Beckman puts season into high gear with victory against University

IRVINE – For the past few weeks, Beckman boys golf coach Cheyne Blair said the Patriots have been playing well and having fun, but they needed something to “kick in that extra gear” as they make their final preparations for CIF.

“And this can be a real positive for them and light a bit of a fire under them, I think,” Blair said. “It might have been just that little kick to put us in second gear.”

And they didn’t even have to swing a club to make it happen. Corona del Mar beat No. 1 Woodbridge, the favorite to win the Pacific Coast League championship on Wednesday.

On Thursday at Strawberry Farms Golf Course, No. 4 Beckman didn’t just shift into second, they put it in overdrive, dropping its season scoring average below 190 with a 186-199 victory against PCL rival No. 6 University.

For the fifth time this season all five of the Patriots’ scoring players finished in the 180s with Everton Hawkins leading the way, birdying two holes to card a 1-under-par 35 to earn medalist honors.

Matt Gunson added an even-par 36 for the Patriots (10-2, 5-1) while Jin Jen and Brent Bjorndahl each posted a 38. Connor O’Hearn set the final margin for Beckman with his 39.

Dylan Kuennemenn led the Trojans with a 38.

Woodbridge was the only PCL team to beat the Patriots this spring, and the two teams will meet for the final time this season on April 26 at Tustin Ranch Golf Club, the Patriots home course. And the Patriots are very difficult to beat there. In two matches there this season, they have posted a 185, so they edge in that pivotal match would seem to go to the Patriots. A victory will likely give Beckman a share of the PCL title.

“I wouldn’t bank on anything, though. You can see it in the league records that everybody is beating everybody,” Blair said. “Even at this stage nothing is guaranteed. I think they understand that. It is nice though to say comfortably we will be going into CIF. Now we can focus on the next thing we want to do, and that is win the league championship.”


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