Cho steps up big at De Bell

GLENDALE — While Hoover High doesn't have enough players to field a boys' golf team for the third year in a row, it hasn't stopped Alan Cho from improving his game and trying to make a name for himself.

Cho might be the lone Tornado to take to the regional courses, but that suits him fine.

The senior proved he could hold his own, as he carded a two-over-par 73 on Thursday in a Pacific League match at De Bell Golf Club in Burbank.

Cho, who tied for third with Anthony Pidlaoan of Arcadia, finished in the top 10 in the league prelims in 2008 and 2009 before placing 16th last season. He's ready to turn the corner and try to qualify for the CIF Individual Regional by earning a top-six spot in the league's individual final

Thursday's round, which featured three birdies and one eagle, might steer him in the right direction toward meeting those goals.

"I think the confidence in my game went up and I'll feel even more comfortable," said Cho, a senior. "I hit my driver pretty well and my iron shots were OK.

"It's a much shorter course, so I just had to be able to play it safe and play my own game and have good course management."

Evin Davis of Pasadena earned medalist honors after carding a 68, followed by Arcadia's Richard Jeong (69).

Arcadia, the defending league champion, finished first with a 377. Burroughs placed second with a 403 and Burbank was third (408). Crescenta Valley finished fourth with a 415.

After recording a birdie on the ninth hole, Cho would go on to notch an eagle on the 11th hole to put him two-over. However, Cho encountered some difficulty when he recorded a double-bogey on the 13th hole.

"I had to get back to playing my game after that double-bogey," Cho said, "and I was able to come back."

Cho had pars on the 14th and 15th holes before picking up a birdie on the 16th. He then registered a par on 17 before finishing up with a birdie on 18.

Hoover Coach Vigen Jilizian said Cho is within reach of earning a top-six finish in league.

"He's been doing pretty good of late," Jilizian said. "He's been working hard and taking lessons.

"He's gotten used to De Bell after having played it only a handful of times. Hopefully, he can put it all together down the stretch. It's neat to see. He's matured and he knows how to play the game."

Crescenta Valley finished fourth, but got quality rounds from Aaron Peskett and John Lee. Peskett came through with a 78 and Lee carded a 79 for the Falcons (8-8, 5-4 in league).

Crescenta Valley Coach John Pehar said Peskett and Lee held their own despite the windy conditions.

"With Aaron, I'm pleased with his score," Pehar said. "A 78 is good for him, a tad bit better than I expected and I had told him that I'd like to see him shoot under 80 and he did it when he needed to.

"I'm also pleased with John, who had two birdies."

The Falcons' normal top scorers — Paul Park and Adrian Chia — struggled Thursday. Park finished with an 83 and Chia had an 82.

Pehar said the duo isn't too familiar with the short course.

"Paul and Adrian just haven't played enough on the course," said Pehar, who got a 93 from David Moreno. "They had only played it once or twice [before Thursday].

"Overall, as a team, we just didn't perform well. There's time left before the league prelims and finals, but the team needs to get better scores to qualify for CIF."

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