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Palo Alto boys win golf showdown with rival Gunn

 

The Palo Alto boys grabbed control of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League golf race with a 189-195 victory over rival Gunn in a dual-match showdown between undefeated teams at Santa Teresa Golf Course in San Jose on Tuesday.

Freshmen Ahmed Ali and Joonsung Ha paced the Vikings (9-0, 11-1) by sharing medalist honors with matching even-par rounds of 35. Ali had a birdie on the 142-yard, par-3 fifth hole and Ha had a birdie on the 482-yard, par-5 second hole.

"They are both calm and confident when they play," Paly coach Doyle Knight said of his freshmen. "Nothing seems to rattle them they just play through it and move on."

Ali now leads the SCVAL in stroke average with a 35.2 mark for his nine-hole rounds.

Palo Alto also got a 36 from Alex Hwang and a 37 from Henry Gordon, with John Knowles and Matt Lewis each shooting 5-over 40.

"The guys played well, considering how windy it was out there," Knight said. "Except for two bad holes for both John and Matt, they played better than their scores show."

Palo Alto now holds a one-match lead over Gunn (10-1), which can tie the league standings when the teams meet on April 23 at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club.

Andy Zhou led the Titans with a 1-over 36. Shai Mohan (37), Jack Jaffe (38), Noah Curtis (41) and Adam Fleischmann (43) rounded out the scoring.

The rivals also will face each other in the

SCVAL Tournament, set for April 28 at Santa Teresa. The top two finishers will automatically qualify for one of two Central Coast Section regionals on May 5 and 6.

In the West Bay Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep bounced back from a tough loss to Menlo School on Monday to defeat Crystal Springs, 191-239, on Tuesday at Poplar Creek GC in San Mateo.

Bradley Keller led the Gators (5-3, 6-3) with a 1-over 36 with Derek Ackerman checking in with a 38. Will Johnsonand Griffin Gelbach each shot 39 and Grant Harvey wrapped up the scoring with a 40 against the winless Gryphons.

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