Hart golf sees two medalists in round three win 

Hart senior Dylan Burcham putts. Photo Courtesy of Hart Golf.

Hart Indians boys’ golf got back on track on Tuesday after an impressive bounceback performance at The Oaks Club at Valencia. 

The Indians saw their two brightest stars medal, as both senior Dylan Burcham and junior Kai Miyata delivered 74-stroke (+2) performances.  

The Hart duo pushed one another at each hole and both finished with 37 strokes on the front and back nine. 

Hart junior Kai Miyata tees off. Photo Courtesy of Hart Golf.

“The team had their first poor showing of the year last week,” Hart coach Steve Lindberg told The Signal in a phone interview. “A little adversity never hurts. They bounced back nicely and played some solid golf. Going into round three, we focused on shot selection, course management, dispersion patterns and staying focused, especially on the last five holes.” 

The Indians finished +7 on the final five holes as opposed to last week’s +17 to close out the second Foothill League match. 

Hart won the match with a team finish of 384, just edging past West Ranch at 388. 

The Wildcats were led by Sean Bramen, who finished with 76 strokes. Kai Willen trailed by just one stroke while West Ranch teammates Tyler Sonnenberg and Joonho Moon finished with 78. William Kei finished with 79 strokes, making the Wildcats the only team to have five golfers in the 70s on Tuesday. It was the team’s second such league performance. 

Nathan Ekins and Josh Smith both finished with 78 strokes (+6) to secure the win for Hart.  

Ekins has been consistent all year and ranks fifth in the league, while Smith, whose teammates call him “The Back-Nine Warrior,” played solid in both nines. 

“I gotta give props to Josh Smith. He’s greatly improved his game over the last year,” Lindberg said. “He had incredible improvement in round three. We call Josh, ‘The Back-Nine Warrior,’ because he always struggles on the front, but that kid buckles down and shoots an incredible number back nine.” 

Jonah Escobar rounded out the winning performance with an 80-stroke day and had the highlight of the match with a birdie on a long par-3 on hole nine. Escobar cleared the water off the tee and buried a 4-foot put to secure one of the match’s few birdies. 

Taylor Cotti led the way for Valencia, shooting 77. Peyton Marvin (+8) led Saugus. Golden Valley’s Tyler Suwansatit finished with 80 strokes while Noah Solomon led Castaic with 84. 

Golden Valley’s Tyler Suwansatit tees off during the Foothill Boys Golf League on Tuesday, April 9 at The Oaks Club at Valencia. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Miyata, the reigning Foothill League MVP, now earns his second league medal of the season while his teammate Burcham, a Washington State commit, and Sonnenberg trail by just one stroke. 

West Ranch is just behind Hart in the team standings as well with plenty of golf left to be played. 

“There’s great parity in this league,” Lindberg said. “It’s great to see the Foothill League have so many great players from many different schools. It really pushes other players and makes the competition so much better. We have great respect for these other players and teams.” 

Lindberg has seen plenty of success this season but knows anything can happen with three matches to go. Hart has shown its coach that as individual as golf can be, they’re still playing like a team and preparing well for the next level. 

“As a team they’re coming together, getting better and supporting each other,” Lindberg said. “They all wait at the final hole, because they want to support each other. It’s important because college golf is team golf. These guys are doing a great job of supporting each other.” 

Foothill League golf heads back to Knollwood Country Club on Monday with the first group of golfers set to tee off at noon. 

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