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Knapp challenged with daunting schedule

Golf

Estancia senior will need to be a master of time management in the weeks ahead.

May 19, 2012|By Steve Virgen
  • Estancia's Jake Knapp, left, listens as Gordon Bowley speaks of his outstanding achievements on and off the golf course during the 33rd annual Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce Les Miller Outstanding Sttudent Awards and Scholarship Recognition Breakfast.
Estancia's Jake Knapp, left, listens as Gordon… (DON LEACH, Daily…)

Jake Knapp's phenomenal week has caused a busy upcoming schedule to become practically chaotic.

The Estancia High senior golfer, bound for UCLA, will need to improvise and adhere to a strict itinerary in the weeks ahead as he competes in CIF, U.S. Open  qualifying and big-time amateur events.

Knapp won the CIF Southern Section Southern Individual Regional title on Monday at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach. That means he'll play in the CIF Southern Section Individual Final this Monday at Victoria Country Club in Riverside.

He's trying to finish in the top 28 to advance to the CIF SCGA Tournament at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena on May 31, on his 18th birthday. If he finishes in the top six there, it's onto the CIF State Championship at San Gabriel Country Club on June 6.

On Wednesday, Knapp shot an amazing 10-under-par 61, one shot off the course record at Newport Beach Country Club, to win theU.S. Openlocal qualifier. The score is the lowest in the nation at anyU.S. Openqualifier.

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After his sensational round, he was signing Southland Golf magazines for fans who believe he can become someone special. He's on the cover of the magazine.

Amid the buzz at Newport Beach on Wednesday, Knapp received a phone call from the executive director of the Pacific Coast Amateur, Jake's father Bob Knapp said. Half of the field's scores had not been posted when the call came, Bob Knapp said.

The executive director extended a special invitation to Jake for the tournament played at Bandon Dunes from July 23 to 27.

Jake also received an invitation to play in the SCGA Amateur at Big Canyon Country Club from July 20 to 22, so that will be a challenging turnaround to Bandon Dunes.

On June 4, Jake will compete in the U.S. Open sectional qualifier, trying to land a spot in the major event June 14 to 17 at Olympic Golf Club in San Francisco.

The U.S. Open sectional qualifier will be played at two sites, Lake Merced and the TPC at Harding Park for the afternoon round. Because of the busy day and the need for practice at both courses, Jake is skipping prom to prepare for the event.

It has truly been a memorable week for Jake. Including the CIF title and the amazing 61, Jake also received the Mayor's Award at the Costa Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday. He closed the week with another award Friday at the Costa Mesa Hilton. He was one of four winners of the inaugural Distinguished Athlete Award from Costa Mesa United, the group that has helped fund several local athletic facility projects. He received a $500 scholarship.

The award proved extra special, as his grandfather, Gordon Bowley, a CMU board member, presented him the award.

"It's been surreal," Jake said of the past week. "I'm still pinching myself a little bit. It was awesome … but I still have a long road ahead of me. I don't think you can top a week like this. But you have to leave it in the past and look back at it every once in a while. I have a lot of stuff ahead of me. I have a lot of stuff to work for."

steve.virgen@latimes.com

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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