A professional on the Tour de las Americas (a.k.a South American Tour) who calls Costa Rica home shot his way to quite a treat on Costa Mesa Country Club's Mesa Linda course on Halloween.
Robert Twine shot a 13-under-par 57, playing in a group with Aaron Anderson, Aaron Sadler, Matt Boone and Kyle Ritter, a starter at the course. Head golf professional Brad Booth confirmed that all of Twine's playing partners signed the card. Ritter said the group played the first hole at 410 yards rather than 440, but added they played the rest of the holes from the back tees.
Sean Collins, tournament director at Costa Mesa, has shot a 58 on Mesa Linda.
Twine's round included nine birdies and two eagles, Ritter said.
"I'm still processing the round," Twine wrote in an e-mail response. "I remember feeling really energized that day. I had been training and working on my swing a lot and made some recent adjustments that freed me up. I hit 16 greens out there and never really got in a bad spot on the course all day."
Twine also credited his putting. He said his longest putt was a 25-footer, which he made on No. 10.
"A couple putts I felt like I hit too hard and would have gone by six feet or so but instead hit center and dropped," Twine said. "That happened on the 18th hole from 12 feet. My putt hit dead center and bounced up and sat on the lip."
Twine spent the last eight weeks in the U.S., where he worked with his coach Michael Avery, a coach and Aliso Viejo resident.
Avery was surprised when he received a text message from Twine the day of the round.
"I called right away," Avery said. "Robert had six birdies and an eagle in a row."
Twine said he is back in South America and will finish the year playing tournaments in Argentina and Chile before heading back to the U.S. to play in Florida in January.
As for the round, Twine isn't quite ready to place it as the singular most significant achievement of his golf career, but it ranks near the top.
"Breaking par for the first time when I was younger felt really good," Twine said. "Shooting 66 in a U.S. Open qualifier against some PGA guys was nice too. A lot of things I've done in my career I consider to be achievements. This ranks in another category because I never saw it coming. I had made some really good swings lately and I had been training and grinding like crazy but the number 57 just appeared — 13-under-par. I never set out to do that. I think some things happen to make you aware of what's possible and that going low can, does, and will happen."
Two former UC Irvine golfers placed among the top 15 in the California State Open held at two courses.
John Chin, who twice won the Big West Conference's Golfer of the Year award, placed 12th at one-over-par (79-66-70 — 215) while Garrett Sapp tied for 15th at three-over (75-75-67 — 217) in the competition Nov. 8 through 10. Estancia senior Jake Knapp, who has committed to UCLA, tied for 42nd at eight-over (75-74-73 -- 222). The first and third rounds were held at The Country Club at Soboba Springs with the middle round at Oak Valley Golf Club.
John Ellis defeated Eric Meichtry in a playoff to win the open after both players shot four-under for the three rounds.