After a season of dominating the Foothill League, the West Ranch golfers were looking primed to have an impressive individual playoff season.
But after the CIF-Southern Section Individual Regionals wiped out all the Wildcats except for Ashton Lee, the attention was turned to the team playoffs. Instead of feeling frustration for their individual results, the Cats focused their energy on playing well for their team.
“This is like, kind of our one shot that we have now that Ashton is the only one going for individuals,” said West Ranch’s Matt Monheim.
“As a team, this is kind of our shot to get to Poppy (Hills) like we’ve been saying this entire year which is the goal and we’re wanting everyone to come play their own game and see what happens, we prepared a lot for this time and we know we can do it.”
In addition to West Ranch, Saugus, Hart and Valencia are each headed to the CIF-SS Division Team Championships, which begin at 1 p.m., at Santa Anita Golf Course today.
The Vikings were able to make it into the team playoffs as an at-large bid. Valencia may seem like an underdog, but the Vikes don’t see themselves as such. Last season in the same tournament, the team shot 388.
“Our coach talked to us and said that it’s virtually the same team as last year, so we should be able to shoot lower than that, but we’re not trying not to think about that,” said the Vikings’ Travis Johnson. “Don’t think about the score, just play your game. That’s been the really big thing so far.”
Travel time isn’t much of a factor when it comes to this tournament. The course is less than an hour away, making for a quick van ride.
The Wildcats are fairly familiar with the course. The team played a practice round a week ago and some players, like senior Favian Busnawi, have played the course at least twice every varsity season.
Busnawi added the course is “not a tough course by any means,” but also is encouraging his less experienced teammates not to take too many chances.
“I just told them to play their game, not to be too greedy or go for things they don’t need to,” Busnawi said. “It is a team event and every stroke does count.”
Busnawi, Monheim and Johnson all said that they were focusing on their short game ahead of the first round of the team postseason. The Foothill League golfers also will face some tough competition like Servite and Mater Dei, but the pressure could cause some to shine.
“It kind of makes me thrive more and make sure that I’m playing my ability to the course and make sure that I play every shot to what I’m capable of,” Monheim said. “And just get out there and do the best at what I can do.”
The top two teams in the CIF-SS Team Champions will move on to play in the CIF-SS SCGA Team Qualifier, which will be held on May 16.