PASADENA, CALIFORNIA (April 23, 2006) -- 18 year-old Brian Kim, a senior at Brea-Olinda High School in Brea, California, overcame a six-shot deficit in the final round to win the 72nd Pasadena City Championship by one shot over third round leader Eddie Repanich, 35, of Westwood and three shots over third place finisher David Ober, 38, of Riverside.
Kim, who will attend Duke University on a golf scholarship next fall, fired a 1-under 71 on the difficult No. 1 course at Brookside for a four-round total of 1-under 285. Repanich struggled to a 6-over 78 after carding rounds of 71, 66, 71 to lead the tournament heading to Sunday’s final round.
Ober and Keith Kinsel, a former Pasadena City champion who entered the final round in second place at 1-under 214, were unable to mount any type of charge, so it was up to Kim to take advantage of Repanich’s early struggles.
Kim closed the gap to only three strokes after the opening two holes, with birdies on both, his second coming on a chip-in from 30 feet. After nine holes, Kim had taken the lead by moving to 1-under on the day and for the tournament, while Repanich shot a 6-over 42 on the front to move back to even par.
The back nine saw Repanich settle down to play the kind of golf that he exhibited earlier in the week, though a double-bogey on 10 looked like it might shoot Repanich right out of the tournament. He rebounded, though, and carded three straight birdies on 13, 14, and 15 to claw his way back to 1-under.
Kim remained steady, especially off the tee, where he consistently bombed drives well over 300 yards leaving him wedges into many of the par four holes. He birdied the par 5 11th, but then bogeyed the monster 480 yard par 4 12th. The two were tied at 1-under heading to No. 18, a 466 yard par 4 with water down the right side.
Repanich was first to play from the tee, and he took an aggressive line, trying to thread his drive between the water right, and a dense stand of trees down the left. The gallery let out a collective groan when Repanich’s balled splashed into the hazard.
Kim, now with a clear advantage, bailed out at the last moment and pulled his tee shot well left, which left him with a potentially difficult approach out of deep rough and over several tall pine trees.
He was equal to the task, though, and lashed a 180 yard 7-iron up and over the trees pin-high and just off the back left of the green. Repanich took his drop and knocked his third shot onto the front left of the green.
Kim chipped up to 3 feet, and then waited while his opponent sized up his 35 foot putt for par, which would have forced a playoff. Repanich left his effort 10 feet short, but managed to save bogey, which left it all up to Kim.
And, like he had done all day, he rolled in the putt center-cut for the victory.
“I learned a lot playing with you today,” said Kim to Repanich as they shook hands at the close of the round.
Repanich just smiled and patted Kim on the back.
Story by David Ober, for amateurgolf.com
The tournament was played at Brookside Golf Course, Pasadena, California (par 72, 7037 yards, 74.0/133) For complete results, please click on the tournament name at the top of this story (amateurgolf.com membership required - at $35.00 per year it's the best value in golf!)