Knapp leading Eagles

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Estancia junior led boys' golf team to undefeated regular season then won league individual title. So, what's next for him?

May 05, 2011|By Steve Virgen,
(Don Leach / Daily…)

When Jake Knapp is playing for the Estancia High boys' golf team he has a different mentality than when he's competing in junior events.

When's he teeing it up with the Eagles, it's all about having fun. During his junior season, it appears he is having a blast. He's been the top player for Estancia during a banner season.

For some time, about 20 years ago, the school in Costa Mesa was known for its boys' basketball teams. Nowadays, the Eagles just might grab some fame because of its boys' golf team, mainly because of Knapp.

He'll tell you differently, that it's about the team. That's the type of kid he is, but he has a point, as the Eagles just recently completed their first undefeated regular season.

Knapp is also honest, a straight shooter. Estancia didn't really have a tough schedule this year, he said. But that's not to take away from what Knapp has accomplished. He was the medalist in all but one of the 17 victories during the regular season.


"He's had a tremendous year," Eagles Coach Art Perry said. "I think he's been only over par twice all season. He's had so many birdies and eagles this year, it's amazing. He's going to be one of the best players Estancia has ever had, maybe the best."

During the regular season, Knapp has been all about fun. But don't get him wrong. That's not to say he doesn't want to win. He's definitely competitive, especially as the action turns to the postseason.

It was easy to see that was the case when Knapp won the Orange Coast League individual championship Wednesday. The real story was Tuesday, as he built a 10-stroke lead with a sensational round at Costa Mesa Country Club's Los Lagos course. Knapp made three eagles on his way to an eight-under-par 64.

The next day, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week won the OCL title for a second straight year, this time by 17 strokes.

In Knapp's mind, May 16 is when the real fun starts. That's when he competes in the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach.

He's confident because he knows he is playing some of his best golf within the past month. Last month, in Arizona, he finished fifth at the Heather Farr Classic, one of the top events during the year for the American Junior Golf Assn.

"I've just been playing smarter and not being so aggressive," said Knapp, who has verbally committed to play at UCLA. "I feel like I have no problem making birdies. For me it's just trying to eliminate the bogeys. Just keep it simple."

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