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CIF/SCGA Championship: Strong finish not enough

Holen, Chang post low scores at CIF/SCGA SoCal Championship; neither advance to state

Posted: June 3, 2010 10:16 p.m.
Updated: June 4, 2010 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch junior J.J. Holen chips out of a bunker on the 16th hole at The Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta on Thursday during the CIF/SCGA Southern California Golf Championship. Holen shot a 1-under 71 but did not advance to the CIF State Championship.

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When is 1-under 71 a disappointing score?

When it leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth for the third consecutive year.

West Ranch's J.J. Holen's score and Valencia's Jonathan Chang's 2-over 74 left them short of the CIF State Golf Championship, as both put up respectable numbers on Thursday at the CIF/SCGA Southern California Golf Championship at The Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta.

"It's an honor to be able to play in the Southern California Championship. I was one of, what, 120 players? To me, that's an honor. ... Anytime you don't make it to the next round, it's always disappointing (though)."

Despite Holen's best-ever round in the event, he finished tied for 32nd.

The top six individuals advanced to the state championship on June 8 in Santa Maria.

Westlake's Jake Katz, Aliso Niguel's Mark Jensma and Santa Margarita's Andrew Levitt all shot 7-under for the tournament.

Holen shot a 5-over 77 in 2008 and a 7-over 79 at the SoCal Championship.

Chang was one playoff event short of making the SoCal Championship last year, but became the first sophomore in Valencia High history to make the event this year.

He finished tied for 62nd.

Chang started off on hole No. 14 and was even through five holes. Holes No. 1 through 9 were eventful.

He went bogey, par, triple-bogey, birdie, birdie, bogey, par, bogey, birdie.

"This was probably the easiest course of the three rounds (of playoffs). If there was the day to go low, this was the day to go low," Chang said. "It was frustrating swingwise. Everything else went fine. All it came down to was my swing and it fell apart."

Nonetheless, the 2010 Foothill League Most Valuable Player made an accomplishment that the trio of Valencia greats Brandon Christianson, Louis Amira and Max Homa never did at such a young age - make it to round three of four CIF playoffs.

"He's raised the bar at this point as a sophomore," said Valencia first-year head coach Robert Waters.

Holen keeps setting the bar higher at West Ranch.

Though he started bogey, bogey, he birdied three of his next four holes. On his seventh, he triple-bogeyed.

He parred his next eight.

Holen has an obvious goal for next year.

"Definitely get past this round," Holen said.



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