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West Ranch locks up Foothill League title

West Ranch wins 6th straight league title; Joey Downey is MVP

Posted: April 24, 2013 9:42 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2013 9:42 p.m.
West Ranch’s Joey Downey tees off on the fourth hole of the Foothill League final match on Wednesday at TPC Valencia. West Ranch’s Joey Downey tees off on the fourth hole of the Foothill League final match on Wednesday at TPC Valencia.
West Ranch’s Joey Downey tees off on the fourth hole of the Foothill League final match on Wednesday at TPC Valencia.

West Ranch boys golfer Joey Downey would have really had to have a blow-up round on Wednesday at TPC Valencia in the sixth and final Foothill League match to not win the league’s Most Valuable Player.

But reflective of a steady season, Downey doesn’t do blow-ups.

The consistent senior shot a 4-over 76 to finish at 369 strokes overall on the season and claim the Foothill’s top individual prize.

Hart’s Glen Lee finished in second place overall at 377.

“I tried not to worry too much about the competition,” Downey said. “I focused on my game. I want (the other golfers) to succeed, but at the same time I want to beat them. It was more of trying to play the course instead of the competition.”

Downey said it was his chipping and putting that kept him on point Wednesday, though he did finish at 4-over on the back nine.

Yet all season long, Downey has stayed within himself, said West Ranch head coach Jeff Holen, and taken what the course has given him.

His worst non-throw-out score during Foothill competition was Wednesday’s 76.

West Ranch also clinched its sixth straight Foothill title by shooting a team score of 403 on the day. The Wildcats won all six league matches this season.

The Wildcats edged Hart by 62 total strokes for the season.

By Hart finishing second overall and Valencia ending 35 strokes ahead of Saugus for third place, the two teams will join West Ranch at the May 6 CIF-Southern Section Northern Team Divisional at Soule Park Golf Club.

Individual postseason spots were also decided on Wednesday, as Saugus’ Braden Lewis, West Ranch’s Casey May, Golden Valley’s Jonathan Kang, Hart’s Nick Negrosa and West Ranch’s Jack McClafferty finished third through seventh overall and will join Downey and Lee at the CIF-SS Northern Individual Regional on May 13 at River Ridge Golf Club.

McClafferty came into the day in ninth place in the Foothill overall, but his 8-over 80 vaulted him into the postseason.

“I thought it would be close,” McClafferty said about his feeling after his round. “I was just happy and excited (to get into the postseason). It’s a wonderful feeling.”

For Lee, it’s an opportunity for redemption.

In 2011, then a freshman at Valencia, Lee made it all the way to the third of four rounds in the CIF individual state tournament. He tied for the lowest score at the CIF-Southern Section Individual Final that season.

Last season, he didn’t make the postseason as an individual.

“I’m not trying to get first or second. I’m just trying to qualify, qualify, qualify,” he said.

Three qualifies would put him in the state championship.

Notes: West Ranch won the Newhall Land Cup as a team and Downey won it individually. The NLC goes to the top team and individual combined scores for the final two league matches. Downey was also medalist for the fourth time in Foothill play. After West Ranch, the league’s sixth match finished as follows: 2. Hart (414) 3. Valencia (434) 4. Saugus (443) 5. Canyon (455) 6. Golden Valley (496)



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