Season recap: Boys’ golf falls in CCS first round

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    Senior captain Alex Hwang follows through a shot at TPC Stonebrae. Hwang is one of three departing seniors this year. Photo by Annette Hwang.

    The Palo Alto High School boys’ golf team (14-1, 12-0) ended its season early in the postseason after a mediocre showing at the first round of the Central Coast Section playoffs May 6 at Rancho Canada.

    For senior captain Alex Hwang, the team’s final performance was poor given the high expectations leading up to the match.

    “It was a great season, but very disappointing considering the amount of talent on the team,” Hwang said. “I thought we could go deep into the playoffs, but unfortunately we fell short.”

    According to fellow senior captain John Knowles, the team narrowly missed a top four finish, which would have guaranteed progress into the next round.

    “We did not play well,” Knowles said. “We shot 384 as a team and came in 5th, so we did not advance. We headed into CCS brimming with confidence … However, as [Stanford physics professor] Mark Kasevich would have reminded us, gravity applies to all of us … We were humbled with a 5th place finish in CCS regionals, one place outside of moving on.”

    Despite an underwhelming conclusion to the season, Knowles looked back on his four years of Paly golf with nothing but fondness.

    “It has been an honor to play golf these past four years for Paly,” Knowles said. “Over the past four years, we only have one loss in league matches over 48 matches. This season, we finished undefeated in our league play and dominated in our league tournament, which we won by almost 30 strokes.”

    Freshman Joonsung Ha also remained focused on the positive signs despite the disappointing end.

    “I thought that our team played really well for the majority of this season,” Ha said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to CCS next year.”

    The golf team loses key seniors Alex Hwang and John Knowles, but freshmen leading scorers Ahmed Ali and Ha are expected to return next year.

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