NEWPORT BEACH — To say Jake Knapp is in a groove is like saying Jack Nicklaus was and is a successful golfer. Both are understatements.
The Estancia High senior has more work to do to reach "Golden Bear" status, but Knapp is proving he can score with the game's best.
Knapp shot 10-under-par 61 Wednesday in U.S. Openlocal qualifying at Newport Beach Country Club, site of the annual Toshiba Classic senior pro golf tournament. His 61 was one stroke shy of the course record, shared by Nick Price (2011) and Tom Purtzer (2004) en route to Toshiba Classic victories.
Knapp's bogey-free round is also the lowest score at anyU.S. Openqualifying in the country this year, according to the Southern California Golf Assn. website.
His round began on the 10th hole and included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle on the par-five third hole. He hit a five-iron onto the green for his second shot and made the putt.