Golf: Local duo is special

Daily Pilot

Mike Moorhead and Jake Knapp are both sophomores and they both find themselves at the same spot. But the similarities stop there. The way they each reached this point are different in their special way.

Knapp and Moorhead from Estancia High and Corona del Mar, respectively, responded quickly when asked what has been the key to reaching today's CIF SCGA Tournament at the SCGA Course in Murrieta with a CIF State berth on the line.

Six players from the 124-golfer field — players tee off at 8 a.m. in a shotgun start — will advance to the CIF State Championship Tuesday at Santa Maria Country Club.

For Moorhead, it's putting whereas Knapp attributed his success to staying calm.

Knapp said he's playing the best stretch of golf in a "long time."

Moorhead said his scores might not reveal how well he's playing.

"I played solid," Moorhead said of his one-over-par 73 at La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc May 24 in the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship, good for a tie for fourth. "I left a few on the course."

Knapp, the Orange Coast League champion, improved on prior scores at La Purisima and took a methodical approach.

"I'm looking to play boring golf and take advantage of good shots," he said.

Knapp, who finished tied for second (then third after losing a playoff) at even-par (72), played La Purisima with a new set of irons — he had them for just more than a week before the tournament. He said his prior irons were too "whippy." He said the change helped.

"I had a lot better ball flight," Knapp said.

Moorhead, who reached the SCGA tournament last year, took the day off after the round at La Purisima, but played a lot the rest of the week.

"[Moorhead] hits the ball really far," Knapp said of Moorhead, the Pacific Coast League champion. "He has a smooth swing. When his game is on, there is nothing wrong with his game."

Moorhead said the CIF State Championship is his goal.

Knapp said he and Moorhead have played together in four or five tournaments.

The quest continues today. A finish in the top six and they will find themselves in the same spot.

How they get there, as in life, is as special as the person.

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