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Motivation no problem for three local golfers

Posted: May 20, 2008 11:27 a.m.
Updated: July 21, 2008 5:02 a.m.
DESERT HOT SPRINGS - There is a ton of motivation going forward for three local prep golfers after Monday's CIF-Southern Section Individual Final at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs.

One consistently stellar golfer tied for first place, but couldn't take the title in a playoff.

Another perennially successful golfer has never been this far.

And the third, he might not have been expected to be here.

But, in order, Hart's Johnny MacArthur, Valencia's Max Homa and West Ranch's J.J. Holen will all golf May 29 at the SCGA Golf Course in Murrieta Valley for the Southern California High School Golf Championships for a chance to play in the state title match.

MacArthur, the Foothill League MVP, rode the wave of a successful showing at the Pasadena Golf Championship this weekend into Desert Hot Springs where it was 110 degrees in the shade.

MacArthur finished third in Pasadena, then shot a 3-under 68 to tie for the lead Monday.

In the second playoff hole, MacArthur missed the green wide right and had to make an eight-foot putt for bogey.

Andrew Perez of Santa Barbara parred the hole, No. 18, for the overall victory.

"It would have been really cool to get first place and that big old plaque," MacArthur said. "I'm not too pleased with this runner-up thing, but I'm pleased I played pretty well and will go to next round."

MacArthur was disappointed, saying he left too many shots on the course, specifically pointing to the 16th hole that he felt he should have birdied. Nonetheless, he made five birdies on the day to go along with two bogeys.

Last year, the SCGA was MacArthur's final stop, as he lost in a playoff.

Six spots for state are up for grabs May 29 with 124 golfers playing the course.

Twenty-eight golfers from Friday qualified for the SCGA.

Homa failed to make it to the SCGA last year.

The Foothill League MVP runner-up shot a 73 and made two bogeys to finish his Monday.

He had one birdie.

"It feels really good not to play my best and still make it," Homa said.

The senior said he's been struggling with his irons lately, so it was extremely encouraging that he has some time to work out the kinks.

As for Holen, the freshman said his season keeps getting more and more surprising.

He was good enough to get into the individual playoffs during league play and has been good enough in the postseason.

His 74 put him right on the edge of the cut - 75.

This, despite the weather.

"Awe, it was ridiculously hot," he said. "I probably drank maybe 30 water bottles today."

Holen said he understands the difficulty of making state and added that he's going to play loose May 29.

His West Ranch teammate, Ryan Weltig, was the other local to compete Monday.

Weltig shot an 80.


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