Westlake Village wins 2014 SoCal High School Championship
Westlake High School showed the true meaning of the word "team" Monday, rallying despite adversity to capture the team title at the 2014 CIF/SCGA Southern California Regional Championship. Led by Matthew Wolff's round of 3-under-par 69, the Warriors edged out the Rancho Bernardo Broncos by a stroke to win the event for the first time since 1996. Westlake, Rancho Bernardo and third-place Mater Dei all advance to Wednesday's State Championship.
With the team's top player, senior Sean Crocker, getting disqualified after just four holes of play, things didn't look great for the Westlake Warriors. But with USC-bound Crocker now just a sideline spectator, the rest of the team stepped up, all finishing in the Top 60 on the individual scoreboard, which consisted of 124 golfers. Wolff's 69 tied for the second-best round of the day, while Spencer Soosman of Westlake also finished in the top five, allowing Westlake to edge out its competition.
It was only Sage Casaga who had a better round Monday than Wolff, as Casaga's 4-under-par 68 topped the field and earned him the individual title, an honor previously won by Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.
"It's crazy. It's just really cool. Those guys are great players, and to be able to win this event like they did is just amazing," said Casaga, a junior at Murrieta Valley High School. "Now I'm just looking forward to the experience of going to the State Championship. It's honestly something I've dreamed about since I was little."
Casaga was competing at the event as an individual, as his team did not advance to this stage in the postseason. His teammates, however, were on Casaga's mind.
"I always try to play my best, whether it's for a team competition or an individual one, but I knew I was out there playing for the rest of my team today as well," he said.
Casaga's round was bogey-free on the No. 1 Course at Brookside Golf Club until his final hole of the day, when his par putt took a 360-degree spin around the hole before deciding to remain on the green. The final-hole bogey was the only blemish on Casaga's scorecard, which also included five birdies. K.K. Limbhasut of Redlands High School finished in a tie for second place.
The top nine individuals in the field not on the top-three qualifying teams earned spots in Wednesday's CIF/CGA California High School Championship field. Those advancing to San Gabriel Country Club are:
Sage Casaga, Murrieta Valley High School
K.K. Limbhasut, Redlands High School
Sahith Theegala, Diamond Bar High School
Hunter Newlin, Temescal Canyon High School
Sam Metzger, San Marcos High School
Victor Ponte, Rio Mesa High School
Peter Griffith, Oaks Christian
Daniel Lopez, Loyola High School
Brandon Kewalramani, Harvard-Westlake
Those advancing to San Gabriel Country Club by way of a team victory are:
Rancho Bernardo Broncos
Mater Dei Monarchs