The Inaugural Southern California Junior Amateur Championship was held at Industry Hills Golf Course at Pacific Palms Resort on October 17th & 18th, 2015. The tournament began with a buzz, as the players were very eager and excited to begin play at the beautifully manicured course. The Girls division was won by Angelina Kim who shot (137) for the 36 hole event played on the Zaharias “Babe” course. The Boys division was won by Sean Maruyama (137) for the 36 hole event played the Eisenhower course.
Day 1: Play began as the early morning fog rolled across the fairways and the players wasted no time getting to work as the boys division saw Edwin Kuang shoot -4 under with 5 birdies. This was enough to place him in a 2 way tie for the lead with Puwit Anupansuebsai who also recorded a -4 under, carding 6 birdies, leaving the leaders at a score of 67. Sean Maruyama was on fire as he recorded a -3 under score of 68, separating him by only one stoke off the lead. Sean recored an Eagle on the 548 yard #10, wow! Other notable day one competitors were Ryan McCoy, Teddy Oitzman, Cameron Sisk and Christopher Chomyn all shooting 71’s on the day.
The girls were also in the mood to score low as they recorded some amazing scores with some tough pin locations. Angelina Kim had the low score on day one with a 7 birdie round, leading to a first place score of 67. Muni He was in the zone, carding 12 pars and 4 birdies, while finishing up in sole possession of 2nd place with her 69. Beth Lillie, was also on top of her game as she was in sole procession of 3rd place with her -1 under score of 70.
Day 2: of the Southern California Junior Am rolled into play with high-energy form the field, as there were a number of players close at the top of the leaderboard. The competitors lined up early to practice on the range and get a feel for the greens.
The Boys division began with a tight group at the top and the players rose to the challenge of separating from the pack. The final group of Puwit Anupansueebsai, Edwin Kuang, Sean Maruyama and Ryan McCoy were all in contention for the title. Puwit had 6 birdies in route to his final score of 71 totaling 138 for the competition, placing 3rd for the weekend. Ryan also carded 6 birdies on day two, en-route to his 70, totaling 141 for the tournament, putting him in 6th place. The main show towards the end of the event was a battle between Sean Maruyama And Edwin Kuang. On the 36th hole of regulation golf, Sean hit his approach shot on hole #18 within a foot and made an easy birdy. Edwin was faced with a lengthy put that could have sealed the victory by one stroke, but came up short, missing the putt short by inches. This forced a sudden death playoff hole on #18, in which both players recorded pars, the next playoff hole was the 197 yard par 3, 13th. With the winds howling, Sean placed his shot within 10 feet, giving him a makeable birdie putt. Edwin’s shot got caught up in the wind and carried the green leaving a tough flop shot. Edwin put his flop within distance for a makeable par putt, but with the pressure on, Sean drained his birdie putt to clinch the victory of the 2015 Inaugural Southern California Junior Amateur Boys Division. When asked about the heroic finish Sean said, “I’m really happy right now, it’s a big tournament and I feel great!” This is a major victory for Sean and his golfing career and when asked about the final putt Sean said, “If I made that putt, (on the playoff hole for birdie) I knew I would win and I really wanted to make it!” Well, Sean came through in the clutch. Congratulations Sean!
The girls division was also very close at the top of the leaderboard with the final day two grouping of Angelina Kim, Beth Lillie and Muni He. The course was playing tough, especially with the wind picking up in the late afternoon. Despite the tough conditions, Muni He carded 4 birdies en-route to a 72, totaling 141 over the two day event, giving her a 4th place finish. Nina Novilla, who wasn’t in the final parings, but was still playing some fantastic golf, shot a 69 with 4 birds placing in 3rd with at 140 total after a phenomenal weekend of golfing recording 8 birdies over 36 holes. Beth Lillie was also playing fantastic golf, carding 8 birds over two days to clinch her 2nd place finish! Lastly, Angelina Kim was playing pristine golf, shooting an epic round finishing her day two round one under par. Angelina shot 17 pars and one birdie, finishing with a 70 for the day. Angelina’s two-day total was 137, clinching the girls division of the 2015 Southern California Junior Amateur Championship! When asked about the win, she said, “This is a big win for me, it’s really exciting, I don’t know how to feel right now, one of the biggest wins I’ve ever had . . . having 8 birdies is my personal record in a round.” The girls division as a whole came out strong and played hard! Congrats to all the competitors. Angelina also stated, “Winning the first year of this tournament was amazing and … I hope other competitors can win this amazing tournament!” Congrats to all the players who came out!
For final leaderboard Click Here
Special thanks to all the SCPGA Rules Officials: Ron O’Connor, PGA, Keith Reinking, Terry Startle & Carol Stewart.
Thanks to the host facility, Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms. The course was beautiful and the players couldn’t have been happier. Also, thanks to our product support, Hydro Flask for the great hot/cold bottles!
Lastly, thank your to the SCGA for their tremendous support of this event. The co-run event between the SCPGA & SCGA was a great opportunity for two prestigious originations to collaborate on a wonderful 36 hole tournament. Everything from top to bottom was extremely professional and the tournament truly had a “Tour” atmosphere around it. The SCPGA hopes this event will continue for years to come.