Crescenta Valley, St. Francis, La Cañada head to CIF golf individuals

After seeing their attempts to lead their respective boys' golf teams past the CIF Southern Section team divisionals fall short, six area athletes will strive to achieve individual success.

The group will migrate north to Oxnard to participate in the 18-hole CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regional, which will be held at 8 a.m. Monday at River Ridge Golf Club's Vineyard Course.

Among those expected to participate will be Paul Park of Crescenta Valley High, Vince De Pinto and Mike Mozilo of St. Francis and La Cañada's Collin Morikawa, Robby Stehlin and Joshua Suh.

The top 30 plus ties from the Northern and Southern regionals will advance to the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship Tournament, which will be held at 9 a.m. May 20 at La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc.

Park comes in red hot after finishing second overall with a two-under-par 70 in the CIF Southern Section Northern Team Divisional at Soule Park Golf Course. Park finished fourth overall in the Pacific League to punch his ticket to River Ridge, where he recently participated in a junior tournament.

"I like the way I've been playing," said Park, whose team finished third in the Pacific League and 17th in the team divisional. "I know the course pretty well and hope to use that to my advantage.

"It's mostly a windy course. I want to be able to keep doing the things I've been doing well and that starts with hitting the shots on the greens."

De Pinto and Mozilo led the Golden Knights to a sixth-place finish in the Central Team Divisional at Lakewood Golf Course on Monday after placing second in the Mission League under first-year coach Kyle Ostrom.

De Pinto and Mozilo finished fifth and ninth, respectively, in the league tournament. Mozilo grabbed the final spot after winning a three-player playoff.

Ostrom said the duo will look to make their marks in the competition for the first time on the par-72 course.

"I'd like to see them go there confident and relaxed," Ostrom said. "You don't have to worry about how your team is doing in this upcoming round, just yourself.

"I think they both have a legit shot at moving on."

La Cañada entered the season with high expectations, which included looking to advance to the state tournament. The Spartans finished first in the Rio Hondo League, but their bid to move on as a team fell short when they took fifth in the Northern Team Divisional.

Morikawa won the league's individual championship for the second straight season and is the reigning All-Area Boys' Golfer of the Year. Stehlin and Suh placed third and fifth, respectively, in league.

La Cañada Coach Richard Tetu said that while the Spartans' bid to reach the state tournament wasn't meant to be, the trio can still make their presence felt in the individual action.

"We couldn't do it as a team, but I think Collin, Robby and Joshua have a shot at going very far, still," Tetu said. "I think they all have a shot at shooting around par.

"We are excited to see what they can go out there and do."

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