Will Brueckner fired a 6-under 66 to continue his red-hot postseason and win a NorCal title.
By TREVOR HORN | Contributor
Will Brueckner is not cut from the same cloth as the prototypical golfer.
The Acalanes-Lafayette senior dons a Masters Tournament golf bucket hat, similar to the camouflage hat sported by Bill Murray’s character Carl Spackler in “Caddyshack.”
A gregarious young man, Bruecker doesn’t look the part, doesn’t act the part, but he can walk around knowing he left Sierra View Country Club in Roseville as the top golfer at the 2014 California Interscholastic Federation NorCal Golf Championship on May 19.
Brueckner finished his round with consecutive birdies to shoot a 6-under-par 66 and was crowned the NorCal champion in his first time back to the NorCal tournament since his freshman year. It was the lowest score at NorCals since Jarrett Link of Christian Brothers-Sacramento shot a 65 in 2010 at Diablo Grande Country Club in Patterson.
The Gonzaga commit said he was a “little sleep deprived” during the tournament, just a day-and-a-half removed from the Acalanes senior ball.
“But it’s one of those things where you get in the groove and you walk off and go, ‘Man, I just played some golf,’” Brueckner said.
His uniqueness isn’t regulated to the course, either.
Brueckner said he and the rest of the team blew out the sound system in Acalanes coach Tim Scott’s van that the team travels in. A fan of deep house music in which Brueckner says he and his friends “mess around with,” they have now turned to comedy to lighten the mood on long road trips.
“He is an insanely good golfer and an insanely good person to be around,” Scott said.
Thinly built with a smile a mile wide, Brueckner is one who will find time to get a laugh in on the course — even during the final stretch of a championship round with a chance to make it to the State Championship is on the line.
With just three holes to go and teeing off from the 346-yard par-four seventh hole at Sierra View, Brueckner, turned to the rest of the group he was with, pumped his fists and laughed. Not to show off bravado, but because he says he just loves the sport and loves to out-drive his opponents.
“I’ve never been one to hit it straight in the fairways,” Brueckner said. “I like to take it as far as possible and try to overpower courses.”
Scott will be the first to say that Brueckner has no ego, just a zest for the game and life.
“It’s so neat to know a person like that,” Scott said. “Over and above the golf thing. He cares about other people.”
Brueckner has also upped his game as the postseason has progressed. Prior to NorCals, Brueckner hit an even-par 72 at the Diablo Foothill Athletic League Tournament and posted 4-under 67s at both the North Coast Section Div. I Qualifier and the NCS Tournament of Champions.
After missing the NorCal cut during his sophomore and junior seasons, Brueckner said that attending his senior ball, coming away as NorCal champion and getting a chance to compete as state in San Gabriel on June 4, has boiled down to “the week of my life.”
“I’ve been doing pretty well,” Brueckner said. “Would be nice to keep the streak alive.”
He isn’t the only golfer riding a wave of success.
Foothill-Pleasanton coach Bill Hayes said this season it was all about the team for the Falcons. And as the only team with five golfers posting rounds in the 70s, Foothill claimed the NorCal team title for the third time since 2007.
“We have the fortune to have a tremendous amount of quality golfers,” Hayes said. “It’s everyone working together, that’s the reason why we are so successful.”
And the proof was in the fact that the sixth golfer on the Foothill team, John Francisco, shot a team-best 73.
“We tell them, ‘Play for the team. You don’t play for yourself. You don’t do anything that would harm your team,’” Hayes said.
Tanner Hughes shot a 75 with Raj Chekuri (76), Ryan Knop (77) and Ryan Maund (79) helped the Falcons to score a tournament-best 380 on the narrow course at Sierra View that had many coaches and players saying the fast greens forced many of the 88 participants to overshoot the hole.
Foothill seeks the team’s first state title after finishing second in 2012 and third in 2011.
Dublin — which finished third at the NCS Tournament of Champions when a 6th-golfer tiebreaker was needed to separate the Gaels from both Foothill and Campolindo-Moraga — finished third at NorCals with a 384.
Central Catholic-Modesto, the Division IV champions from the Sac-Joaquin Section and third-place team at the Section Masters championship, shot a 382 to finish in second place and advance to state. Central Catholic was led by an even-par 72 from Matthew Robinson.
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