NEWPORT BEACH — For a guy who never played Big Canyon Country Club before this week, Bhavik Patel sure made the 113th Southern California Golf Assn. Amateur Championship look easy.
The 21-year-old Bakersfield resident capped an impressive three days of golf with his fourth straight under-par round to finish the championship at nine-under (71-71-67-70—279), an eight-shot victory over Xander Schauffele of San Diego (68-71-74-74—287). Patel was solid as a house built on rock, with no bogeys in his final two rounds. He and Schauffele (one-under) were the only two players to finish the 72-hole event under par.
Three-time SCGA Amateur champion Scott McGihon finished third at one-over (74-74-70-71—289). Stewart Hagestad, a Big Canyon member who entered the final-round three shots off Patel's lead at four-under, tied for fourth at two-over (70-73-69-78—290) with Kevin Fitzgerald of Riverside (71-74-73-72—290). Costa Mesa resident Jake Knapp, an incoming UCLA freshman who starred at Estancia High, overcame an opening-round 78 to place sixth at three-over (78-72-71-70—291). Knapp tied Patel for the lowest final-round score.