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Expected and achieved

Posted: March 21, 2008 1:11 a.m.
Updated: May 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.

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Thursday's forecast called for a slight wind, warm weather and a West Ranch boys golf victory in the Foothill League opener.

All stayed true.

The consensus No. 1 team Wildcats shot a team score of 382, besting its next closest competitor, Valencia, by 18 strokes at Robinson Ranch on its par-71 Mountain Course Thursday.

West Ranch was a combined 27-over par.

There were tri-medalists on the day, two coming from West Ranch.

Wildcats Jay Lim, a freshman, and Colton Goodwin, a junior, shot 3-over 74s to match Foothill League Most Valuable Player favorite Hart's Johnny MacArthur.

"As predicted, but then not predicted was we had everybody in the 70s," said West Ranch head golf coach Jeff Holen.

The Wildcats even had to throw out a score in the 70s as a 79 was their highest score. J.J. Holen, Ryan Weltig and Clayton Thatch each contributed 78s.

Second-place Valencia was led by Max Homa with a 75.

Conditions were mostly calm in the air, but the ground was troublesome.

The greens at Robinson Ranch were punched, causing some slightly higher scores for the overall leaders.

"It kind of levels out the field. It sort of makes everybody the same putter," MacArthur said.

The senior had four three-putts Thursday and made five bogeys and two birdies.

Less satisfying to him was his team's finish. Yet Hart shot a respectable 409 to finish in third place, five strokes in front of fourth-place Saugus.

Saugus was led by Justin Hancock's 80.

Golden Valley picked up fifth place, shooting its best ever score of 429.

Austin Wolitarsky led the Grizzlies with an 80.

In its last two trips to Robinson Ranch, Golden Valley shot over 500 and in the 460s.

Head coach Tony Moskal said he was ecstatic with the score.

"Four-twenty nine, for us? Four-twenty nine is a huge step in the right direction for us. We're right in it," Moskal said.

Canyon shot a 462, led by 85s from Paco Franco and Justin Golden.

Individually, though, West Ranch's young golfers showed they weren't intimidated by it being a league match.

Goodwin actually putted quite well on the difficult greens, putting just 26 times.

"It was surprising that I got medalist," Goodwin said. "I know a lot of kids there have shot way under par, so it's kind of a shock to get medalist."

He made two birdies and five bogeys on the day.

Lim, just 15 years old, said he had an up-and-down day.

He made four bogeys and a double-bogey and had one birdie.

He finished his day with an eagle on 18.

"Our team's really confident. We won by 18," Lim said. "We'll be confident (going forward) because we know we can win every time."

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