Marina's Pockels captures Southern Regional title


LONG BEACH - For some players, golf is a scientific game with every angle of the swing plane falling under constant scrutiny.

Then there’s Patrick Pockels. The Marina senior can’t remember the last time he has taken a lesson. When he walks to the tee, he does what feels natural with a homemade swing that took shape as he watched his father play when he was a kid first learning the game.

“And I have been doing the same thing since,” Pockels said.

Why change what is working so well?

On Monday, he holed five birdies during a bogey-free round at Skylinks Golf Course to post a 5-under-par 67, giving him a two-stroke victory in the CIF-SS Southern Individual Regional.

“I just stayed calm today and played what I know,” said Pockels, who played the back nine at 4 under par. “I just tried to play as best as I could, and if I won, I won. This is cool. It is really exciting.”

Woodbridge junior Hide Yoshihara and University sophomore William Tse both posted a 3-under-par 69, but Tse was awarded second place on card-off. The back-nine scores were used to break the deadlock, and Tse edged Yoshihara, 33-36.

It was Yoshihara’s second consecutive round in the 60s at Skylinks, having posted a 67 there last week during the final round of the Pacific Coast League championship.

On Monday, Yoshihara hit all 18 greens in regulation. He couldn’t remember doing that before.

“I played a lot better than the score, better than when I shot the 67. My putting was off,” said Yoshihara, who took a three-putt bogey from inside 20 feet on No. 16. He needed 33 putts to complete his round. “I am really disappointed, but happy with how I finished.”

Clay Feagler (Dana Hills), Nick Swanson (Marina), Samuel Kim (Northwood) and Joseph Chun (Woodbridge) tied for fourth at 70. Last year, Feagler won the Southern Individual with the same score.

“I like this course, and was confident I could defend my title, but I didn’t get off to a hot start,” said Feagler, who holed out for an eagle on the par-4 No. 12 to go to 2 under par after hitting a 57-degree wedge 105 yards. “I just couldn’t make any putts. ”

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