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Driven to succeed

The Signal picks the All-SCV golf team

Posted: June 29, 2008 11:14 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2008 5:03 a.m.

You would have to believe that Johnny MacArthur’s 2008 high school golf season began on May 31.
That day marked the conclusion for the then-Hart junior’s 2007.

At the CIF-Southern California Golf Championships, MacArthur shot a 3-under 69 which pulled him into a playoff for the final qualifying spot for the state championship.

The young golfer bogeyed the first hole, though, eliminating him from advancement.

To know MacArthur, one must understand how driven he is.

Don’t think he didn’t carry that with him through the summer.

Don’t think another failure, missing a putt on the 18th hole at TPC Valencia that would have given him the Foothill League Most Valuable Player, didn’t stay with him through the fall.

Don’t think he wasn’t itching for redemption throughout the winter.

Yet MacArthur began the spring sport, the one for which he is great enough to garner a scholarship from Pepperdine University for, banged up.

Deciding to play football for the first time, then continuing his foray into soccer, left him battling extreme back pain through the opening tournaments of Hart High’s 2008 varsity golf season.

And it showed.

Especially on March 25.

MacArthur shot an uncharacteristic 8-over 80 at Valencia Country Club — a course he’s played numerous times throughout his life.

Seven other golfers that day shot better than him, including two freshmen.

MacArthur’s drive to become the league’s Most Valuable Player led him to see a chiropractor.

After a week this season of no competition, MacArthur was back to his old form.

Check that, he was better than his old form.

The Hart High senior began is trek toward the best finish in Santa Clarita Valley prep golf history with a 2-under 69 on April 1 at Robinson Ranch.

He did have one hiccup —a 76 at VCC on April 14.

But afterward, he was untouchable.

MacArthur wrapped up the Foothill League season with a pair of 3-under 69s to win the Newhall Land Cup and claim the prize as the Foothill League MVP.

Then, came the individual postseason.

A 69 advanced him past the first round.

A three-under 68 tied him for first at the CIF-Southern Section Individual Final, which left him with a sour taste in his mouth.

MacArthur lost the championship to Santa Barbara’s Andrew Perez in a playoff.

He came back 10 days later to shoot a 5-under 67 at the Southern California Championship, again tying Perez.

MacArthur beat him on the second sudden-death playoff hole with birdie to Perez’s par.

The Hart golfer became the first individual to win the SoCal championship in this valley’s history.

He shot a 2-over 74 at the CIF-State Golf Championship to finish tied for fifth on June 3.

His season ended.

To know MacArthur, one must understand that his collegiate career has just begun.

The drive is there because his ultimate goal of becoming state champion was not accomplished.

Yet MacArthur accomplished so much in 2008.

Included in that, is the 2008 All-Santa Clarita Valley Boys Golfer of the Year.

First Team

Max Homa, Valencia, Junior
Homa will begin the 2009 boys golf season as the Foothill League MVP favorite. A stellar career continued for Homa in his junior year. He overcame shoulder problems from a year ago and finished as the 2007 MVP runner-up. Homa’s most outstanding day was on April 14, when he shot a 2-under 70 to claim medalist at Valencia Country Club in Foothill League Match No. 4. Homa made it as far as the CIF-Southern California Golf Championship, where he finished in the middle of the pack with a 75.

JJ Holen, West Ranch, Freshman
Holen is the most talked about freshman boys golfer since Saugus great and current Cal State Northridge golfer Nick Delio hit the scene in 2004. The West Ranch golfer was consistent throughout the Foothill League season. His best day was a medalist performance at Valencia Country Club on March 25 with an even-par 72 at Foothill Match No. 2.

Ryan Weltig, West Ranch, Senior
The graybeard on a young West Ranch team, Weltig was quietly one of the best golfers in the area. His 1-under 70 was West Ranch’s best score at Foothill Match No. 3. In the regular season, he shot under 80 five-out-of-six matches.

An outstanding season continued in the postseason when he advanced to the second round of the individual postseason.

Jay Lim, West Ranch, Freshman
Lim was neck-and-neck with teammate J.J. Holen throughout the season. Lim was the most consistent golfer for the Wildcats early on, posting a 74, 73 and 75 in Foothill League play. That consistent play led him into the first round of the CIF individual playoffs.

Tanner Diaz, Hart, Junior
Diaz was stellar for the Hart junior varsity team as a sophomore and continued his string of success as a junior on the varsity. Had Diaz not had a great season in 2008, the Indians might have not been in the CIF team postseason.

Diaz regularly shot in the mid-70s and also made it as far as the first round of the CIF individual postseason.


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