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Jonathan Kang advances at CIF-SS Golf Individual Championships

Posted: May 27, 2014 6:26 p.m.
Updated: May 27, 2014 6:26 p.m.
 

Golden Valley sophomore Jonathan Kang helped extend what has been a yearlong barrage of milestones for the school’s golfing program.

For his latest accomplishment, Kang advanced through the CIF-Southern Section Boys Golf Individual Championship on Tuesday at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs.

Kang had already become the school’s first male Foothill League Player of the Year earlier this season and fellow Golden Valley golfer Elisa Pierre did the same during the girls season in the fall.

Pierre also ended up making it all the way to the state championship.

Now, Kang is a step away from doing the same thing after he posted a score of 3-over 74 to tie for 15th place and become the final Foothill player remaining in the postseason. He was the only one of four locals to advance on Tuesday.

Saugus players Braden Lewis and Aden De Los Reyes along with Hart’s Michael Lotta all failed to qualify for the next round of the postseason, which is the CIF/SCGA Regional State Qualifier on Monday.

De Los Reyes shot an 80, Lewis carded an 81 and Lotta recorded a 90.

Only four teams and 28 players moved on from Tuesday’s competition. No Foothill League team was competing. The cutline for individuals was 76.

“I was just grinding,” Kang said of his round. “I was getting up and downs some places. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of greens today so that led to a lot of pars.”

Playing at Mission Lakes for the first time in temperatures that rose above 100 degrees, Kang said his goal was to simply continue to make pars and play steady golf.

For the most part, that’s exactly what Kang did.

“I thought I could go a little lower, but I knew I had to make pars to (qualify),” he said.

The other Foothill Leaguers in action didn’t navigate the difficult course quite as well.

Lewis, who was the only one of the four locals who had played Mission Lakes before, wasn’t his usual self with the driver and he frequently left himself with difficult downhill putts.

“He was getting frustrated because he wasn’t making putts, but of course I don’t care who it is you’re not going to score if you leave yourself above the hole,” said Saugus head coach David Stradling of Lewis.

Tuesday marks the end of a strong run by Lewis and De Los Reyes, who proved to be one of the strongest one-two combinations in the league this season.

Lotta was the last remaining player for a Hart team that elevated to a league championship, ending West Ranch’s six-year streak on top.

Kang will compete in the state qualifier on Monday beginning at 8 a.m. at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena.

From there, he can qualify for the state championship, which will be held two days later at San Gabriel Country Club, also in Pasadena.

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