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Matt Moloney, one of golf’s top sophomores, helps Gonzaga win WCAC

Gonzaga's Matt Moloney goes for par on the 13th hole. (Hayley Salvatore/TWP)
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When Gonzaga’s Matt Moloney stepped to the first tee at Northwest Golf Course during the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference tournament Monday, a Paul VI player whispered, “Clear the greens.”

The sophomore did not disappoint, landing the ball in the middle of the fairway to begin a day that ended with a score of 5-under-par 67 and the WCAC individual title.

“I played solid and took care of the par-5s,” Moloney said. With four of those on the course, Moloney took advantage by playing them at 5 under.

Expectations for Moloney’s performance were high — a little less than a month ago, he won the Sung Hyun Park Junior Championship. The win at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla., bumped up his ranking, making him the second-best high school sophomore golfer worldwide, as ranked by the American Junior Golf Association.

Moloney became interested in golf after watching older brother Joe play at Madison. Although Joe has since moved to Park City, Utah, he came back to Maryland to watch his brother win Monday.

“It’s good to have him here,” Moloney said. “He’s only followed me twice, and I’ve shot a 67 both times, so he’s a good omen.”

Gonzaga will lose Moloney at the end of the school year; his family is moving to Charleston, S.C. While Moloney is sad to leave, he’s excited to exit with a win for the program and be able to play golf year-round.

Along with Moloney, freshman Carson Looney and junior Jack Teuschl helped the Eagles cap an undefeated season with a score of 360 and the WCAC team title. Teuschl finished at 2 under, and Looney shot 1 under.

Paul VI was second, 35 strokes back. Terry Kim and Ryan Billak each finished at 4-over 76.