Ben Allen couldn't catch a break early on while competing Monday in the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship at La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc.
The San Marino High boys' senior golfer found himself in immediate trouble, as he began his 18-hole round with a double-bogey. He later had a triple-bogey, putting him in a bigger jam.
Allen eventually recovered, but his stellar season came up just short as he carded a seven-over-par 79.
"It's tough right now," said Allen, who finished one stroke shy of qualifying for the Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament on May 30 at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 in Pasadena. "It's a very narrow course and it was pretty windy at times.
"I did everything I could to regroup. I made some birdies and made some putts for par."
Allen finished in a seven-way tor for 39th. The field consisted of 96 players, with the top 28 advancing to Brookside. The state championship will be held June 5 at Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club in Carmel.
San Marino Coach Wyeth Collo, who led the Titans to a second-place finish in the Rio Hondo League, said Allen was able to regroup.
"He had some tough luck early on," Collo said. "He had that bad shot on his first hole, but he made up for it in getting back into things.
"He got a birdie after the triple-bogey. It's a tough loss, but he proved he could hold his own against a lot of quality players."
Allen qualified for Monday's event after he shot a two-over-par 74 on May 13 in the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual at River Ridge Golf Club's Vineyard Course in Oxnard.