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Holen leads locals at Robinson Ranch

Homa aslo in contention at West Junior Open

Posted: July 7, 2009 9:10 p.m.
Updated: July 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart sophomore Kendall Dusenberry tees off on the ninth hole of the West Junior Open Tuesday at Robinson Ranch Golf Course.

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J.J. Holen continues to build his impressive resume on the golf course. The soon-to-be West Ranch junior shot a 70 at Robinson Ranch Tuesday, placing him two shots off of the pace at the American Junior Golf Association West Junior Open.

Holen’s round was the lowest local score from a trio of area players in the event on the men’s side.

Valencia graduate Max Homa is also in contention after carding a 72, while West Ranch’s Clayton Thatch posted a 79.

“I look at it like this is a good learning experience,” Thatch said. “When you get to play with a better level of competition it forces you to raise your focus.”

A pair of local players are also in the tournament on the women’s side both from the defending Foothill League champion Hart Indians.

Amanda Corr closed her round with an 86, while Kendall Dusenberry posted an 89.

“I thought I putted pretty well,” Dusenberry said. “My long game just wasn’t really there today. I wasn’t really hitting my driver. I had some weird sand shots that were difficult plays.”

Both girls golfers are focused on making Wednesday’s second round more positive than their opening 18.

“Tomorrow is a new day,” Corr said. “I know that I can come out and achieve my goals and play the way I’m capable of playing. My putting was off today, but hopefully tomorrow I can putt better.”

After a rough start Holen settled in to his day on the course. He posted a seven on the fourth hole, but only failed to shoot at least par on one of the remaining 14 holes, carding a 34 on the back nine.

He trails a trio, Jeffery Kang, Robin Jang and Anthony Kim, who shot four under, 68s to set the pace, headed into the second round of the three day round tournament.

Holen made up ground by birdieing three straight holes on eight, nine and 10 and knocked home a birdie on the 18th to cap his sub-par day.

Homa also closed the day strong, eagling the 18th.

“It was pretty windy so I tried to play off the wind,” Homa said. “I hit a solid drive, and then I was able to knock my five iron about ten feet from the hole. My goal is to go out there and shoot a lower second round so I can get closer to the leader, but any time you are within four shots after one day you have to feel pretty good about your chances.”

Joyce Kim finished the day with a 72 to lead the female bracket.

Between the two brackets there are 99 golfers in the tournament from six states and Argentina. Seventy-nine of the participants are from California.

Seven of the participants have already signed National Letters of Intent, including Homa, a Valencia graduate, who will attend Berkeley in the fall.

The first pairing tees off at 7 a.m. at Robinson Ranch today.

Holen will be back on the course at 10:40 a.m., while Homa resumes play at 9:30 a.m.

kdamore@the-signal.com

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