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    Orange County boys golf preview: Tesoro aiming to produce more ‘magic’ this season
    • February 23, 2024

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    There’s still potential for another Block party for Tesoro’s boys golf team this spring.

    The reigning CIF-SCGA SoCal Regional champion returns four starters to its lineup, including captain Ethan Block. The junior is one of the sons of Michael Block, the head professional at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club who took the golf world by storm last spring by placing 15th at the PGA Championship.

    Tesoro produced its own “Block magic” at nearly the same stretch, advancing to the state championship for the first time and placing fifth. Block’s brother, Dylan, a senior last season, contributed to the historic run.

    This spring, the Titans also return starters Will Moos and twins Keegan and Landin Gicking. All three are seniors.

    Veteran Tesoro coach Van Johnstone is excited about his returning starters along with freshman Maddox Pineda.

    “The rallying call will be, ‘Let’s win the South Coast League for the fourth straight year and do some damage at Bear Creek in the CIF divisional championship,’ ” Johnstone said. “(We) expect to battle San Juan Hills for the South Coast League title.”

    Tesoro will face an early test Monday at the Servite Invitational at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills. The 18-hole competition has attracted other top teams such as Servite, Corona del Mar, Orange Lutheran, Santa Margarita, Great Oak and Loyola, Friars coach Dane Jako said.


    Here’s a list of other Orange County teams that coaches expect to be strong this season: Anaheim Discovery Christian, Crean Lutheran, Cypress, Huntington Beach and Sunny Hills.

    Several of the teams return multiple starters.

    Fifth-year Santa Margarita coach Jim Tinker believes he has the strongest team of his tenure.

    Sunny Hills coach Scott Enrico returns several players and is excited about freshman Felipe Jikal. The Lancers are aiming for their 20th consecutive Freeway League title in the final year of the league.


    The CIF-SS Division 1 team championship is at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta on May 13. …

    The CIF-SS individual championship and SCGA qualifying tournament is slated for May 16 at Temecula Creek Golf Club in Temecula. …

    The CIF-SCGA SoCal Regional, which serves as the qualifier for the state championship, is May 22 at Los Serranos Golf Club in Chino Hills. The state tournament is May 29 at San Gabriel Country Club. …

    The Ayala Spring Classic is another top event Monday at Los Serranos.  …

    The Southern Nevada Invitational is March 25-26. …

    The Champions Invitational is scheduled for April 8-9 at Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort in Palm Springs.


    Ethan Block, Tesoro, Jr.

    “Ethan Block is playing incredibly well,” Titans coach Van Johnstone said.

    Hanru Guo, Santa Margarita, Sr.

    The all-tournament selection from the Southern Nevada Invitational has committed to Cal State East Bay.

    Richard Han, Crean Lutheran, Sr.

    The Cal signee forms a senior duo with Ted Kim.

    Caleb Kim, Sunny Hills, Jr.

    The Lancers’ top player recently committed to Long Beach State.

    James Leehealey, Corona del Mar, Jr.

    A few O.C. coaches expect big things for Leehealey.

    Stephen Luo, Anaheim Discovery Christian, Sr.

    The All-County selection has committed to UC Riverside.

    Cooper Nelson, Orange Lutheran, Sr.

    Nelson is an experienced leader of a strong team.

    Lance Nguyen, Huntington Beach, Jr.

    Nguyen returns as the reigning Surf League champion.

    Charlie Olson, Corona del Mar, Sr.

    The Surf League contender is committed to Gonzaga.

    Ryder Rasmussen, San Juan Hills, So.

    The lefty recently tied for third at a Toyota Tour Cup event at Temecula Creek.

    Ryan Slevcove, Cypress, Sr.

    The reigning Empire League MVP committed to Iona in New York.

    Bradley Smolinski, San Juan Hills, Sr.

    The Oregon State signee tied for fourth at the PGA West Junior Championships in June.

    Hanks Wang, Servite, So.

    One of the Friars’ young standouts, Wang broke several of Patrick Cantlay’s freshman scoring records at Servite.

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    ​ Orange County Register