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Palihi's Baliukonis Ties for Third at City Golf Finals

The sophomore shoots three-over-par to qualify for the regionals; Dolphins finish fifth overall.

The pressure was on Monday at the L.A. City Section boys golf championships in Griffith Park. The tournament was reduced from two rounds to one round this season as a result of budget cuts, so players had to make the most of 18 holes.

 did precisely that, carding a three-over-par 75 on the Wilson Course to tie for third place and earn his spot in the Southern California Regional playoffs next Tuesday at Brookside Golf Course In Pasadena.

After needing 40 strokes to complete the front nine, the Palisades High sophomore from Lithuania settled down and shot 35 on the back nine to equal the score of North Hollywood's Nigel Tucker, who is seeded higher for regionals because he posted a lower back nine score (34) than Baliukonis.

The top two teams and top 12 individuals from the City make the regional cut. If Baliukonis scores low enough at next Tuesday's regionals, he will advance to the state championships Wednesday, June 8, at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

Baliukonis has finished in the top 10 in all three Junior Golf Tour events he has played this year. He was eighth at the Nevada State Open in February, he tied for seventh at The Tournament at Trilogy Golf Club in Vistancia in April and he was sixth at the Battle at Paiute in Snow Mountain earlier this month. 

, a senior headed for Harvard, is the Dolphins' most experienced player, having been on the team since he was a freshman, and he shot a 91--the team's second-lowest score Monday.

"I'm not really thinking about this being my last [high school] tournament or anything, I'm just focused on shooting the lowest score I can," Rosen said. "Of all the public courses we play, I actually like this one the best." 

Junior and sophomore each shot 94, junior shot 98 and junior shot 109, although his score was thrown out because only the five lowest count towards the team total. Palisades finished in fifth place out of the six schools that brought enough players to contend for the team title. 

Palisades High Coach had predicted the winning team would shoot right around 400 and that Venice was the favorite. He was right on both counts as the Gondoliers shot 404 to beat second-place Granada Hills by 18 strokes and win their second team title in three years.

It was a fulfilling result for Venice Coach Myra Einberg, who is retiring this spring after 37 years at the school. She started out coaching basketball and gymnastics, winning a City title in gymnastics in the 1970s. She then coached volleyball and gymnastics beginning in 1986 and led the boys volleyball team to City 3A championships in 1991 and 1992. 

"The team this year has worked hard and the kids really love the game," Einberg said. "They all get along great and support each other. It was wonderful to end my coaching career as a winner."

Junior Troix Tonkham of Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies won the individual title with a one-under-par 71 and Robin Jang of Van Nuys was second, two strokes back. 

2011 LA CITY BOYS GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Griffith Park's Wilson Course--Par 72

Individual Results

71 --Troix Tonkham*, Sherman Oaks CES, 38-33

73--Robin Jang*, Van Nuys, 36-37

75--Nigel Tucker*, North Hollywood, 41-34; Kornelius Baliukonis*, Palisades, 40-35

76--Clay Yamaguchi, Venice, 38-38

77--Zach Marrett*, El Camino Real, 41-36; Mathew Paek*, Van Nuys, 41-36

78--Anthony Capozzi*, Kennedy, 42-36; Brandon Shin*, Sylmar, 42-36; Dustin Watanabe*, Taft, 41-37

79--Khorri Ellis*, North Hollywood, 40-39

80--Ryan Miyamoto, Venice, 43-37; SeMin Oh*, Narbonne, 43-37

81--Kevin Cullen, Venice, 42-39

82--Nick Banks, Granada Hills, 44-38; Yoshi Kawano*, 44-38; Elijah Caparoso**, Narbonne, 41-41; Adam Aihara***, University, 36-46

83--Angelo Galletti, Sherman Oaks CES, 42-41; Kevin Lundell, 41-42

84--William Rock, Westchester, 44-40; Luke Almendariz, Venice, 43-41

85--Mark Aquino,Van Nuys, 46-39; Justin Hwang, Granada Hills, 44-41; Jon Kubota, Granada Hills, 44-41; Sean Cavanaugh, Granada Hills, 42-43; Matt Lopez, Granada Hills, 42-43

86--David Yu, University, 47-39; Justin Katalbus, Northridge Academy, 44-42

87--Zeeraq Rana, Granada Hills, 45-42

88--Tommy Jeffrey, Narbonne, 51-37; Harit Jirapotjananon, Van Nuys, 49-39; Julian Roberts, North Hollywood, 45-43; Sam Mayhall, Northridge Academy, 44-44

89--Ryan Morris, Cleveland, 49-40

90--Peter Prior, Venice, 46-44; Weston Jackson, North Hollywood, 46-44

91--Jared Rosen, Palisades, 49-42

92--Omid Nessari, Reseda, 51-41

94--Dylan Wenker, Palisades, 53-41; Matt Loza, Chatsworth, 48-46; Sawyer Pascoe, Palisades, 47-47; Ryan Lake, Reseda, 43-51

96--Ryan Kamm, Taft, 50-46; Eric Kim, Cleveland, 46-50

97--Jake Hehir, El Camino Real, 50-47; Delvin Supannarat, Cleveland, 49-48

98--Matt Brenner, Cleveland, 52-46; Kevin Hongtongsak, Reseda, 50-48; Travis Traweek, Palisades, 48-50

99--Jessie An, Kennedy, 53-46; Kevin Cho, Chatsworth, 52-47

101--Jae Sung Lee, Van Nuys, 53-48; Auggie Galvan, Kennedy, 51-50; Kieran Rock, Westchester, 51-50; Joseph Lim, Van Nuys, 51-50

102--Jared Kail, El Camino Real, 54-48

104--Jerry Navarrete, Cleveland, 51-53

106--Tyler Marrett, El Camino Real, 58-48; Joshua DeLaCerda, Sylmar, 54-52

108--Jack Fidel, Cleveland, 59-49; Jason Rodelo, Verdugo Hills, 57-51

109--Jack Saltzer, Palisades, 51-58

110--Richard Delzell, North Hollywood, 60-50

113--Ken Guerrero, North Hollywood, 58-55

152--David Kim, Los Angeles CES, 52-100

Team Scores

1. Venice* -- 404

2. Granada Hills* -- 422

3. Van Nuys -- 424

4. North Hollywood -- 442

5. Palisades -- 452

6. Cleveland -- 484

* Qualified for the Southern California Regionals

** First Alternate

*** Second Alternate

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