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Par for the course

West Ranch edges Valencia by three strokes in Foothill League match no. 4.

Posted: April 15, 2008 4:14 p.m.
Updated: June 16, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Valencia High's Max Homa watches his drive on the sixth fairway during the fourth Foothill League match at Valencia Country Club Monday afternoon. Homa shot a 70 to earn the individual top spot.

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Once again Valencia came oh so close to winning its first Foothill League boys golf match of the season, but just as the three previous League matches, West Ranch carded a lower score to win its fourth straight Foothill League match with a score of 390 at Valencia Country Club Monday afternoon.

The Vikings came in second with a 393, a mere three strokes behind the Wildcats. Hart finished third at 403, Saugus shot a 421 for fourth, while Golden Valley shot a 456 and Canyon shot a 507 - good enough for fifth, and sixth respectively.

"It is the fourth mile of a six mile race," said West Ranch head coach Jeff Holen, referring to the fourth out of sixth Foothill League match. "My goal for these guys is always one match at a time. I knew we were the front runners coming into League and I wanted them to focus on one match at a time."

While West Ranch carded the lowest team score, it was the Vikings Max Homa that shot a 70 giving him the medalist honors by four strokes.

"I played really good today," Homa said. "I hit 16 greens (in regulation). I missed four or five short birdie putts though, but I played a really solid round."

With birdies at No.'s 6, 8, 9, 12, Homa played solidly throughout, just like he has all season.

"I expected that from Homa," said Valencia head coach Rust Swisher. "He is a member here and just a fiery competitor."

For Valencia on the whole though, one number sticks out at that was a 91 from Alex Macaluso.

Playing in the first group, Macaluso, shot a 53 on the front nine - a full 17 over par. Even with a solid 38 on the back nine, his 91 was something no one expected.

"That was just unlucky," Homa said of Macaluso's round. "That was a fluke. Any other day he would break 80, easy."

Aside from Macaluso the Vikings shot solid all around with Taylor Levin posting the second highest score of the day at 74.

But, with the low scores from Valencia, it was West Ranch's solid team play that won in the end.

"I always tell them, take care of the team and the team will take care of them," Holen said. "I just want them to play smart out there."

Leading the way for the Wildcats was JJ Holen who recorded a 76 with just one birdie that came on the ninth hole.

"It was a Jay Lim round," Holen said, referring to his teammate. "Lim is my teammate and he has just a great short game and today I had a great up and down round - a great short game. I saved a lot of pars."

After the match and finding the Wildcats once again on the top spot Holen was satisfied with West Ranch's performance.

"I am very pleased. Going into the season we knew we were going to have a chance to win league and if we can get all out players to play the way they are capable of we have a great shot," Holen said.
Johnny MacArthur led the Indians with a 76 while teammate Tanner Diaz finished with a 76 as well giving both a tie for third individually.

Now, the teams head into the final week of the season in the two day Newhall Cup at TPC at Valencia next week.

And, both Valencia and West Ranch's coaches realize that the next round of golf is never the same as the last.

"Golf is a new day. Look at Alex (Last Name), medalist last week, boom 91 this week," Holen said. "So have I started hanging the banner up? No. The next round could always be the blowup round. But, I want to go 6-0 (in league). Not only that, I would like to go undefeated. To say we didn't lose a regular season match would be great. I would love to give that to our players."

For Valencia's Swisher, while the Vikings closed the gap on West Ranch, there is no promise that it will be any different next time.

"Heading into the Newhall Cup just reminds of the old Eleanor Franklin quote, 'Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift and that is why it is called the present.' This, today, is history. Next week we just have to play the course."


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