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Hart, Westlake Ride Wind to Murrieta

Southern Section golf: Teams place second and third at team championships, advance to Southern California tournament.


LOMPOC — A chilly wind inflated scores but did not deflate competition on Thursday at the Southern Section team golf championships at La Purisima Golf Course.

A heated battle for second place ended with Hart edging Westlake by one stroke and both advancing, along with two other teams, to the Southern California Golf Assn. championships on June 8 at the SCGA Members Club in Murrieta.

San Marcos won the team title with a score of 387. Hart finished four strokes behind.

Hart, 10-time defending Foothill League champion, placed among the top four in the tournament for the first time since the early 1970s, said Dennis Ford, the Indians' coach since 1990.

With a steadily increasing wind wreaking havoc, Ryan Wyman, Hart's top player, finished with a four-over-par 76. Westlake standout J.T. Kohut shot a 77.

But Wyman, the Hart captain, expressed no regrets while cradling the second-place plaque and posing for photographs with his five teammates.

"This is awesome," Wyman said. "This is something we talked about all year."

Wyman, bound for Long Beach State, managed only one birdie, on the 321-yard par-four fourth hole, and finished with two consecutive bogeys, three-putting the par-four 18th.

"Overall, I played pretty solid because this is a tough course," Wyman said. "The wind pretty much blows all the time out here. It plays with your mind."

Kohut, who will attend UCLA, had four birdies and eight bogeys, including a double-bogey on the 10th. He attributed his score to poor putting.

"The whole thing with the wind is ball strength," he said. "And I hit the ball well."

Solid performances by sophomore Andy Smith and junior Chris Stimson, who each shot 79, helped tip the scales in Hart's favor.

"They've been playing very good lately," Ford said. "Stimson has had only one or two matches on the varsity. We sent him back to the junior varsity at midseason for additional seasoning."

Smith, who said his performance this season was hampered by a lingering flu, had one birdie.

"I played a pretty good round today," Smith said. "I knew I'd make bogeys. I just knew I'd have to come back."

Westlake, eight-time Marmonte League champion, challenged Hart down the stretch, but Warrior sophomore Lee Krieger, who shot a 75 in the regional finals on Monday, finished with an 82

Westlake sophomore Brian O'Flaherty and Hart senior Jeff Siembieda each shot 76.

CITY SECTION: Keith Romar, a four-year starter at Birmingham High, overcame a wrist injury this season and will lead the Patriots in the City Section team championships at the Harding and Wilson golf courses today and Monday. Page 14

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