Beckman's Robinson survives playoff to win Pacific Coast League championship
LONG BEACH – As soon as Hide Yoshihara saw Brett Robinson’s second shot flying toward the green on the second playoff hole on Tuesday at Skylinks Golf Course, the Woodbridge junior knew he stood little chance of beating his rival from Beckman in the Pacific Coast League championship.
“Brett’s ball striking was amazing,” Yoshihara said. “I can’t beat him when he hits 240 dead straight on the second shot on the par 5.”
Yoshihara was being a little generous. Robinson only hit his approach 238 yards on the 571-yard par 5 No. 2 with his 3 iron. He was left with a 25-foot downhill eagle putt, which he missed by about a foot, leaving the the Beckman senior with an easy tap in birdie to claim the league championship for the second time in three years.
Yohishara put his second shot on the par 5 in the greenside bunker, missed his 5-foot birdie putt on the high side and had to settle for a par and second place.
“This is a nice way to cap it off (his high school career),” Robinson said. “All I wanted to do today was play a good mental game. Not make any stupid mistakes. There are a lot of birdie holes out here so I knew I could go low.”
Robinson carded a 6-under-par 66 during Tuesday’s final to finish the 36-hole tournament with a 6-under-par 138 on a course playing close to 6,900 yards. That put him in a tie for first with Yoshihara and Joseph Chun, Yoshihara’s teammate at Woodbridge.
Chun was eliminated on the first playoff hole, taking a three-putt bogey on the 327-yard, par-4 No. 1. Robinson and Yoshihara both had a par.
All three players owned rounds in the 60s during the tournament. Chun held the first-round lead after opening with a 68 on Monday. Yoshihara posted a 67 in the final round.
“I am obviously happy with the way that I played. I am happy with how I putted and how I hit the ball on the course,” Yoshihara said. “But I had an opportunity to win the playoff, so I am disappointed too. But overall it was a good day.
Robinson had a chance to come in with a 65 on Tuesday, but he thought it was going to take at least an 8-under par 136 to beat Chun. So instead of lagging his 30-foot putt on the 18th green up next to the hole, he decided to go for it, and the ball raced 10 feet past the hole. He ended up three putting for a bogey and a 66, which was the lowest round of the PCL finals and his career.
On Monday, Robinson will be at Skylinks once again trying to win the CIF-SS Southern Regional Individual champion. But despite Tuesday’s triumph, he said he doesn’t “don’t have any expectations coming in.”
“This gave me a big confidence boost, but at the same time, it is in another week,” Robinsons said. “And anything can happen in another week. Any time the wind picks up, it gets tough, and there will be a lot of good players there too.”