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Foothill League golf race coming down to the wire 

West Ranch's Kai Willen tees off during the Foothill Boys Golf League on Tuesday, April 9 at The Oaks Club at Valencia. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
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The Foothill League boys’ golf championship may very well come down to a single stroke. 

Hart and West Ranch have battled back and forth all season, and with just one league match to go, it’s either’s game. 

On Monday, Wildcats sophomore Tyler Sonnenberg shot the first under-par score of the season in league play. Sonnenberg finished the fifth Foothill League match with 68 strokes (-4) at Knollwood Country Club.  

The sophomore now becomes the first golfer to medal twice in league play this season with both performances coming at Knollwood. 

“He’s a fighter,” Wildcats coach Jeff Holen said in a phone interview. “If he’s up against the wall, he’s gonna battle. He said, ‘Today’s my day,’ and I think he said it was his first round with the least amount of bogeys. I think he had one bogey three that day. He was on fire and just letting it work.” 

West Ranch won the match with a team score of 368, comfortably beating out the competition. 

Also improving his score was junior William Kei, who shot 70 (-2) on Monday, nine strokes off his first round at Knollwood.  

Sean Bramen shot 76 while Cats teammates Joonho Moon and Kai Willen finished with 77 strokes to round out the win. 

Burcham was the third golfer on the day to finish under par and also put up a 70-stroke performance. 

Taylor Cotti led Valencia with 72 strokes, and Tyler Suwansatit put up 77 strokes for Golden Valley while Jacob Peters finished with 78 for Castaic. 

Hart came back hard on Tuesday and shot five-over as a team at Sand Canyon Country Club. 

Burcham earned his second medal with his second consecutive round under par as the Washington State commit finished with 69 strokes (-3). 

Hart is anything but a one-man show, as junior Kai Miyata finished at 71 (-1) while the Indians’ sixth golfer, Cole Cardenas, shot an even par of 72. 

“I tip my hat to Hart putting up a 365, shooting five over as a team,” Holen said. “That’s firing on all cylinders.” 

Cotti may have finally hit his stride as he added his second straight even-par performance.  

West Ranch was led by sophomore Kai Willen, who also finished on par. Sonnenberg trailed just behind with a 74-stroke day while the senior Moon (+4) also played well. 

Suwansatit finished the day with 79 strokes, Noah Solomon led Castaic with 82 strokes and Saugus’ Peyton Marvin ended round five with 83. 

The individual and league champion race is tight per usual, with everything on the line on Monday for the final league match. 

West Ranch has a two-stroke lead with its current high-out team score over Hart. 

Individually, Burcham and Sonnenberg are tied in total strokes, but the Hart senior has a three-stroke edge with his high-out score. Miyata also trails by three strokes with his high-out while Valencia’s Cotti is creeping into the picture just eight strokes behind the Wildcat. 

Burcham could very well finish with his first-ever league title with another standout day while both Miyata and Cotti could take home their second Foothill crown. 

West Ranch is aiming for its first Foothill League title in three seasons while Hart looks to return the championship to Newhall for the first time since 2017. 

Titles and bragging rights all come down to Monday when Foothill League golf returns to Sand Canyon for the final round of the season. 

“It’s a great, great competition, especially in golf knowing that one little mistake can hurt you,” Holen said. “I think it’s character building. I’ve always said golf is about life; you get the ups and downs. The more you play even keel, the better off you’re going to be, and golf is the same thing. You hit a bad shot, oh well, short-term memory, go hit the next ball.” 

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