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Closer just not good enough

Posted: April 15, 2009 1:47 a.m.
Updated: April 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Close makes Valencia golfer Max Homa sick.

But it’s the best word choice that applies to his Vikings in respect to Foothill League play.

Valencia shot a team score of 391 Tuesday at Valencia Country club, one stroke off match No. 3 winner West Ranch.

At the end of the Foothill golf season, each team gets to throw out its worst score.

West Ranch has a 26-stroke lead over the Vikings.

But Valencia is one really good day away from making things a lot more interesting.

Despite Homa’s 1-under medalist performance on the par-72 course Tuesday, the Vikings senior was still frustrated because his team wasn’t able to overcome the Wildcats.

“I want to win one of these,” Homa said. “I’m sick of people asking me why West Ranch is so good. We’re good too. We’re just not showing up on the right days.”

Valencia received solid scores from two other golfers — Jonathan Chang’s 72 and Alex Macaluso’s 75 — but the difference for the Wildcats was again the play from the bottom half of its lineup.

West Ranch was seven strokes better on the back end.

“The wins come from the back guys at the high school level,” said West Ranch head coach Jeff Holen. “Your (Nos.) 4, 5, 6 will make or break you.”

But the one, two and three golfers help.

West Ranch’s Collin Wheeler and Clayton Thatch shot 74s and J.J. Holen added a 76 on a cool, windy day.

Homa said much of his success came from his iron play.

With the greens at VCC having been punched and the conditions being what they were, it was imperative, he said, to get as close to the hole as possible on approach shots.

Homa double-bogeyed on 18 and acknowledged that his team has had its chances.

“We’re kind of squandering these opportunities,” Homa said.

With West Ranch and Valencia doing battle, Hart is flying under the radar.

Yet the Indians have consistently put up good scores.

Indians senior Tanner Diaz has led them throughout.

After posting a 78 then a 72 in the first two league matches, Diaz had the third best score Tuesday, turning in a 73.

Hart shot a 408.

The Indians have a comfortable lead on fourth place Saugus, which turned in a 411 Tuesday.

Andrew Moore led the Centurions with a 79.

Canyon shot a 434, led by Justin Golden’s 78.

Golden Valley received an 88 from Austin Wolitarsky, but did not have enough golfers to qualify in the match.
League standings: West Ranch: 1,150, Valencia: 1,176, Hart: 1,209, Saugus: 1,258, Canyon: 1,306


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