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Knapp stands out for Estancia

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Eagles' golfer, one of the best in school history, having another great season.

April 05, 2012|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(Don Leach | Daily…)

Jake Knapp hasn't made it to all of the matches for the Estancia High boys' golf team this season because another event kept him away.

The ones he has played in his senior year with the Eagles, he's made the most of them. Thirteen times he's earned the medalist honor.

Only once has he not finished on top. Coach Art Perry called it Knapp's lone bad round, an eight-over-par 80 two weeks ago at the Shark Invitational at the Golf Club at Glen Ivy.

"We had to wake him up early, because he had shot a six-under-par 30 the day before at Mesa Verde Country Club, where we played Long Beach Wilson," Perry said of Knapp. "That's the best score I've ever seen there for nine holes."

The round is also the best nine-hole round in Orange County this season.

Perry witnessed Knapp return to that type of form last week.

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In his second tournament with the Eagles, Knapp finished first as did his team. He shot three-under-par 69 at the Long Beach Millikan Tournament at El Dorado Park Golf Course. Estancia won the nine-team event by five shots.

The following day in an Orange Coast League match against Calvary Chapel, Knapp fired a four-under-par 32 at Mesa Verde Country Club and the Eagles stayed perfect in league. Not as impressive as his 30 on the same course on March 22, when he recorded two eagles and two birdies, but still good enough to medal again.

In the next two Estancia matches, Knapp couldn't medal. He wasn't with the Eagles (10-4, 5-0 in league).

Knapp was on another course when the Eagles faced rival Costa Mesa. While Estancia went on to win by 17 shots, Knapp was preparing for a qualifier at Yucaipa Valley Golf Club for the Nationwide Tour's Soboba Golf Classic.

Five days later, Knapp teed off. Windy conditions and bumpy greens took him off his game. By the time it was over, his even-par 72 score was six shots back of the qualifying mark.

Knapp sent Jake Stone a text to find out how Estancia fared against Newport Harbor. One shot was the difference and the Eagles lost the nonleague match.

Not being around for every Estancia event, Knapp said, makes him feel bad.

He likes his teammates. When he's not playing with them, the Eagles aren't as good. The two matches he's missed, Estancia is 1-1.

Perry understands why Knapp can't always be with Estancia. He has more prestigious tournaments to compete in, to get better, to improve his No. 37 national ranking, and to win his first American Junior Golf Assn. tournament.

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