La Cañada High boys' golf trio has big day

After recording a par on the first hole, Colin Morikawa encountered immediate difficulty.

Participating in the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regional on Monday at River Ridge Golf Club's par-72 Vineyard Course, the La Cañada High boys' golfer found himself in an unusual situation.

The reigning All-Area Boys' Golfer of the Year quadruple-bogeyed the par-four second hole, seriously reducing his chances of extending his splendid season.

Morikawa shook off the tough situation and finished with a 73 to finish in a seven-way tie for fifth at the event.

"I knew I had plenty of time left," said Morikawa, who was one of 34 players to advance to the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship, which will be held Monday at La Purisima Golf Course in Lompoc. "I was able to hang in there and I parred my way through the rest of the front nine.

"I don't get myself in those situations very often. I had to stay focused and be relaxed."

Morikawa, who helped the Spartans win the Rio Hondo League championship and won the league's individual title, recorded an eagle on the par-five 11th hole.

"My putting and iron shots are what saved me today," Morikawa said. "I knew there would be a lot of birdie chances for me. It's tough competition. You know going in that each round gets harder."

Robby Stehlin and Joshua Suh of La Cañada each shot 74 to finish in a nine-way tie for 12th and also advanced. Thirty-four players from the field of 106 made the cut of 77.

St. Francis' Vince De Pinto and Mike Mozilo each recorded 78s to finish in a nine-way tie for 35th. Paul Park of Crescenta Valley had an 86 to finish in a three-way tie for 90th.

La Cañada Coach Richard Tetu said the Spartans trio overcame the windy conditions to make the cut.

"The wind kept picking up," Tetu said. "Collin, Robby and Joshua were able to go out there and control their shots.

"That was the key for them. They carried themselves nicely. You are playing with a much better group of golfers now."

St. Francis first-year Coach Kyle Ostrom said De Pinto and Mozilo, who helped lead the Golden Knights to a second-place finish in the Mission league, were disappointed missing the cut by one stroke.

"I kept looking at the leader board and figured the cut would be a 77 or 78," Ostrom said. "I watch a lot of their rounds and they just came up a little short.

"They both had great seasons."

Park, who finished second in the CIF Southern Section North Team Divisional on May 6 at Soule Park Golf Course with a two-under-par 70, couldn't replicate that round Monday.

"He had a couple of double-bogeys and a triple-bogey," said Crescenta Valley first-year Coach Lee Pope, whose team took third in the Pacific League. "Things just escalated from there.

"He's disappointed, but life goes on."

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