Edick's Bid for Title Comes Up Just Short

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Brandon Hillpot of Colton High sank a six-foot putt for birdie Tuesday to win a one-hole playoff over Brian Edick of Hart in the CIF-Southern California Golf Assn. High School Championships at the SCGA Members' Club in Murrieta.

Hillpot and Edick, tied for the lead at four-under par 67 after 18 holes, settled the deadlock on the par-five first hole, with both reaching the green in three strokes.

Hillpot's approach from the left rough left him much closer to the pin than Edick, whose 30-foot putt rolled short by a few feet.

Hillpot followed by making his putt and a phone call to his father with the good news.

"I'm glad I was able to do it," said Hillpot, a senior who will attend UC Irvine. "I'm thrilled. You always think you have a chance, but you need to play well."

Edick, who bogied only the par-four 14th, was far from disappointed.

"How can I be?" said Edick, a junior and former U.S. Junior National finalist. "I caught a bad break on one hole, but I'm thinking about all the good shots I had [Tuesday] under the pressure I had. I'm surprised he made birdie out of the rough there."

Hart Coach Dennis Ford, who will retire next week, almost closed his 33-year career by watching a Hart golfer win the tournament for the first time. Edick equaled the accomplishment of Jason Gore, who lost a playoff in 1990.

Edick's ninth sub-par round as a junior broke Gore's school record.

"I'm very pleased," Ford said. "It was a 30-footer vs. a six-footer. This is not a bad way to go out."

Senior Brian O'Flaherty of Westlake shot 68 to finish in a three-way tie for third. Senior Jeff Osborn of Flintridge Prep finished tied for sixth at 69.

Freshman Colin Wilcox of Camarillo shot 73.

O'Flaherty, who will attend Pepperdine, had five birdies. More telling was his only bogey on the par-five 13th, the result of a three-putt.

"I'm really disappointed that [the difference] was only one shot," O'Flaherty said. "I had a couple of three-putts out there and missed a lot of birdie putts. I left a lot of shots out there."

San Marcos shot 361 to win the team competition ahead of Carlsbad La Costa Canyon. Granada Hills shot 409 to finish ninth.

Edick birdied the ninth to finish three under at the halfway point. He saved par on the 12th, thanks to a shot from the bunker that left him three feet from the pin. He did the same on the par-three 16th, sinking a 12-foot putt after his tee shot failed to reach the green.

Edick sank a six-foot putt to birdie the par-five 17th.

"I'm not surprised by the way I played," Edick said. "My game is in the right place. I know I'm right there with these guys now. I'm going to use this as a boost of confidence."

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