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West Ranch golf crowds out the field

Cats win team, individual honors at match

Posted: September 27, 2016 10:41 p.m.
Updated: September 27, 2016 10:41 p.m.
Mack Bailey of West Ranch hits off the second tee at Elkins Ranch on Tuesday. She finished as the individual medalist at the fourth Foothill League meet. Signal photo by Dan Watson. Mack Bailey of West Ranch hits off the second tee at Elkins Ranch on Tuesday. She finished as the individual medalist at the fourth Foothill League meet. Signal photo by Dan Watson.
Mack Bailey of West Ranch hits off the second tee at Elkins Ranch on Tuesday. She finished as the individual medalist at the fourth Foothill League meet. Signal photo by Dan Watson.
Ashley Song of Valencia drives the ball at Elkins Ranch on Tuesday. Signal photo by Dan Watson. Ashley Song of Valencia drives the ball at Elkins Ranch on Tuesday. Signal photo by Dan Watson.
Ashley Song of Valencia drives the ball at Elkins Ranch on Tuesday. Signal photo by Dan Watson.
West Ranch’s Noelle Song hits off the 4th tee Tuesday. Signal photo by Dan Watson. West Ranch’s Noelle Song hits off the 4th tee Tuesday. Signal photo by Dan Watson.
West Ranch’s Noelle Song hits off the 4th tee Tuesday. Signal photo by Dan Watson.
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After two weeks away from the throne, West Ranch High’s Mack Bailey returned again to the top, claiming the individual title at Tuesday’s Foothill League girls golf match at Elkins Ranch.

“I didn’t really think anything of it,” Bailey said of her first-place finish at the league’s fourth competition. “I just played well and happened to come out on top. I’m more worried about how my team is doing.”

West Ranch also claimed the team title, with a score of 205. In second was Valencia (231) and in third was Golden Valley (242).

The top three players of the day were all Wildcats. With a score of 1-over 37, Bailey was followed by Ashley Mayhall (3-over 39) and Noelle Song (4-over 40), both of which have medaled at a Foothill match this year.

“For me, when I look at the three people that have medaled this year, it’s like which child do you love more,” said West Ranch coach Jeff Holen. “That was one of my goals going in, one of our team members medal in each of our matches.”

Even though it’s her second medalist honor at a league match this season, Bailey still saw flaws in her game throughout the day’s match.

She is quick to point out her mistakes, but she’s also aware of how important it is to keep those mistakes from getting to her.

“I had a lot of birdies that stopped right at the edge or lipped out. I left shots out there,” Bailey said.

“I just need to keep (my game) consistent. I need to keep my head OK instead of overthinking everything. I’m going to fix what’s going on in my head, then my shots.”

The shortcoming that haunts her the most, however, is one that happened last year.

“I’m just trying to get to states because I missed it by one (stroke last year),” the junior said. “That’s been my goal since day one. But I think our top three players can make CIF individuals and hopefully our team can move on to the second stage for once.”

Holen knows that Bailey can make the cut. His vision is to have four players, including Bailey, compete for the individual title.

Right now, according to Foothill League individual rankings, there are four Wildcats in the top 12. Mayhall, Bailey and Song are the top three, with Adelrina Kim ranked 12th.

Valencia has the next most players in the top 12 with four, headlined by Sarah Baranda in fifth place.

Baranda, teammate Ashley Song, Saugus’ Clara Venger and Golden Valley’s Justine Reblando tied for fourth Tuesday with a 6-over 42.

Saugus took fourth as a team with a 244, and Hart (264) and Canyon (285) rounded out the team standings.

Holen would like to see his individuals shoot lower, particularly because it will help the team’s standing overall and, later, their performance in the postseason.

“As a team we should be better,” he said, adding that the Wildcats won’t be satisfied with simply winning a Foothill League title.

West Ranch is currently ranked first in team standings with a score of 607 (high score thrown out). Valencia trails in second at 643, and Golden Valley is third at 708.

Hart is fourth at 747.

Mayhall leads individuals with a score of 109. Bailey is second at 110. Song is third at 111.

Two league matches remain on the schedule, the next of which is hosted by Golden Valley at TPC Valencia on Tuesday.

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