Hart boys golf’s Thompson gets first league win, Cats win as team

Hart player Art Thompson watches at he hits from the first tee during the 2018 Foothill League match. Georgia Rios/The Signal

Hart boys golf’s Art Thompson rates his play in terms of letters.

“Nobody can touch me if I play my ‘A game’ and I haven’t been playing my ‘A game,’” Thompson said. “It’s only been like c-plus (lately). And then today, I was playing like a c-plus but I grinded it out.”

Although his play didn’t come as naturally as he had hoped on Tuesday in Foothill League meet No. 4, he was still able to use his mental game to his advantage and take home his first medalist honor of the league season.

Thompson carded a 3-over 75 for the win. West Ranch’s Gunnar Murray was second at 4-over and fellow Wildcat Favian Busnawi was third at 6-over.

Scores unusually hovered in the mid-70s due to windy conditions at Sand Canyon Country Club.

“The wind was kind of an equalizer for the day,” Murray said. “Pins were in difficult positions so it was hard to attack the pins with the firmness of the greens. So the greens were rolling good, so that was nice.”

For Thompson, it was a matter of mentally coping with mistakes in addition to physically making up for them that helped him pull out a low score.

“Today my mental game showed,” he said. “I focused, I locked in and even though putts weren’t dropping or bad breaks or whatever, mentally I grinded it out. I don’t need my ‘A game’ to win.”

In terms of team play, West Ranch captured another win with a score of 394. Saugus made an appearance in second place at 404 and Hart was third at 414.

The Wildcats are hanging on tightly to their lead in the overall league standings at 1131, with Hart trailing them at 1173.

“We just have to keep our heads in the game,” Murray said. “We can’t make stupid decisions out there. Take it one hole at a time and not get ahead of ourselves.”

The fact that the Indians have had two medalists in a row – with Thompson this week and Cameron Gadd last week – hints at some last-minute competition between the two teams with the Newhall Cup right around the corner.

“I think it shows our potential. It shows that we have players that can mess around and play good,” said Thompson. “That can shoot good and help us win matches. The only problem is we’re not putting it together.”

The regular season for Foothill League golf will conclude next week. Round 1 of the Newhall Cup is set to tee off at TPC Valencia on Tuesday, April 24 at noon. Round 2 will be the day after.

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