PASADENA — In order to win a second straight Prep League individual championship, Jonah Sacks had plenty of ground to make up.
The Flintridge Prep boys' golfer entered the second round of the event Thursday tied for fourth and trailing by four strokes.
Staying composed and patient, Sacks regrouped with a solid long and short game to card a four-over-par 76 to finish with a two-round total of 156 en route to winning the league crown at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 in Pasadena.
"It means a whole lot to win it again," said Sacks, a senior and reigning All-Area selection who won the tournament last year at the same venue by a stroke. "I've been working hard at it all season long and I know it's definitely tough to repeat.
"I went out and played aggressive, but I knew I had to stay within myself. I hit the fairways and then had approach shots that got me close to the greens and holes. I wanted to keep playing well and I did that."
Sacks topped Chadwick's Eugene Moon by three strokes. Daniel Zhu of Pasadena Poly carded an 83 to finish at 159 and Nick Foker of Pasadena Poly had an 86 to place fourth at 163.
The quartet advanced to the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament, which will be held at 8 a.m. May 9 at Las Posas Country Club in Camarillo
Sacks began Tuesday with a 10-over-par 80 at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 on Tuesday to put him in fifth place with Jensen Jen of Chadwick. Zhu opened with a 76 to take the lead, followed by Moon and Foker at 77.
Sacks excelled Thursday, finishing with two birdies on his final three holes. He birdied the par-four 16th hole and then bogeyed the par-three 17th hole. Sacks then posted a birdie on the par-four 18th hole.
"I struggled a bit on Tuesday and then a bit early Thursday," Sacks said. "Things then came together and I played to my pace and liking. I started to hit my shots straight and that gave me confidence the rest of the way."
Flintridge Prep Coach Bob Loughrie said Sacks remained resilient Thursday.
"Jonah knew what he had to do and he was very determined," said Loughrie, who took over the program in 1986. "He knew he could make up the ground and he made the late charge.
"It's cool to see him win it again. I don't think we've had a repeat league champion at Flintridge Prep during my time here. Right now, I'm so happy for him and he gets to go to CIF. That's great."
Flintridge Prep freshman Ben Sacks, Jonah's brother, registered an 86 to finish sixth at 164. He entered Thursday's round in fourth after shooting a 78.
Loughrie said the younger Sacks gained plenty of experience throughout the season.
"He did fine this year and he'll get better," Loughrie said. "He's got a taste of what it's like to compete at this level and he'll do well next year."