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Young golfers flourish in the valley

Rising stars on both boys’ and girls’ side makes for exciting future on the local links

Posted: June 2, 2009 10:02 p.m.
Updated: June 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.
On Thursday, Valencia High golfer Max Homa graduated from high school.

Homa played golf with some of the best this valley has ever seen.

Golfers like Nick Delio, Louis Amira and Johnny MacArthur.

Golfers who, like him, earned their way onto NCAA Division I golf teams.

Homa will be playing at Cal next year.

His 2009 marked a transition year to the future.

He was the bridge from Delio (Saugus, CSUN), Amira (Valencia, Harvard) and MacArthur (Hart, Pepperdine) to the future of this valley’s golf landscape.

A future that has already arrived.

Young golf in the Santa Clarita Valley is brighter than maybe it has ever been.

With the area’s top prep golfers being sophomores or younger in 2008-09, there is a lot of excitement on the horizon.

That statement applies to boys and girls.

J.J. Holen and Jonathan Chang on the boys’ side and Amanda Corr, Nikki Prichard and Kendall Dusenberry on the girls’ side are the class of this group that extends even further.

All are sophomores or younger.

Holen competes today in the CIF/SCGA Tournament at the SCGA Members Club in Temecula with a chance to get to the CIF State Championship.

Just a sophomore, Holen has qualified for the CIF individual playoffs twice, finished second in the Foothill League individually and led his team to two Foothill League titles.

Before the league season began, the hype began about the Valencia freshman Chang.
Chang backed it up.

He was the co-leader after one day of the Newhall Land Cup, eventually finishing third.

Chang also qualified for the CIF individual playoffs and made it to the second round after shooting a 1-over 72 at Sterling Hills Golf Course in Camarillo at the CIF-Southern Section Northern Individual Regional.

But the one who may be the best young golfer in the area doesn’t even compete in high school, yet he is a sophomore at West Ranch.

Daniel Lee, a 16-year-old sophomore who attends West Ranch, is competing this weekend at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga., at a U.S. Open qualifier.

He is the third-youngest golfer in sectional qualifying.

Lee is the 11th ranked golfer in American Junior Golf Association’s Polo rankings.

On May 25, he won the Thunderbird International Junior tournament at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

He was 18-under par for the 54-hole event.

Likewise, on the girls side, arguably the best of the bunch doesn’t compete in high school — yet.

Alison Lee, an eighth-grader, is ranked 10th in the Polo rankings.

The Signal featured her in a story in August 2007 when she was a 12-year-old ranked 155th in the Polo rankings.

Moving up a little older, Corr has back-to-back second-place finishes for the Foothill League Most Valuable Player and was two strokes short of making the CIF State Final this past season.

Fellow Hart sophomore Prichard has also been near the top of the Foothill League and gotten past the first round of individual playoffs.

Hart freshman Dusenberry won the Foothill League MVP in 2008 and the Newhall Land Cup.


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