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'Cats wheels are in motion

Collin Wheeler leads Wildcats

Posted: April 28, 2009 9:55 p.m.
Updated: April 29, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Collin Wheeler may have just golfed himself into the CIF playoffs.

What he definitely did was put his West Ranch team in a better position.

The 2007 Newhall Land Cup champion shot a co-medalist round of 3-under 69, with Valencia’s Jonathan Chang, at TPC Valencia Tuesday.

The Wildcats as a team posted a 375, 10 strokes better than Valencia, which it came into the Newhall Land Cup, the Foothill League’s fifth match, tied with for first place in the league standings.

“Today was really big,” Wheeler said. “I was pretty confident. All of us seem to play well on this course. We shot 2-over on the course last week in a practice round.”

The final league match of the day is today, the second and final round of the Newhall Land Cup.

Today will determine the Foothill League’s Most Valuable player, the six individual CIF playoff spots and the final placing of the league’s top three squads for team playoffs.

At this point, West Ranch, Valencia and Hart are assured team playoff spots.

What we don’t know is who will be the first place team.

West Ranch, which received four sub-80 scores Tuesday, has the edge going into today.

J.J. Holen was right behind his West Ranch teammate with a 2-under 70 on Tuesday.

Behind the stellar performance of West Ranch freshman Chang, Valencia’s dependable duo of Alex Macaluso (74) and Max Homa (76) were the only other Vikings under 80 Tuesday.

Homa is leading the race for MVP.

Throwing out each golfer’s worst score in league play, Homa (285) has a five-stroke lead over Holen (290).

Chang’s four best scores total 294, followed by Hart’s Tanner Diaz at 295, Wheeler at 297 and West Ranch’s Clayton Thatch at 300.

Hart’s Mitch Camerano, who led the Indians with a 74 Tuesday, is in the hunt for a CIF individual playoff spot at 302, followed by Wildcat C.J. Espino at 307.

Wheeler’s day propelled him into the league’s top five.

“I needed to post a good number,” he said. “A lot of guys are around the four, five, six, seven, eight spots.”

Wheeler has a bit of an advantage, being a member at TPC Valencia for the last three years.

But he still had to come out and deliver.

The senior finished in third place in last year’s Newhall Land Cup.

“No one has won it twice so it would be cool to be first person,” he said.

Hart finished third for the fifth time in five league matches, posting a score of 402.

Canyon had a bit of a breakthrough by finishing fourth for the first time in league this season with a 412.

Paco Franco led the Cowboys with a 79.

Andrew Moore’s 80 paced Saugus at 431.

Golden Valley shot a team score of 490 with Lucas Olivas providing a 91.

cosborne@the-signal.com

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