La Cañada High's Morikawa stands alone at Rio Hondo League boys' golf championships

LA VERNE — For a third year in a row, it was Collin Morikawa and everyone else at the Rio Hondo League boys’ golf individual championships at par-71 Marshall Canyon Golf Course on Thursday afternoon.

The junior captured his third consecutive league title by posting a brilliant two-day total of 135 to cap a league season in which the Spartans claimed an 11th straight league crown. And like La Cañada’s run to another championship, Morikawa didn’t face much opposition.

“I think this is a course that’s average with what we see in league,” Morikawa said. “Nothing really stood out for me today. In fact, I did better [Tuesday] than I did today, but it all worked out.”

Morikawa’s total of 135 was seven strokes under par and eight strokes ahead of his next closest competitor.

As for daily scores, Morikawa posted a one-under-70 on Thursday two days after carding a six-under-65 that included a back-nine score of 32.

“I can’t really say I had a great hole today or series of holes,” Morikawa said. “You have to drive a lot on this course and that helped.”

Along with capturing a Rio Hondo League championship, Morikawa and the league’s top seven finishers also clinched a berth to the CIF Southern Section Northern Division Regional Tournament on Monday at 8 a.m. at River Ridge Golf Club Vineyard Course.

Morikawa will be joined in Oxnard by teammates in senior Joshua Suh and junior Robby Stehlin.

Perhaps lost in the shuffle of a dominant effort from Morikawa was a stout afternoon from Suh, who took runner-up honors with a two-day total of one-over-143.

Suh posted the best score Thursday with a three-under 68, while his front-nine total of 32 tied Morikawa with the best front- or back-nine score of any golfer.

“There are a lot of par-five holes on this course, which is great for me,” said Suh, who carded a 75 on Tuesday. “I felt like I was really driving well today.”

As for Stehlin, the junior tied with South Pasadena’s Henry Sue for third place with a two-day total of seven-over-149.

“I didn’t shoot my best, but I’m happy to qualify,” Stehlin said. “Like Collin, I shot better on Tuesday, so it’s good to have a two-day total.”

Stehlin shot a 35 through the front nine and a 41 on the back half after a Tuesday in which he carded a 37 and 36.

La Cañada’s Sam Bernstein just missed the cut, as the junior finished with a two-day score of 159, which was good for eighth place and two shots behind the league’s final qualifier, Brian Yao (157) of San Marino.

Spartans junior Colin Kreditor also capped his individual season Thursday with a 10th-place score of 166.

“This has been a course that’s been good to us over the years,” Spartans Coach Rich Wheeler said. “We’ve had a great season where we finished 20-3 and we went 1-2-3 today. Now it’s time to get ready for CIF and keep this going.”

San Marino’s Curtis Cuccia (fifth, 150) and Mason Chiu (sixth, 155) rounded out the league’s other two individual qualifiers.

As for team competition, La Cañada returns to action at the CIF-SS Northern Division Team Championships at Soule Park Golf Club in Ojai on May 19.


Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.