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Servite's Wilson repeats as Trinity League champ
YORBA LINDA - History stared back at Servite’s Matt Wilson from the million-dollar mansions on the right side of the fairway when the senior stepped to the first tee at Yorba Linda Country Club.
It was only his first shot in the 36-hole tournament, but he knew it would likely set the tone for the next two rounds.
Two years ago, he put his tee shot on the hole in the middle of the houses. That image has haunted him ever since, and he has struggled to card anything but a bogey on No. 1.
This time, he tried a different approach, leaving his driver in the bag and pulling out a 3-metal instead. The decision paid off. Wilson stayed out of trouble on the hole, putting him on course to become the first repeat individual boys golf champion in the history of the Trinity League.
“That first hole was kind of big for me,” he said. “That set me up for a good round.”
Wilson was the only player to finish in the 60s on both days, opening with a 2-under-par 69 on Monday and finishing with a 4-under-par 67 on Tuesday to post a 6-under 136 and cruise to a 12-shot victory over Santa Margarita senior Patricio Espinosa, who carded a 6-over-par 148.
Ball striking, Wilson said, played a key role in his triumph. Now more consistent with his irons, he hit 30 of 36 greens in regulation during the tournament.
“I handled the pressure better than I did last year,” Wilson said. “This feels really cool.”
Though he trailed Wilson by seven shots heading into the final round, Espinosa said he didn’t go hunting for every pin.
“That doesn’t mean you are going to have the round of your life and get close,” Espinosa said. “It (finishing second) feels good because I started out kind of rough.”
He was 4-over through his first 10 holes, but he drained a 25-footer for par on 11.
“After that,” he said, “the putts kept dropping.”
Brandon Brame (Servite), Bill Rosenthal (Mater Dei), Johnny Unterman (JSerra), Greg Memo (Santa Margarita) and Kyle Kinnane (Servite) rounded out the top seven. They will join Wilson and Espinosa on May 11 for the CIF-SS Southern individual regional at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach.
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