Haro's spectacular round for naught

April 19, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

HOLTVILLE — Ivan Haro was the star but Southwest High's boys golf team was the champion Thursday in an Imperial Valley League 18-hole showdown at Barbara Worth Golf Resort.

Haro blistered the back nine, finishing his round with a 3-under-par 68 to earn low-medalist honors, but it wasn't enough to boost his Central Union High squad to victory. The Southwest Eagles won and took first place with one league match remaining.

"One guy can't do it by himself," Central coach Allan Pipkin said.

Central finished with 321 strokes, just two strokes behind Southwest's 319.

"If Central had any depth they would be dangerous," Southwest skipper Mike Thomas said. "We don't have the best or even the second-best golfer, but we do have some depth."


Finishing behind Southwest and Central at the five-way meet was Palo Verde High of Blythe with 333. Brawley Union scored 334 and Calexico shot 372.

"That's a big improvement for Calexico," Thomas observed, noting in the previous three IVL matches the Bulldogs failed to break 400.

In the IVL standings with just the May 2 match at Warner Springs remaining, Southwest leads with 16 points followed by Central with 15. A team earns five points for first and four for second, so the Spartans can catch the Eagles by winning at Warner Springs.

"I like our chances," Pipkin said, adding he already has taken his team to Warner Springs for a practice round.

Behind Southwest and Central in the IVL standings are Brawley (13), Palo Verde (12) and Calexico (4).

"It's really been competitive this year," Thomas said.

Every team except Calexico has won one of the league matches.

While each team fielded six golfers for Thursday's match, only the top four scores counted.

Southwest was led by Bobby Kirby and Arek Legarra, who both carded 78s. They were followed by Bill Skinner (81) and Trevor Tagg (82).

Behind Haro for Central were Mario Luna (80), Tyler Ott (85) and Adam Moller (88).

Scoring for Brawley were Brian Emanuelli (83), Garrett Fargo (84), Ryan Mamer (88) and Michael Quick (89).

Scoring for Calexico were Edgar Ugarte (88), Philip Cheng (90), Eric Ugarte (96) and Ivan Vargas (97).

Clearly the round belonged to Haro, who made the turn after nine holes at even-par 35.

At the par-5, 458-yard 10th hole, Haro nearly recorded a birdie. His fourth shot, a 30-foot putt, came up inches short, so he settled for par.

At the par-3 169-yard 11th hole, Haro lofted his tee shot within 3 feet of the pin for an easy birdie.

Haro nearly eagled the par-5, 499-yard 12th hole. His third shot lipped out, leaving him with his second straight birdie.

On the par-4, 397-yard 13th, Haro split the fairway with his tee shot and then pushed his second shot left of the green. He chipped to within 8 feet before settling for par.

Haro moved to 3-under with another birdie at the par-4, 374-yard 14th hole. On the green in two, Haro sank a 25-foot long putt for his 3.

"Sometimes I really get in this groove," Haro said. "I'm concentrating on my swing and I really feel confident in myself."

Haro dodged trouble at the par-4, 400-yard 15th. His tee shot nestled close to a tree so he had to run his second shot up to the green instead of loft it.

He came up short but chipped onto the green and within a foot with his third shot, leaving himself an easy par putt.

Haro recorded his fourth birdie on the back nine at the par-4, 377-yard 16th. On the green in two, he sank a 6-foot putt from right of the hole for his 3.

Haro dodged more trouble at the par-3 175-yard 17th when his tee shot came within a foot of a lateral water hazard left of the green. He chipped to within 4 feet and sank the putt.

Haro's only blemish on the back side was at the par-4, 463-yard 18th. After a long drive his second shot pushed left of the green.

Haro's third shot, a downhill chip, sailed over the green and into a greenside bunker. Haro blasted out of the sand to within 2 feet of the pin and sank the putt for a bogey.

"Sometimes it just gets away from me," he said of the wayward chip. "Every once in a while I have a hole like that."

Despite the bobble, Haro clearly dominated.

"He's a special kid," Pipkin said of Haro. "He is really fun to coach and fun to watch play golf."

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