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Foothill golf: The grass is Golden

Pierre and veterans help lead Golden Valley to its first Foothill League match in school history

Posted: October 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 4, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

There are two four-year varsity players on the Golden Valley girls golf team — Amanda Hobbs and Kaitlyn Thayer.

Four years ago, nobody wanted to play with them or their teammates because the thought of playing with golf novices, girls who would likely keep them out on the course a long time because of their inability to get the ball in the hole, was distressing.

Now these girls and their Golden Valley teammates are giving their Foothill League opponents another reason to not want to play with them — because they’re one of the league’s best teams.

For the first time ever, the Grizzlies could say that they were the best for a day as Golden Valley girls golf won its first Foothill League golf match ever.

The Grizzlies shot a team score of 189, two strokes better than defending Foothill League champions West Ranch at El Cariso Golf Course in Sylmar on Tuesday in the third league match of the season.

Prior to last year, the Grizzlies had never finished above fifth place in any match.

Prior to this year, the sixth in program history, they never finished above fourth in any match.

Now Golden Valley has two seconds and a first-place finish.

“It’s quite incredible, the feeling. On the course, it was just amazing,” Hobbs said of the win. “It was really cool being the captain and watching my teammates glow.”

Golden Valley freshman Elisa Pierre was medalist for the second time this season with an even-par 31.

Hobbs shot a 37, followed by Ashley Pfenning and Thayer’s 39s.

Thayer is the Grizzlies’ regular No. 6 golfer, but her score was the one that clinched the match for Golden Valley.

Golden Valley head coach Tony Moskal said it was a feel-good story to see Thayer come in with the clincher because she almost didn’t come out for the team this year.

Now girls like her show that persistence and hard work and a collective team commitment can result in achievement.

Moskal said he hopes this helps prove that despite the school’s past sports struggles, teams can win at the school.

“I would hope now kids read the paper and go, look at (Golden Valley’s) cross country state championship and track teams, their success. We’re trying to do our best,” Moskal said. “If that helps our school, if people go and say, ‘Look, Golden Valley can compete in some sports. Why do I have to send my kid somewhere else?’”

West Ranch, meanwhile, fielded its best team this season with the return of sophomore Julie Ward — last year’s No. 3 golfer in the league.

After absences in the first two league matches, she led her school with a 35, followed by freshman Josie Lionetti’s 37 and Sarah Hong’s 38.

Hart was third with a 199, led for the third straight league match by Jamie Corr with a 34. Her sister Katie shot a 38.
Valencia shot a 207 led by Andrea Webster’s 38 and Joyce Kim’s 39.

Saugus shot a 220, led by Brittney Eidem with a 40.

Canyon finally had a qualifying score with a 261, led by Ashley Warner’s 47.

Unofficially, after three league matches, West Ranch has a five-stroke lead over the Grizzlies for first place (674-679). Hart is in third at 686.

Total strokes with the high score thrown out determines the league champion.

There are three league matches left in the season.

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