Boys Golf at a glance

The TPHS varsity boys golf team is off to a strong start this season, with a talented roster ready to maintain their first place state ranking.

Jay Leng Jr. (12), a Stanford University golf commit, has been a part of the team since his freshman year and has played golf since he was five years old.

“I am excited to be surrounded by people with the same goals as me, where we will be able to push ourselves to the next level [at Stanford],” Leng said.

Leng participated in his first tournament when he was six years old and since then he has traveled worldwide to compete in notable tournaments, namely the European Championships in Scotland. Leng also had the opportunity to represent the U.S. in September 2023 in Rome while competing in the Junior Ryder Cup.

“My dad introduced me to golf, and I have loved it ever since,” Leng said. “My favorite part about golf is the creativity behind it. You are not confined to one specific strategy or shot. Every golfer is unique and every swing is different.”

Leng is hopeful for the team’s success this season, along with his teammate Ethan Elleraas (11).

“This season, the team hopes to win CIFs and make it to state and give it another run this year,” Elleraas said.

Elleraas has played golf for most of his life and has competed in the International Management Group Academy Junior Worlds, where he placed 15th out of 203 other players in California.

Continuing off of the team’s momentous history — eight consecutive CIF titles — the boys golf team is currently ranked fifth in the nation and first in the state, according to the PGA National High School Golf Association.

Although the team lost seven of their senior players following last season, they are still on track for yet another successful playoff run this year.

“We are rounding into form at the right time of the season and coming together as a team,” assistant coach Joe Rokoszewski said.

Recently, the team went to a tournament in Northern California where it competed against some of the top high school teams from various states, according to Leng. The boys placed sixth overall and Leng took home the individual first place title.

According to Rokoszewski, the team’s biggest competition this season has been long-time rivals Carlsbad High School, La Costa Canyon High School and Cathedral Catholic High School. However, the team hopes to beat all three schools, Elleraas said.

In preparation for tournaments and league play, most members of the team practice on their own time individually, but play together about three times a week while competing in matches.

“We prepare every day with one shot at a time and the ultimate commitment of trust in ourselves along with our teammates,” Rokoszewski said.

Players for CIF post-season play are selected based on their scores over the season and their improvement throughout the season, according to Elleraas.

“I think that whoever is selected for the CIFs will practice hard on their own and work hard before competition,” Elleraas said.

Photos by Hope Dennis/Falconer

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