birdies at the second and third. He pitched in from about 15 yards for another birdie at the eighth, the kind of result that tells you it might be your day. Thomas and Briones both smacked their drives home on the short par-4, but Schrier answered.

His bounty for the day were tournament bookends, a $325 pro-shop gift certificate and, perhaps just as important, the knowledge that he's stepping up in class.

"Matt (Bettencourt) won this one several times, so this was a good win for me," Schrier said.

Modesto's Jane Irwin (71-85 -- 156) successfully defended her women's title by outlasting two-time City champion Katy Joslin of Oakdale. Both struggled to 85, but Irwin -- 54, twice Joslin's age -- seamed together a 39 on the back nine to hang on by one.

Irwin, a 4-handicapper at Creekside and Dryden, lost her ball to one of Dryden's ball-eating pines at the seventh. Recovering from that indignity required a patient splicing of her swing.

"That's probably the worst I could play (on the front nine) and I realized I was still in it," she said. "I don't have a lot of tournament experience so I still get fairly nervous. I try to work on that."

Two-time City champion Jeff Burda of Modesto (74-69 -- 143) toured Creekside's back nine in 33 to clip Blackhawk CC member Pete Moren by a stroke in the senior championship flight. Other flight winners: First, Dave Archer of Turlock (73-76 -- 149); second, Greg Miranda of Turlock (78-81 -- 159); third, Dan Eisel of Modesto (82-83 -- 165); fourth, Alton Butler of Coulterville (92-93 --185); and senior handicap, Tom Alvernaz of Turlock (80-78 -- 158).
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