After every Foothill League meet this season, West Ranch golf’s Jack Dudeck’s dad asked him what went well and what didn’t, as most parents do.
And every time, Dudeck had the same answer. But at Day 1 of the Newhall Cup and Foothill League meet No. 5 on Tuesday at TPC Valencia, things were different.
“Just putting,” the senior said. “It was putting. Putting has always been the thing that’s held me back and today it was there and I played better.”
Dudeck’s short game earned him his first top-three finish of the season on Tuesday, a finish that helped the Wildcats earn a comfortable lead over Hart in the first phase of the Newhall Cup.
He carded a 1-under 71 for second place on the afternoon. Fellow Wildcat went 3-under for medalist honors and the Indians’ Art Thompson was 1-over for third place.
“It pushes everybody to play better,” Dudeck said of West Ranch having consistent top golfers. “We’re all good, we all want to compete and we all want to win and it just pushes us to play better as a team.”
Dudeck birdied on hole 14, an area he claims typically gives him problems.
“Driver was really working and then the putter was really working today and it hasn’t worked at all the last four league matches, so I’m really glad that it worked today,” he said.
West Ranch claimed its fifth straight team win in as many meets with a score of 375. Hart was second at 395 and Saugus third at 423. Those scores will be added to tomorrow’s team scores on Day 2 of the Newhall Cup.
In terms of overall league standings, the Cats are also ahead. They lead at 1,506 strokes, followed by Hart with 1,568 and Saugus at 1,654.
“We’re in a solid second place and we just want to come out and continue to play the very best we can,” said Hart coach Steve Lindberg. “We want to challenge to win every single match and never give up … our goal is to compete and try and win every match so that we can stay focused as we go into CIF.”
Individually, Murray sits atop the standings at 214. Thompson is next at 224 and Hart’s Jess Scheller is after that at 227. Two strokes behind him in fourth place is West Ranch’s Ben Valdez.
The second day of the Newhall Cup and the final Foothill League meet of the season begins today at TPC Valencia at noon.