Wildcats girls’ golf completed its best regular season in school history and the team isn’t done just yet.
West Ranch won its 10th Foothill League title thanks to strong play from all six starters.
However, Valencia’s Jillian Leh is the 2022 Foothill League individual champion, finishing the season with an impressive 174 strokes (-6). Leh was a standout all year and finished with three league medals.
The Cats would claim the next five spots in the league’s final standings.
Kate Yi and Kathryn Mong would become the third and fourth different Wildcat golfers to medal in a league match this year on Tuesday. Yi and Mong finished with 35 strokes (-1) in the final league match of the season at Hansen Dam Golf Course.
West Ranch’s usual No. 1 golfer, Yerim Yi, finished with 36 strokes. Yerim would finish second in the Foothill League, just three strokes behind Leh.
Kate would finish third in league just ahead of Mong, Rori Fanning and Ashmita Goel.
“In my mind, this is definitely the best team we’ve ever had across the board,” said Cats head coach Jeff Holen. “I would have to classify this as the best overall West Ranch golf team that West Ranch has seen.”
Leh would finish one stroke shy of her fourth medal of the season, finishing with 36 strokes at Hansen. Valencia’s Isabella Dumbrique just missed the cut for a top-six finish by three strokes. Dumbrique played well in her final outing, shooting one over (+1). Her teammate, Lauren Silva, also played solid in her season finale. Silva finished with 38 strokes (+2).
Hart’s Laney Grider finished with 41 strokes (+5) and was the only non-Valencia or West Ranch golfer in the Foothill League top 10.
Leh and the five West Ranch golfers will now head to individual playoffs, followed by team playoffs.
“I have five No. 1’s,” said Holen. “Any of our five could be our No. 1. That’s why I think we have a shot at CIF. If I can get them all playing like a No. 1, we could go far in CIF. If we keep playing this way, I think even a CIF championship is within reach.”
The first stop is individual playoffs at Los Robles Greens on Oct. 26. Team playoffs will begin Oct. 31 at Huntington Golf Club.
The Cats are already familiar with the Los Robles’ course but will still look to get as much practice time as possible before beginning their CIF journey.
Holen has been impressed with his team’s camaraderie this season, saying the girls have been consistently talking each other up on the course whenever they can. The head coach will hope to see the team’s mentality stay strong as they now face an 18-hole challenge in the postseason.
West Ranch could make a run in CIF but Holen is hoping his team, with only one senior in Yerim, enjoys the ride.
“In the end, no matter how well we do, I just want them to have fun,” said Holen. “If we’re not having fun, it’s not worth it. However, it’s definitely more fun when you’re winning.”