Trio falls short of advancing

A trio of area boys' golfers had their sights set on moving another step closer to qualifying for the state tournament in June.

Andrew Cho of Crescenta Valley High and La Cañada's Colin Morikawa and Joshua Suh entered Monday's round of the CIF Southern Section Individual Final at Victoria Country Club in Riverside fresh off playing some of their best rounds. Unfortunately for them, their bids to advance were derailed.

Cho, a senior, saw his season conclude in a two-hole playoff involving 11 players for the final qualification spot, as he finished tied for 27th with a three-over-par 75. Morikawa had a 78 to tie for 52nd and Suh had an 83 to tie for 84th.

The top 28 from the field of 105 advanced to the CIF/Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament, which will take place May 31 at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 in Pasadena.

Cho parred the first playoff hole on the par-4 10th hole and was one of six athletes to move to the par-5 11th hole. Cho parred the final playoff hole, but it wasn't enough to advance. Thayer White of San Marcos recorded a par on the first playoff hole before finishing with a birdie on the final hole to win the playoff.

"It's tough and I'm kind of shocked," said Cho, who birdied the par-5 17th hole to send him to the playoff. "I thought I could get to Brookside, but that's golf sometimes.

"I felt like I had a little momentum going into the playoff. I knew I had to make a birdie on the last playoff hole to make it through. It went right down to the wire."

Morikawa and Suh each said they had difficulty with their short games.

Morikawa, who helped the Spartans capture the Rio Hondo League championship before winning the league's individual crown, said it was his short game that made the difference.

"I just couldn't get anything to go down," said Morikawa, a freshman. "I felt like I could have done better, but it came down to my putting being off a little.

"I've got three more years to go and I will get better. This is something that I'll learn from."

Suh, a sophomore who finished second in the league's individual final, said he encountered some similar struggles to that of Morikawa.

"I got off to a good start, but then I made some mistakes during the middle holes with my putting," Suh said. "During the first nine holes, I hit the ball close to the greens.

"I thought I had a successful season. It was a lot of fun and a great experience."

Johnny Ruiz of Camarillo earned medalist honors with a 66, followed by Blake Barens of Orange Lutheran (67) and Bradley Fox of Ontario Christian (69).

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