Luke Potter (SCGA)
Records are made to be broken. Luke Potter took that saying to heart at the 121st Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship this week.
The 16-year-old Arizona State verbal commit needed a three-hole aggregate playoff to become the youngest champion in the event’s storied history.
Beginning the day five shots back of the overnight leader, Caden Fioroni, Potter simply destroyed the front-nine at Goose Creek Golf Club, posting a 28 going away. The opening laser show featured four consecutive birdies which was capped off with an eagle on the par-5 7th giving Potter a five-hole stretch at 6-under par.
“Starting out five-back, I knew I had to put a low one out there,” Potter told the SCGA. “Just give myself birdie chances and putt well… [it] was a good week.”
Coming off of the U.S. Amateur last week where he was the youngest competitor in the field, Potter said that, “golf’s a funny game, so I just came here with an open mindset.”
Shooting a final round 62 was good, but it still was not enough to the job done or even earn the low round of the tournament.
That honor belonged to Fioroni. Carding a third round 61, the incoming Pepperdine freshman had a chance at 59, needing a birdie on the 18th. Posting a bogey, the new Wave settled for a 9-under day.
Fioroni, holding a one-shot lead heading into the 18th on Friday, needed a par to claim the championship. Having two-putts to secure the win, Fioroni blew his birdie attempt 10-feet by, leaving too much meat on the bone as he cleaned up for bogey giving Potter a chance in a three-hole aggregate playoff.
Starting on the par-3 16th, Potter was able to pull off an up-and-down while Fioroni took a bogey. On the 17th, Fioroni gained the stroke back with a sidewinding 15-footer for birdie while Potter saw his birdie attempt slide by.
On the 18th, the pair fired tee shots up the left side leaving perfect angles into the green. Fioroni found the center of the green but left himself a downhill 30-footer while Potter left himself a much more attractive birdie look with an uphill 20-footer.
As Fioroni burned the edge, the scene was set for Potter. Burying the putt, Potter spoiled the opportunity for Pepperdine to go back-to-back (Sahith Theegala, 2019).
ABOUT THE SCGA Amateur
This is the longest standing championship
by the SCGA. Started in 1900, this event
best amateur player of the Association. Since
inaugural event, the SCGA Amateur has
illustrious history of great champions, including
Woods and Al Geiberger to more recent stars
including Beau Hossler and Patrick Cantlay. The
event is open to members with a Handicap
5.4 and below. Competitors undergo 18 holes
qualifying play in order to reach the final field
players. In the Championship, players compete
72 holes of stroke play with the top 42 and ties
advancing after the first 36 holes. The
site is traditionally held at the home club of the
current SCGA President.
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