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Johnny Mac is SoCal's best

Posted: May 30, 2008 1:21 a.m.
Updated: July 31, 2008 5:01 a.m.

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Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and now Johnny MacArthur.

The Hart High senior joined elite company Thursday, winning the CIF-SCGA Southern Regional High School Championship at the SCGA Golf Course in Murrieta Valley.

MacArthur shot a 5-under 67 and won the tournament in the second round of a playoff.

The Foothill League Most Valuable Player was the only local out of three to advance to the CIF-CGA State High School Golf Championship on Tuesday.

Valencia's Max Homa shot a 75 and West Ranch's J.J. Holen shot a 77 to finish in the middle of a pack of 124 golfers.

The top six advanced to state.

MacArthur, with the victory, is essentially the top high school golfer in Southern California - a distinction that has never been placed on any Santa Clarita Valley prep golfer.

"I guess you could say I'm the No. 1 or No. 2 golfer in the state," MacArthur said. "But I don't want to get caught up in that."

Instead, MacArthur's drive is to win the state tournament on Tuesday at Santa Maria Country Club.

"Yes I do, I know I can," said MacArthur on if he thinks he can win the state title.

It's that confidence and drive that has helped propel the three-sport athlete to the pinnacle of Southern California prep golf.

Ironically, MacArthur had to face the same Andrew Perez of Santa Barbara in Thursday's playoff.

MacArthur lost to Perez for the CIF-Southern Section Individual title May 19 when both golfers shot 68s at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs and Perez prevailed on the second hole of a playoff.

The pair parred the first hole Thursday, then were brought to the 410-yard No. 10 hole.

Perez's drive came to within 150 yards, MacArthur's came to within 141.

The Santa Barbara High golfer's approach shot landed 15 feet away from the hole, while MacArthur's stopped just three feet away.

Perez then putted past MacArthur's marker. He tapped in for par.

MacArthur was only a short putt from victory.

"Just keep your head down. Trust the line," thought MacArthur before the putt.

He then buried it for the championship.

On the day, he made six birdies and one bogey.

MacArthur was four-under through nine. His longest putt on the day, he remembers, was a 10-footer.

He credited his wedge game for his success.

"It says he's a bulldog," says Hart High golf coach Pete Calzia on MacArthur's comeback from 10 days ago. "He doesn't give up. He wanted it bad."

Homa's high school career ended on a solid note.

This was the furthest the senior had gone in his four-year high school career.

Holen's just getting started.

A quadruple bogey on his fourth hole ruined his day, but the promising freshman made four birdies, despite five bogeys.

"It was fun," he said. "It was nice to come out here and enjoy it. I wasn't pushing for anything today."

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