By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Koleszar wins Valley League girls golf championship


Last updated 11/8/2019 at 7:25am

Claire Koleszar attends Mission Vista High School but has lived in Fallbrook for the past 16 1/2 years. She began golfing at the now-defunct Fallbrook Golf Club and this year she is the Valley League girls golf champion.

The Valley League tournament was played Oct. 15 on the St. Mark's course in San Marcos and Oct. 17 on the Twin Oaks course in San Marcos. Koleszar had a 36-hole score of 161. Samantha Aguilar, who is also a Mission Vista senior, was second with a score of 166.

"That was a really great experience for me," Koleszar said.

Prior to the season Koleszar had set the league championship as her goal. "I put in a lot of hard work this season, so I was glad to come out and achieve that goal," she said.

Koleszar was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, in April 2002. The family moved to Fallbrook in February 2003. She attended Bonsall Elementary School from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Both of Koleszar's parents were high school athletes although neither golfed for their high school team. Her father, Garret, played tennis for Torrey Pines High School and began playing golf near the end of his high school years. His mother, Julie, is from Michigan and ran track in high school.

During her early elementary school years Koleszar took up golf. "I started playing golf at a pretty young age," she said.

A set of golf clubs as a present from her father contributed to that. "My dad taught me the basics," she said.

Koleszar also attended camps at the Fallbrook Golf Club, which is also where she started to play golf. In her past the family had a membership at the Golf Club of California, which is where Mission Vista now plays home matches. After the Fallbrook Golf Club closed in 2016 Koleszar's father joined the Rancho Bernardo Country Club.

After her six years at Bonsall Elementary School, Koleszar attended Coastal Academy in Oceanside from sixth through eighth grades.

Mission Vista opened in 2009 with freshmen only and joined the North County Conference in 2010. Koleszar's brother, Calvin, was a freshman at Mission Vista during the school's second year of athletics. He golfed for the Timberwolves before graduating in 2015. "I just kind of followed in his footsteps," Koleszar said.

Mission Vista was in the Valley League during Calvin Koleszar's high school years but was moved to the Palomar League in 2016 so Claire Koleszar began her high school career in that league. The Timberwolves played on the Vista Valley course in 2016 and the Camp Pendleton course in 2017.

The 2018 North County Conference realignment returned Mission Vista to the Valley League, and the Timberwolves changed their home course to the Golf Club of California. Koleszar now has her own Golf Club of California membership.

Mission Vista won both the 2018 league championship, which is based on dual match results, and that year's league tournament, which is based on the team score for that tournament only. Koleszar was third among 2018 Valley League golfers in league differential compared to par, which includes dual matches as well as the tournament, but fifth in the league tournament. "I think it was a little disappointing," she said.

She had previously played on the Twin Oaks course when Mission Vista played Mission Hills in a non-league dual match, but Koleszar had not played on the St. Mark's course prior to the 2018 league tournament.

"It was a good experience," she said. "It gave me something I could work on in order to achieve my goal."

Although she was fifth in last year's Valley League tournament, two of the players who finished ahead of Koleszar were also Mission Vista golfers; Aguilar won that tournament and 2018 senior Caitlin Randolph was second.

Mission Vista also won the league championship in 2019 based on the Timberwolves' dual match results. Dual matches involve each golfer shooting a nine-hole round. Koleszar had the best league differential this year.

The Valley League tournament utilized a shotgun start, meaning that golfers began on different holes, so the golfers' scores for their first nine holes do not necessarily mean that any golfer overcame a deficit or squandered a lead.

Koleszar began the day on hole 5 and took 40 shots during her first nine holes. Aguilar initially teed off on hole 6 and needed 43 strokes for her first nine holes.

St. Mark's also did not have a leaderboard. "We weren't aware of each other's scores until the end," Koleszar said.

That made anybody else's score irrelevant. "I started playing my own game," Koleszar said.

After 18 holes Koleszar led the field with an 80-stroke round. She made par on 13 of the holes, bogied two holes, and had a double bogey on three holes. "I wasn't too happy with the double bogies, but I think I definitely recovered well," she said.

Aguilar completed her first 18 holes in 81 strokes.

Koleszar didn't worry about the one-stroke lead she took into the second day. "I just continued to play my best," she said. "I wasn't too focused on the other scores."

Koleszar took 41 shots on her final nine holes for an 18-hole score of 81. "Overall I think I played well and I'm happy with it," she said.

She was also satisfied with her 36-hole score of 161. "I was pretty happy with it," Koleszar said.

"I put a lot of practice and effort into my season," she said. "I just played the best I could."

Mission Vista junior Jayde Wagner was fourth in the tournament. This year Koleszar and Wagner were the team's co-captains. Last year Koleszar and Randolph were co-captains.

The CIF tournament Nov. 4 and 6 on the Admiral Baker course in San Diego will be followed by North County junior tournaments. Koleszar hopes to continue her scholastic golf career after the conclusion of her CIF play. "I'm reaching out to college coaches as of right now," she said.


Reader Comments

jkoleszar writes:

Proud of you daughter!


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