Ed Turner switched putters, shaved 21 strokes off his score and shocked the competition Monday in the City Section golf championships at Wilson Golf Course in Griffith Park.
Turner, a freshman from Palisades High, shot a seven-under-par 65--sinking a 15-foot putt for his seventh birdie on the par-4 18th hole--to win the City individual title by one stroke and help carry Palisades to the team championship.
Turner's incredible finish made moot of what proved to be a premature one-hole playoff between Scott Bashin of Birmingham, Darrin Schneider of Granada Hills and Kang Doo of San Pedro, who finished tied at 152.
Bashin, who led the field with a 75 Friday, scrambled from the trees and the bunker and made a 35-foot putt for par on the playoff hole. Schneider and Doo narrowly missed putts for par.
Bashin dropped his putter and raised his arms in triumph. "That's the best putt I ever made in my life," he exclaimed.
Tournament officials jumped the gun, however, by sending the trio off the first tee to settle the tie. While Bashin celebrated, word reached the clubhouse that Turner, who shot an 86 Friday, was six-under par with three holes to play.
Turner avoided a playoff with Bashin by sinking his only putt on the 18th green.
Turner, who shot a 74 at Wilson this season, made 45 putts Friday while breaking in a new putter. Dissatisfied, he returned to his original putter.
"I attribute it all to the putting," Turner said. "I figured if I eliminated the three-putts, I'd be fine. I was just trying to hang in there. I'm kind of surprised. I thought, maybe, if I had a 64 I'd be among the top 10. I didn't expect the others to falter."
Bashin, who chipped into the cup for par on the first hole, dug himself a hole with a double-bogey on the 18th. Bashin, a senior, made one birdie.
Schneider, who shot an 80 on Friday, played near-flawless golf while shooting an even-par 72. Schneider made par on the first 13 holes, birdied the 14th and bogeyed the 18th.
However, his tee shot on the playoff hole found the right rough.
"Not once did I do that all day," Schneider said. "I played pretty solid all day. . . I hit 17 of 18 greens."
Turner is the second consecutive Palisades golfer to win the individual championship. Last year, Burley Stamps shot a 65 at Harding Golf Course, Wilson's sister course at Griffith Park, to finish with a two-round total of 144.
Palisades scored a two-round total of 795. Granada Hills, winner of five of the last six City titles, finished second at 803. Chatsworth placed third at 818.
Palisades and Granada Hills advance to the SCGA championships June 8 at the SCGA Members' Club in Murrieta. The top 10 individuals not from Palisades and Granada Hills also advance.