For the first time in three boys Foothill League golf meets this season, Hart High was not the top team.
West Ranch earned first place in league meet No. 3 on Wednesday at Robinson Ranch Golf Club with a score of 385. Hart was in second at 386, followed by Valencia at 415.
“It’s one shot,” said Hart’s Art Thompson. “We’re the first loser. We got second. And that’s not what we’re coming out to do. We’re coming out to win … We lost the battle, but we haven’t lost the war.”
Thompson was the medalist, carding a 2-under 70. It was his second medalist honor of the season and the Indians’ third time earning the top individual honor.
There was a three-way tie for second place between West Ranch’s Gunnar Murray and Diego Renteria and Saugus High’s Benny Emeterio, who each finished at 2-over.
Next was Hart’s Jess Scheller, who carded a 5-over.
“I love to see those numbers,” said Wildcats coach Jeff Holen. “We gave away a few strokes so that hurt us, but to see my one and two (golfers) place 74 makes me happy, and I know it makes them happy.”
Jack Dudeck hadn’t finished in West Ranch’s top five golfers (the sixth score is thrown out) in the first two league meets, but he showed improvement Wednesday, ranking fourth out of the Cats with a 7-over.
“Now we’re ready to play at what our team is capable of,” Holen said. “We’re not even playing what our normal capability is.”
Thompson, who was the medalist in the first league meet, didn’t crack the top three in meet No. 2. The work put in over spring break was apparent on Wednesday.
He said his play felt “smarter” and that his putting was on point for birdies.
“Things I’ve been working on daily is my iron and my short game,” Thompson said. “I’ve been practicing about every day. Six, eight hours a day at least. Just grinding and grinding.”
The Foothill League golf season continues on Tuesday at Valencia Country Club.
With only three league meets remaining and five spots available for individual postseason play, the competition will be heating up quickly.
“It’s going to be amazing,” Thompson said. “We really have some good golfers there. Diego, the guy can play. It’s going to be very, very close. I’m excited to see it unfold.”