Freshman wins top award at golf tourney

    Freshman ahmed ali lines up a putt. Ali had the best individual score of the SCVAL tournament, shooting five under. Photo courtesy of Ahmed Ali

    Freshman Ahmed Ali lines up a putt. Ali had the best individual score of the SCVAL tournament, shooting five under. Photo courtesy of Ahmed Ali.

    A Palo Alto High School freshman won the League Champion award for the best individual golf score at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League tournament Tuesday at the Santa Teresa Golf Club.

    Ahmed Ali, who shot five strokes under par for a score of 66 at the SCVAL tournament, also won the top individual award for his performance in the regular league season, leading the league with an average score of 35.2 for 9 holes, according to coach Doyle Knight.

    “Ahmed is an outstanding player,” Knight said. “He is not extremely long off the tee but is accurate down the middle. His hybrids and long irons are straight and accurate and he has an outstanding short game, [both] chipping and putting.”

    According to Ali, the team’s overall success helped him appreciate the individual award even more.

    “I really enjoyed it [Ali’s performance on Tuesday],” Ali said. “I played well and so did the team, which made it really fun. It is one of the lowest scores as a team in high school that I’ve ever seen. The team is really coming together at the right time and I can’t wait for CCS [Central Coast Sectionals].”

    Senior captain John Knowles expressed positive sentiments towards the addition of Ali this year.

    “Ahmed has been an excellent addition to the team,” Knowles said. “As a freshman, not only has he stepped in and played our number one, but he has fit in well with the team. He’s just a great guy to be around in general, whether it’s at practice, during a van ride or playing in a match.”

    Ali’s tournament-best score helped Paly claim first place overall at the SCVAL tournament. His and the team’s next challenge will be at the CCS tournament, where the Paly golf team must finish top three in the first round to qualify for the second round.  The first round will be 8 a.m. Wednesday in Carmel-by-the-Sea at the Rancho Canada Golf Club.

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