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Freshman Sets Mark on Home Course

June 04, 2004|Rafer Weigel | Times Staff Writer

Freshman Rickie Fowler of Murrieta Valley shattered the tournament record and tied the course record at the SCGA Members Club in Murrieta with a 10-under-par 62 Thursday to win the 34th CIF-SCGA boys' regional golf tournament by six shots over junior Matt Shaw of Clovis.

Fowler, 15, who birdied six of his final seven holes, become the youngest player to win the event since Tiger Woods, who won as a freshman at Anaheim Western in 1991.

Fowler's score broke the previous tournament mark set by UCLA standout Steve Conway, who shot 65 for Rancho Santa Margarita in 2000.

"I don't know how I did it," Fowler said. "I just hit the ball and somehow it went in the hole."

Fowler did have a significant advantage over others in the 112-member field that had qualified from the Southern, City, Central and San Diego sections. He was the only participant to call the SCGA Members Club his home course.

"I knew the course really well, so I knew I could come in and shoot well," he said. "But I didn't know it would be that good."

Fowler consistently drove the ball 300 yards or farther, including a 325-yard drive on the par-five 17th that helped him birdie his final hole of the day.

The CIF-SCGA is Southern California's qualifier for the state championship. The top six individuals and three teams advance to the final, which will be held Tuesday at Santa Maria Country Club.

Torrey Pines defended its team title by edging Cerritos Gahr, 364-367. Santa Barbara San Marcos finished third at 374.

Cameron Tringale of Mission Viejo, Sihwan Kim of La Mirada, Garrett Sapp of Gahr and Jeff Koprivetz of Anaheim Esperanza were among seven players tied for third at 70.

With Sapp reaching the final with his team, the remaining players competed in a playoff. Tringale birdied the par-three 10th and Kim parred to qualify, but Koprivetz's bogey kept him from advancing.

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