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Hawkins continues dominance at Skylinks and wins CIF-SS regional

STAFF WRITER

LONG BEACH – Everton Hawkins has played two boys golf tournaments in a span of a week here at Skylinks Golf Course. The Beckman senior won them both.

His most recent triumph came on Monday when he cruised to a two stroke victory over Woodbridge senior Hide Yoshihara at the CIF-SS Southern Individual Regional.

 “I really like this course,” Hawkins said after receiving his first place medal. “With the hard ground here, I am driving it really far and having wedges into every hole.”

Hawkins was the only player to break 70 in the regional, using five birdies to shoot a 4-under-par 68 and become the first Patriots boys golfer to win a Southern Section regional.

Last week at Skylinks, he won the Pacific Coast League boys championship.

On both occasions, Yoshihara finished second. His 2-under-par 70 in the regional put him one stroke clear of Long Beach Wilson senior Jericho Betts and Huntington Beach senior Brett Bennett, who tied for third after posting a 1-under-par 71. Betts, though, was awarded third place on a card off.

And in the PCL championship, Yoshihara lost to Hawkins on the first playoff hole after both players shot a 2-under-par 142 in the 36-hole tournament.

 “It feels great (to win two championships). This one means a lot. There are a lot of great guys in this field,” Hawkins said. “I have been playing really well, and my confidence is really going up. My ball striking is really good right now.”

Here’s proof. He hit 16 of the 18 greens in regulation on Monday at the CIF-SS regional.

“So I gave myself a lot of opportunities,” Hawkins said. “That is what has helped me win.”  

Hawkins is 6 under par in his last three rounds at Skylinks, and during that span, he has played the par 5s at the Long Beach course at 10 under par.

“My mindset coming in here today was try to go as low as possible,” Hawkins said, “and it happened.”

Yoshihara closed in on Hawkins’ lead with two holes to go, chipping in for eagle on the 573-yard par-5 No. 11 to drop to 3 under par. But on the next hole he put his approach in a greenside bunker and carded a two-putt bogey.

“That was such a dumb mistake, hitting the bunker left. It is not impossible to get up and down there. I have to fix some those things and see how it goes,” Yoshihara said. “I thought I played pretty well overall, but I made a lot of stupid mistakes that I shouldn’t have made. Not being able to win again is disappointing, but there are some more tournaments to go.”

Hawkins, Yoshihara and the top 20 players in the CIF-SS Regional all advanced to the CIF-SS Individual Championship on May 19 at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs.  Playing in an unforgiving 50 mph wind, Yoshihara posted a 78 at Mission Lakes last season. Hawkins was not in the field.

“Who knows? A few more putts go in in the next tournaments, we might be in good shape,” Yoshihara said.       


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