2018 Event Recap
If Tyler Guo is able to maintain his current level of confidence, the Crean Lutheran High School junior might just be the favorite in next week's California state championship.
With a chip-in birdie on his final hole Thursday, Guo completed a bogey-free round, shot 7-under 65 and captured the CIF/SCGA Boys' Regional Golf Championship during a brisk day at Brookside CC in Pasedena.
Ending the day at hole No. 7, following a shotgun start in the field of 124 players, Guo found trouble off the tee and ended up short of the green after his second shot on the par-4 layout. From about 50 yards out, however, on his third shot, Guo watched his birdie chip roll in and threw his club in the air in celebration.
"After looking at the lie I was like, 'This is not good.' But one of my friends I was playing with just said, 'You got this,' and I said, 'Yeah, why not,'" Guo recalled. "I told myself, 'I'm 6-under right now; what do I have to fear? I can do this.' So I just picked a landing spot...and I trusted myself, stayed focused and didn't think about the outcome. And I did it. It landed perfectly, but I was not expecting it to go in."
The round-capping birdie was Guo's seventh of the day. He won the single-day tournament by four strokes and is one of nine individuals to qualify for the CIF state championship on May 30 at San Gabriel.
"I was very carefree on the golf course and I'm really glad I did that. I'm just very proud of myself," Guo said. "I'm very happy to represent my school. And even though we weren't able to (qualify) as a team, I was still able to make everybody so proud."
Ontario Christian's William Mouw finished runner-up at 3-under. Haram Shin (Marshall) and Thomas Stephenson (Carlsbad) were two of 12 golfers to finish 1-over and earned the eighth and ninth spots, respectively, following a playoff at Brookside. The competitive field made for an exciting finish on all fronts.
"The zero-bogey part is the most interesting," Guo admitted of his round. "Seven birdies is not that impressive, considering how good the players are here, but the ability to fix the mistake as soon as you figure it out is the best part of my game right now. That's why I'm really confident. Two weeks ago, I had an 8-under with no bogeys, and I think I gained a lot of confidence from that round."
In the team championship portion of the tournament, Torrey Pines High School emerged victorious after tying for first with Palm Desert. The Falcons were named the winners, though, after a scorecard tiebreaker. Torrey Pines won the title based on the sixth score tossed out, which was a 77 compared to the Aztecs' 79. Both teams shot 9-over.
Torrey Pines, which finished team runner-up a year ago, seven shots behind Palm Desert, flipped the script in 2018 and claimed one of three qualifying spots in next week's CIF state championship.
James Song -- one of two players remaining from last year's squad -- led Torrey Pines with a 70. No Falcons player recorded worse than a 76. The third team to qualify was Oaks Christian (a roster that includes Tristan Gretzky -- son of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky), which shot +13 and edged out Servite by two strokes to advance.
Torrey Pines Falcons
Palm Desert Aztecs
Oaks Christian Lions