SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — After 36 holes and more than eight hours of golf, Tiger Woods cared less about where he finished in the CIF-Southern California Golf Assn. Championship than he did about simply getting finished.
But a weary and sore Woods was more than a match for his competition at Marbella Golf and Country Club, and the Western freshman won the individual title Monday, finishing 10 strokes ahead of Joe Acosta of Visalia Redwood to become the first player to win the Southern Section and CIF-SCGA individual titles in a season.
The 10-stroke victory margin is the largest in the 21-year history of the tournament, which matches the top high school golfers in the CIF's Central, Los Angeles City, San Diego and Southern sections. The next highest was a six-stroke victory by Kevin Leach of Rolling Hills in 1983.
Palm Springs High School, which finished in a tie for third at the Southern Section Championship last month, won the team title, upsetting Estancia, which has won the past three Southern Section titles and now has finished second in the past two CIF-SCGA tournaments.
Like Estancia, Palm Springs hadn't played Marbella as a team, but the Indians adjusted quickly, finishing with a five-person total of 388, eight strokes ahead of Estancia. Dana Hills, which tied Palm Springs for third at the section championship, finished a stroke back in third at 397.
In the 18-hole girls' tournament, Betty Chen of Palm Desert defeated classmate April Packham on the second playoff hole. Chen and Packham had each shot 74, one stroke ahead of Sandy Song of Cerritos and Eunice Choi of Laguna Hills.
Woods shot one-over-par 71 in the morning qualifying round and trailed Matt Todd of Redwood by a stroke, but charged through his second 18, posting a three-under 67, the lowest score of the day, for a 138 total for 36 holes.
Dana Hills junior Dan Buchner tied with Acosta at 148 but finished third by virtue of a higher score on his last nine holes.
Woods had four birdies and a bogey for a 32 on his first nine--the back nine at hilly Marbella--and a birdie and a bogey on his second nine for a 35.
The victory completes a remarkable season for Woods, 15, who is among the top junior golfers in the nation. But another season, composed of summer junior golf tournaments, has already begun for him. Last week, he finished fifth at the USF&G Junior golf tournament in New Orleans.