Hart Indians boys’ golf showcased two medalists in Tuesday’s Foothill League match at the Oaks Club at Valencia.
The Indians finished on top with 383 strokes, nine fewer than the second-place West Ranch Wildcats and 13 ahead of Valencia.
Dylan Burcham and Nathan Ekins co-medaled for Hart with an even par of 72 strokes, while West Ranch’s Sean Bramen also finished at par.
The three showed consistency throughout the match to reach an even par but Bramen earned the play of the day with a hole-in-one. Bramen just needed one stroke for the 140-yard par 3 11th hole.
Burcham earned his second league medal of the season and started with three early birdies in the first few holes, with two bogies on the front nine. Ekins finished with a birdie and one bogie on both the front and back nine.
Hart teammate Kai Miyata was the third Indian in the top four of all golfers on Tuesday, after his 74-stroke (+2) finish.
“We always tell these kids par is king,” said Hart coach Steve Lindberg in a phone interview. “If you can just go out and par every hole, you’re going to win the match. It’s basically a competition that boils down to shot making and putting. And yesterday we saw a lot of great shot making and putting.”
West Ranch’s William Kei finished fifth overall with 75 strokes.
Valencia also showcased three golfers in the 70s. Junior Ethan Cho led the Vikings with 77 strokes, with Luke Rimkunas at 78 and Jacob Vallesteros with 79.
Charles Bailey led Castaic with 80 strokes, after co-medaling in the first league match.
Peyton Marvin finished at 81 (+9) to lead Saugus while Tyler Suwansatit finished at 86 for Golden Valley.
Lindberg believes his team may have hit a turning point after last week’s performances at the Champions Invitational in Palm Springs. Hart and Valencia competed with 45 of the top teams in the country.
“We went to Palm Springs and played in the Champions Invitational,” Lindberg said. “That’s college-level golf, playing 36 holes in one day, then 18 the next day. The whole team, but Nathan especially, really had a real breakthrough in course management. He gained a lot of course management and putting skills. He has gone from a plateau and risen to a new level.”
The Indians finished 27th overall, while Kai Miyata also finished 27th overall individually out of hundreds of golfers.
The team aims to have four golfers in the 70s in each round of league, a mark they fell just a couple strokes short of on Tuesday.
“They played to their potential, almost all of them,” Lindberg said. “A couple of them know they can play a little better but this is the type of team score they should be shooting in each match.”
Foothill League golfers will return to action next week for two league matches at Sand Canyon Country Club on Tuesday and Thursday. The first groups will tee off at noon.
“I’m really happy that our team was able to come out and to play in a league match at the same level that they play in dual-matches or invitationals,” Lindberg said. “It was about time they came out and performed in a league match. It’s only one out of six, so we have to go out and prove ourselves four more times”