West Ranch wins league team, individual titles

West Ranch's Gunnar Murray looks down range after hitting the ball on the first hole at Sand Canyon Country Club during the Foothill League Boys Golf Meet No. 1 on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

For some Foothill League golfers, competing back-to-back days in the Newhall Cup can seem daunting both mentally and physically.

West Ranch’s Gunnar Murray, however, felt completely at ease.

“There was a sense of calm this year that was a little bit different,” Murray said. I think that’s part of the reason I did better, but it felt like I was kind of just playing with my buddies out there.

“Really carefree, I made a birdie, it was cool, but it didn’t mean that much to me. If I made a bogey, I knew I could get the stroke back.”

Murray’s cool and collected demeanor helped him win the Newhall Cup title as well as his second consecutive Foothill League individual title at TPC Valencia on Wednesday.

In Newhall Cup play, Murray finished at 146, with Hart’s Art Thompson and Wildcat Jack Dudeck tying for second at 148.

Murray ended the league season at 359. Thompson was next (372), followed by Hart’s Jess Scheller (378) and Dudeck (380). All four golfers qualify for the CIF-Southern Section postseason.

West Ranch as a team also collected both the Newhall Cup and Foothill League title.

“It feels really good to cap off my senior season with some really good accolades,” Murray said. “I’m glad that we both competed well as a team and I stepped up and performed the way I know I should as an individual.”

In addition to the Newhall Cup and Foothill League finale, honors were also given out for Foothill League meet No. 6.

Hart took home its first league meet title of the season at 379 strokes. West Ranch was second at 394.

Scheller captured medalist honors, shooting even-par. The Indians’ Jason Yoo carded a 1-over 73, while Thompson and the Cats’ Ben Valdez each carded 3-over 75.

Hart’s Damien Gutierrez also recorded a hole-in-one on the fourth hole.

“West Ranch wants to win, Hart wants to win, so I think when you have two people that want to win so bad, it makes every other player play to their potential because they know their counterpart on the other team is going to play well,” Murray said of the rivalry between the two schools.

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