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Prep golf: Chang propels Vikings

Senior has hole in one, eagle to lead Valencia to first Foothill win since 2009

Posted: April 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Jonathan Chang picks his ball up after a hole-in-one on No. 4 Wednesday at Robinson Ranch.

 

Valencia golfer Jonathan Chang is going for it.

Medalist at Foothill League matches, Foothill League Most Valuable Player and a third straight Newhall Land Cup title.

But a hole in one?

He wasn’t going for that on Wednesday.

But he got it nonetheless.

And an eagle four holes later?

He got that, too.

The senior golfer shot a 3-under par 69 on Wednesday at Robinson Ranch Golf Club during the fourth Foothill League match, leading Valencia to its first outright Foothill League match win since 2009.

“I’m just trying to play golf. Last year was a struggle. I had no confidence,” Chang said.

Chang’s confidence is definitely back. And with it is a sense of humor.

“I had a rough day,” he joked about Wednesday.

Last season, Chang got a new swing coach and completely changed his swing from grip, to posture, to follow through.

It took him a while to adjust. At times he said he couldn’t crack 90.

In four league matches this season, he has been medalist three times.

On Wednesday, he was at his most impressive.

On the par-3 No. 4 hole, he hit the ball 137 yards into the cup.

Chang said the ball disappeared after he drove it over the slope and he didn’t want to say anything until he located the ball.

“I was directly in front of (Chang’s) group with (two other coaches). We heard him. In fact the whole golf course could hear him. It was echoing through the entire golf course,” said Valencia head coach Robert Waters of his golfer’s celebration.

Four holes later, Chang drove the ball on the par-4, 273-yard No. 8 to within 10 feet of the hole. The ball rested on some fringe and he chipped in for eagle.

The rest of his team put up scores between 77 and 82 to help the Vikings win their first league match outright since April 23, 2009.

West Ranch finished second with a team score of 391, led by Joey Downey’s 74.

Despite Valencia surging in the last two league matches, after finishing second on Tuesday, West Ranch appears on its way to winning its fifth straight league title.

The Wildcats built a 41-stroke lead after the first two Foothill matches on Valencia and Saugus has been drifting of late with two straight third-place finishes.

The Centurions shot a 402, led by Braden Lewis’ 77.

Hart finished fourth for the third straight match with a 418, highlighted by Chad David’s 78.

Alek Golden again led Canyon with an 80, as the Cowboys took fifth for the fourth straight time with a 445.

Golden Valley didn’t have enough qualifying scores for the second straight league match.

Harrison Edwards shot a 92 for the Grizzlies.

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