Caden Fioroni wins 123rd Southern California Amateur
Caden Fioroni (SCGA photo)
Caden Fioroni finished his week at San Diego Country Club as the only player to card four rounds under par that totaled up to 270 (-14), landing the UNLV junior an astonishing eight-stroke victory at the 123rd playing of the Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship.
There's no such thing as perfect golf, but Fioroni came as close as one can with a bogey-free 18 holes on Thursday that included three birdies and an eagle on No. 16 that sent the Chula Vista gallery into a frenzy.
Fioroni entered the final round with a two-shot lead that looked plenty in jeopardy after he three-putted for par from 15-feet on No. 2 while both his playing partners, Tyler Kowack and Ian Maspat made birdies. When the final grouping made their way to No. 3, Fioroni was clinging to a one-shot lead advantage and looking shaky at best.
But a load of grit lead to pars on Nos. 3 and 4 before Fioroni broke through for a birdie on the fifth to reestablish his two-shot lead. By the time the Rebel added another one at No. 8 he was three strokes clear of Maspat and would never let anyone closer.
Fioroni was in complete control his game hitting 9 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens. He kept a clean card with zero stress until the 15th hole when he left his approach short and duffed a chip that still didn't reach the green. Moments later he would bury a 12-footer with a Texas Wedge that would have made SDCC's Billy Casper proud.
Fioroni wielded a hot putter on his inward nine, one-putting three straight times to squelch everyone else's chances of getting back into the championship.
After opening with rounds of 69, 67 and 68, Fioroni managed to save his best for last with a final round 66 that was capped off by a two-putt par to win the title. His trip around SDCC only took 31 putts on some of the fastest greens in Southern California.
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.
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