BAKERSFIELD — When it was all over, O.D. Vincent sat on the thick grass of Stockdale Country Club with his legs crossed, quietly accepting congratulations. For the Palm Springs High School junior, it had been a 36-hole day.
The first 18 holes were for his team. Vincent shot a one-under-par 70 to lead the Indians to the SCGA-CIF Southern California team title with 385. The second 18 were strictly personal.
"I built myself up for this tournament, all around," Vincent said after winning the individual title with a three-over-par 145, one stroke better than Steve White of La Canada and Bob May of Hacienda Heights Los Altos. "First, I wanted the team to win, and we did. Then I wanted to win myself. I came here to win."
Vincent's plans were nearly thwarted by May, who was paired against Vincent for the final 18. May and Vincent were tied at 70 through 18, and were tied at three-under going into the ninth and final hole. (The boys played the back nine first.)
On nine, the difference was May's hooking drive, which landed in a clump of trees to the right. While he punched out and to the right, Vincent hit his second shot onto the fringe.
May pitched past the hole and then two-putted. Vincent pitched two feet past the hole and sank the short putt for par. That was the difference after nearly 10 hours of golf.
Dana Hills, led by Pepe Alkon with 73, finished second in the team competition at 388, three strokes behind Palm Springs. In the Southern Section championships in late May, the Dolphins had finished 12 strokes behind champion Palm Springs on the Indians' home course. At Bakersfield, a neutral course, the difference was probably only the play of Vincent.
"We feel we should have won," Dana Hills' Eric Miraglia said. "It was just a few shots."
Said Alkon: "A couple things changed, and we would have won."
But Miraglia also gave credit to Palm Springs.
"They beat us on a neutral course," he said. That's it."
The best round from an Orange County golfer was Alkon's 73 in the team competition. Corona del Mar's John Wardup, who had the low Orange County round at the Southern Section team competition, shot a 79.
In the girls' competition, Joan Pitcock of Clovis West was a surprise winner over Bellflower's Pearl Sinn in a sudden-death playoff.
Vincent, White, May and fourth-place finisher Mike Schafer of Clovis West will represent Southern California in the State invitational at Pebble Beach on June 23. Pitcock and Sinn will be the girls' representatives.