Great Oak’s Nathan Sampson was 1 of 15 golfers who shot par (36) or better on the back nine Monday afternoon.
But it was Sampson’s work on the front nine that helped him claim the CIF Southern Section’s Central Region individual title.
Sampson, the reigning IE Varsity Boys Golfer of the Year, fired a round of 5-under-par 67 at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta to win the championship. He edged teammate Ryan Abuan and Chaparral’s Chayce Frye, each of whom carded a 68 on Monday.
Sampson shot 33 on the front nine and 34 coming home, registering seven birdies and two bogeys during the round. Four of the birdies came on each of the course’s Par 5s: No. 3 (494 yards), No. 9 (500), No. 11 (506) and No. 14 (492).
Abuan was the defending champion and had five birdies and one bogey. Frye also recorded five birdies and a bogey. Abuan won a card-off over Frye to determine the event’s runner-up.
The top 20 golfers advanced to the section’s individual championships, which will be held on Thursday, May 18, at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard. Sampson, Abuan and Fryce were three of the 12 Inland golfers punching a ticket to the section finals.
Murrieta Valley’s Jayden Alden, Andy Yu of Los Osos and Linfield Christian’s Luke Bohmer all shot rounds of 71.
Norco’s Baron Nguyen (73), Great Oak’s Sam Amoroso (74), Linfield Christian’s Daniel Guerra (74) and Trevor Hernandez of Redlands (75) also advanced.
Nine golfers shot rounds of 76 and finished tied for 19th place, so a card-off was used to determined the final two qualifiers.
King’s Bear Huff and Temescal Canyon’s Nixon Lauritzen earned those spots by having the lowest scores on the back nine. Riverside Poly’s Sam Bonzoumet, Kamron Hopson of Redlands and Great Oak’s Koa Baur were among the other golfers who shot rounds of 76.