Cordeiro advances to Valley

By Andrea Camarena

While his teammates put away their clubs and started focusing on finals and the impending summer days, Corey Cordeiro spent the last week in Bakersfield working on his putting.

Cordeiro was the only member of the Exeter Monarchs golf team to advance to the Valley meet after shooting an 80 in the Regional Tournament in Lemoore. In fact, Cordeiro was one of only two kids in Tulare County to qualify for Valley by placing in the top 15 at the regional tournament.

The high school senior picked up his first club seven years ago with the help of his father, Steve, who taught him the game.

For the past seven years, Cordeiro competed in youth tournaments and in the last four years his game has reached a whole new level of competition while playing for the High School.

He won league in his freshman year and took second his sophomore season. Last year, Cordeiro suffered from a torn ligament in his shoulder while snowboarding and had to sit out most of the season. This will be Cordeiro's first time playing at the valley level.

But Valley won't be Cordeiro's last golf excursion, the graduating senior plans to play in college next year, preferably College of the Sequoias. His plan includes playing ProAm tournaments through college and competing as a junior amateur for a few years.

His final season in Exeter has been a bumpy one. Coming back from his shoulder injury and dealing with a busy family life, he's been working to regain focus.

&#8220My mind hasn't been where I want it to be but I've been working really hard.”

Working really hard means that for the past three weeks, he's been pushing himself to hit to buckets at the range, play nine holes and put for two and a half hours every day after school.

&#8220I've improved mentally, now it's becoming more competitive,” Codeiro said.

While his drives have been his best area and irons are his most comfortable clubs, putting is where Cordeiro's been working hardest in preparation for Valley.

&#8220My putting's a little off and I'm trying to surpass the level of my game right now.”

Cordeiro's best performance this season was when he made par at Kings River's 36 par nine-hole course.

His overall best game was at the Stevenson's Ranch in Sacramento. He shot two under at the 18-hole course a year and a half ago.

Cordeiro competed at the Valley Golf Tournament on May 23 in Bakersfield.

It won't only be Cordeiro's last season of Monarch golf. Exeter coach Jim Mitchell is calling it quits after five years as the head coach. Mitchell led the Monarchs to three league titles and an area fourth place team finish two years ago. Mitchell, who is also Exeter's boys basketball coach, is moving on to coach the boys tennis team next spring. He will replace current boys tennis coach Jason Welch.

&#8220We had a good run,” Mitchell said.

The 2007 golf coach has yet to be selected.

Start typing and press Enter to search