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Homa in the hunt

Local golfer heads to final round one-under par

Posted: July 8, 2009 9:56 p.m.
Updated: July 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.

J.J. Holen reacts after sinking a birdie putt on the third hole at Robinson Ranch on Wednesday.

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For the second consecutive day Max Homa showed why he is a Division I golf recruit, following up a first-round 72 with a one-under par 71 to stay in contention at American Junior Golf Association West Junior Open.

Heading into the final day of the event, Homa is six shots off the lead after a day of braving heavy winds at Robinson Ranch.

“Today was tough in spots,” Homa said. “The winds were pretty heavy, but my goal is to at least finish in the top 10 so I’m still in position to do that.”

Homa, a 2009 Valencia graduate, is atop a trio of local athletes competing in the event. West Ranch’s J.J. Holen posted an 83 to finish the day at nine over par, while fellow Wildcat Clayton Thatch posted a 76 to close out his second afternoon at the tournament 11 over par.

After the second day of play, Homa is in a tie for seventh place.

Holen opened the afternoon with four straight birdies to drop to six under par, but the wind disrupted his ball flight and led to a quadruple bogey and a triple bogey that tainted an otherwise strong showing that included an eagle.

“It’s tough for me with my ball flight,” Holen said. “Things started out good today, but then the wind picked up. Yesterday was a different day, but there were still a lot of positive things that happened out there for me.”

Thatch continued his solid play at the tournament by staying focused on keeping the ball in the fairway.

“I drove the ball well today,” he said. “My short game was off, but I felt like I was able to give myself chances to put up a good number. I’m just focused on finding a way to climb back into a good spot in the final round.”

On the girls side, Hart players Amanda Corr and Kendall Dusenberry both looked to rebound from a pair of 80-plus opening rounds.

However, Dusenberry could not solve Robinson Ranch, posting a 97.

“I have been having an off week,” Dusenberry said. “I’m just hoping to find a way to work out the kinks in my swing and move forward. I don’t think I have ever shot a 97 so it can be discouraging, but right now I’m just not hitting my driver well.

“I’m still putting well, though, so that’s good. It’s a tough course so I’m taking it as a chance for improvement.”

Corr carded an 84, leaving her 24 shots off the pace set by Anne Cheng.

The boys are led by Jeffery Kang, who shot a 69 to finish the day at 137 after two rounds, which is two strokes ahead of Alexander Forss and James Baek.

The final round tees off today at Robinson Ranch.

kdamore@the-signal.com

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