Hawkins continues Beckman's dominance at PCL finals


LONG BEACH – Hide Yoshihara was the only player to post two sub-par rounds during the Pacific Coast League championship, but the Woodbridge senior once again finished second to a rival from Beckman after coming up short in a sudden death playoff.

His 20-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole grazed the edge of the cup as rolled toward the front of the green on the par-4 No. 1 here at Skylinks Golf Course. Hawkins drained his 6 footer, carded a birdie three and became the second consecutive Patriots boys golfer and the fourth in the past five seasons to win the league championship tournament.

“It feels great (to win) especially since it is my last year here,” Hawkins said. “It is great to continue to dominate league for Beckman and beat Woodbridge.”

Yoshihara had the longer drive in the playoff, needing only 100 yards to reach the green, but his approach got helped by a tailwind, took a bad bounce and just missed landing on the top of the slope that would have fed the ball back to the hole.

Hawkins’ 120-yard shot with a gap wedge landed 10 feet in behind the hole and spun back, leaving him with a 6-foot look at a birdie.

“There are positives and negatives to take away from this. I played well today overall. I just missed a couple of putts that weren’t quite tracking toward the hole. But you learn and move on,” Yoshihara said. “Mostly, I putted well. Losing in the playoff is disappointing, but it is still just the first stage.”

Yoshihara and Hawkins will be back at Skylinks on Monday. Their performance on Tuesday earned them a place in the CIF-SS Southern Individual Regional.

Hawkins said he likes his chances in that tournament, considering a 70 was good enough to win the regional two years ago.

He carded three birdies and an eagle on Tuesday to post his 70 in the final round of the PCL championship, a two-stroke improvement over the 72 he fired in the first round.

He played the eight par fives during the 36-hole tournament at seven under par.

“That is what won it for me,” Hawkins said.

Woodbridge senior Justin Sheparovich posted the low-round of the tournament, finishing with his lowest round of the season, a 4-under-par 68, to place fourth with a 1-over-par 145, giving the Warriors three players in the top five. Joseph Chun, a two-time letterman for Woodbridge, finished third with a 144.

The Warriors shot 365 as a team on Tuesday.

“That is what we have to focus on now is the team. I can’t just worry about myself,” Yoshihara said. Woodbridge will be in the field at the CIF-SS South Coast team regional at Talega on May 16. “That is the key from now on. The team.”   

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