COSTA MESA — When Andrew Levitt saw his ball about 20 feet out, on the fringe, on No. 2 at Los Lagos, he was thinking two putts could maybe give him victory in the 41st Costa Mesa City Championship.
But then Ricky Owaki chipped to within three feet of the cup on the par-5, 537-yard hole, setting up for a cinch birdie at Costa Mesa Country Club. So Levitt targeted an eagle to end Sunday's dramatic playoff.
He made it look so easy and left a sizable gallery, as well as Owaki, impressed with his ability to finish.
Brad Booth, the head pro at Costa Mesa, said it was perhaps the best finish in the history of the tournament also known as the Will Jordan Classic.
Levitt went birdie on 18, then birdie, eagle to win the championship flight after the second hole against Owaki, the first-round leader. Levitt (66-69) and Owaki (63-72) both shot seven-under-par 135 before the playoff.
"I'm stoked," said Levitt, a 19-year-old incoming sophomore at USC.
"I really struggled last year. I did not play good golf my freshman year. I didn't play good this summer. I kind of figured out something in my swing about a week or two ago. And I played well this last week. I felt good about the tournament. I hit the ball really well."
Levitt was humbled after his first year at USC. He had played high school golf at Santa Margarita with Beau Hossler. Levitt said he has known Hossler since he was 10 and watched as Hossler went from a small kid into a big player primed to become an elite pro.
Sunday was Levitt's turn in the spotlight, and he grabbed it with strong play on the back nine. Three of his six birdies came on the back when he was bogey-free. He played with a group ahead of Owaki, the 21-year-old who will be a senior on the Chico State golf team.
Levitt said he had heard Owaki was at -8 through 12 holes and Levitt was at -5 when he got to 14. Owaki bogeyed No. 15 and Levitt eventually caught him on 18 with a birdie.
Levitt knew he had to roll in that 12-foot birdie putt to even have a chance at a possible playoff.
Owaki nearly won the tournament on 18, but he missed about a six-foot putt for birdie and settled for par. That set up the playoff.
Owaki stepped up with a clutch 10-foot birdie putt on the par-5, 531-yard No. 1, just after Levitt made his birdie from about 12 feet out to begin the playoff.
But there was no denying Levitt on No. 2 with the eagle.
"I didn't think he would eagle the No. 2 hole," said Owaki, who had two birdies during regulation play Saturday. "That was very impressive. I'm glad I lost that way. It was awesome."
Don Dubois (69-70) and Jordan Guillen (67-72) finished tied for third at 139.
Marcus Sostak, 25, shot 65-76—141 to tie for fifth with Jacob Schulze and Yao-Chun Yang.
Sostak, who starred at Estancia High before playing at Oregon and then at Orange Coast College, said this was his first event in two years. He said he will play in more events as it is his desire to return to the game.
Mike Carpenter was eighth at 68-74—142. And, Aaron Edwards (72-71), Kyle George (69-74) and Adam Marshall (70-73) tied for ninth at 143.
George Borst, who had a 13 handicap on Los Lagos (74) and a 12 on Mesa Linda (64) was the senior flight net champion, scoring 138.
Chris Crump, with a 5 handicap on Los Lagos and Mesa Linda, won the first flight by one shot, 73-66—139 net, against Igor Suvorov.
Rick Gonzalez, with a 10 handicap on Los Lagos and a 9 on Mesa Linda, won the second flight, 69-68—137 net. Marcelo Bernardo was at 138.
For full results go to: costamesacountryclub.com/championship-flight-results.