Diamond BarHigh School

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Jefferson Kao Completes Season At CIF State Championship

Story By Keith Lair, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
 

Diamond Bar High School’s Jefferson Kao and La Canada’s Collin Morikawa finished well off the pace in their final high school golf tournament, Wednesday’s CIF State golf championships at Poppy Hills Golf Club in Pebble Beach.

Kao, who will play at UC Irvine next year, finished with a 6-over-par 77 on the par-71, 6,637 layout. Morikawa, will play at Cal next year, finished with a 7-over-par 78.

Kao finished tied for 24th and Morikawa tied for 29th.

“With the exception of one hole, he had a really good round,” Diamond Bar coach Tony McCabe said of Kao. “He did well.”

The top 18 individuals and six teams competed. Jacob Solomon of Dublin survived a double bogey with five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 18th hole to win with a 3-under-par 68. Only two other players finished under par and five players finished even par.

Westlake defeated favorite Torrey Pines to win the team title by four strokes with an 18-over-par 373. Torrey Pines had defeated Westlake in last week’s Southern California tournament at Brookside.

Kao had a rough start with a bogey and a triple bogey on the first two holes. The second hole was a 163-yard par-3. He drove into the bunker and caught the lip on the out. His next shot went over the green and he two-putted. He had birdies in the fifth and sixth holes.

The greens were fast and firm and pin placements resembled typical PGA Tour placements, McCabe said.

Morikawa was 2-over-par on the turn, but had double bogeys on 12, which was the toughest hole on the course, and 16. He had a birdie on the par-4 390-yard 13th hole.