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Knapp brothers sizzle at Costa Mesa City Championship

Golf

Brothers Ryan and Jake Knapp shoot 63 and 64 on Mesa Linda to climb to top of leaderboard in Costa Mesa City Championship.

August 04, 2012|By Bryce Alderton
(Kevin Chang | Daily…)

COSTA MESA – Jake Knapp said it had been five years since he and older brother Ryan played in the same group in an official tournament.

Boy did the hometown guys make Saturday count.

Ryan Knapp shot seven-under-par 63 while Jake shot 64 playing alongside on the Mesa Linda course at Costa Mesa Country Club in the first round of the 40th Will Jordan Classic (Costa Mesa City Championship).

Ryan, an incoming UC Irvine junior who graduated from Estancia High and played a year at Orange Coast College, is tied for the lead of the championship flight with Lyon Lazare while Jake Knapp, playing in his first Costa Mesa City Championship, is in third place heading into today's final round on the Los Lagos course.

"I played really smart golf today," said Ryan, who finished second in this tournament in 2009. "I really worked on my putting the last two weeks because I've been hitting good, just not making any putts."

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"The greens are absolutely perfect, you just have to hit them in the right places. If you miss on the wrong side, you're not going to make the putt."

Doug Martinez, the 2005 champion, shot 66 as did Scott Sexton. Amit Chopra, Kyle Frame (Orange Coast College) and Chris Rendler each shot 68 while former Corona del Mar High standout Mike Moorhead finished with a 69. Ed Susolik, a Big Canyon Country Club member, also shot a 69.

Big Canyon Country Club member Danny Lane was among a handful of guys who shot 70, which also included Tom Doherty, Troy Davis and Riley Murphy. Mike Carpenter, the 2001 champion, shot 71.

Ryan, who like Jake has played Costa Mesa since he was a kid, moved to seven-under with a chip-in for eagle on the 475-yard par-five 14th. He was 15 feet off the green for his third shot, but played the right-to-left break enough for the ball to find the bottom of the cup.

Then on the 278-yard par-four 16th, Ryan's drive landed just right of the green. He chipped up and sank a 7-foot birdie putt.

Ryan's only blemishes were bogeys on the first and 17th holes. Otherwise, he motored along, hitting mostly three-woods off the tees. Some of the par-fours on Mesa Linda are reachable off the tee.

"You have to play them aggressively; they are too hard to lay back on," Ryan said.

Jake meanwhile birdied Nos. 15 and 18. On the 268-yard par-four 15th, his drive landed in a swale in the rough left of the green. He hit a 60-degree wedge flop shot over a tree to 5 feet and made the birdie putt.

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