How The Farms’ Kyle Mendoza captured the SCPGA Section Championship
A little family time, a healthy back, and more confidence in his swing all helped play a role in Kyle Mendoza winning the biggest golf tournament of his life.
A resident of South Oceanside, Mendoza captured the 2020 Southern California PGA Section Championship September 14-16 by beating Brian Smock and two-time winner Michael Block by two shots.
Mendoza, a golf professional at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, fired rounds of 66 and 69 on the Players Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort to mount a two-shot lead going into the final round at Ironwood Country Club, where he shot an even-par 72 (207 total) to secure the $12,000 winner’s check.
How one of SoCal's most legendary pros putted his way to victory at Winged Foot
When the 120th U.S. Open tees off at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York on Thursday, it will mark the 12th time the fabled A.W. Tillinghast venue has hosted a major.
And while there’s no shortage of lore associated with the club’s championship history -- including Pasadena native and longtime Coachella Valley resident Susie Berning’s epic comeback in 1972 and the historic collapse of Rancho Santa Fe's Phil Mickelson on the 72nd hole in 2006 -- it is especially notable that its ties to one of SoCal's most legendary tour players dates back more than 60 years and adds greatly to the club's colorful past.
With that, here is a look at San Diego native Billy Casper’s breakthrough major championship victory at Winged Foot in 1959 that opened the door to one of the most successful -- and underrated -- careers in PGA Tour history:
El Niguel CC’s Luke Powell defies age and competes in top amateur events
It may be too soon to start making comparisons to Tiger Woods, but 15-year-old junior golfer Luke Powell of Laguna Niguel definitely shares the traits of a PGA Tour player.
“He reminds me of Justin Leonard when we were young,” said Wade Wilson, a PGA professional at El Niguel Country Club, where Powell has grown up playing golf. “Justin was well rounded socially as a kid but he knew at an early age that golf was his thing and he was really good at it. Luke is friendly, engages with people and enjoys conversation, but he is focused on his craft. At the ripe age of 15, he gets up every day and has a plan to be successful.”
Those attributes have been paying off for Powell in 2020. A sophomore at Capistrano Valley Christian School, Powell competed in two of the biggest amateur events in the state this year, the California Amateur Championship July 27-August 1 at Torrey Pines, and the 121st SCGA Amateur Championship at Goose Creek Golf Club August 17-20 – when he was still 14 years old.
Greyson Leach comes from behind to capture Inland Empire Championship
The only thing hotter than the weather over this past Labor Day weekend was Greyson Leach’s play in the final round of the 54-hole Inland Empire Amateur Championship, where temperatures reached as high as 117 degrees during the September 5-7 tournament.
Starting the day two shots back of the lead, Leach fired a tournament-low round of 8-under-par 64 at Victoria Club in Riverside to win the title by a shot over Chanachon Chokprajakchat of Anaheim.
Leach, who plays out of Rolling Hills Country Club near the Palos Verdes Peninsula, opened with a 69 at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont and followed it up with a 66 at Goose Creek Golf Club in Mira Loma, culminating a three-day total of 16-under-par, 199.
Chris Evans captures second
Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
Got some news to share about what's going on in the SoCal Golf community? SHARE IT HERE.