Virgen's View: Wheatley looks to extend season

May 15, 2013|By Steve Virgen
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

Two straight bogeys was a less-than-an-ideal start for Chase Wheatley on a hot Monday in Long Beach.

The Corona del Mar High senior was trying to extend his final season with the Sea Kings, playing in the CIF Southern Section Individual Regional.

After the consecutive bogeys it could have been expected that Wheatley's season was about to end. But Wheatley wasn't about to go out like that. The heat pounded at him, but he continued to be a grinder and battled.

Later in the round, he endured three straight bogeys. Along the way, he thought about wanting to finish at 74, and that should be enough to get him in the top 30 to advance.

Birdies on hole Nos. 10, 12 and 2 certainly helped, and he did finish at two-over 74. And he did qualify to play in Monday's CIF Southern Section Individual Final Championship at La Purisima Golf Course.


"My play was not my best," Wheatley said. "But I was happy to know that even though I was struggling, I was still able to post a good number."

Wheatley said it helped to have CdM Coach Mike Starkweather there at Skylinks Golf Course. The coach provided motivation to keep on battling, Wheatley said.

Now Wheatley moves on to play at La Purisima. Of course the goal is to qualify, to finish among the top 28 and move on to the CIF/SCGA Regional Qualifier at Brookside Golf Club, continue to extend that senior season. There is a sense of pride for getting this far, but that doesn't mean Wheatley is content.

"I'm looking to make the top 28 and advance," he said. "I know I have the potential to do it. It's just a matter of putting it together when I need to do it."

The confidence is there since he saw it come together amid the heat while struggling at Skylinks on Monday. The finish was a part of an exciting couple weeks for Wheatley.

Last week, Wheatley was a part of CdM's improbable CIF South Coast Divisional championship victory. Even the players were stunned to bring home the championship hardware. The Sea Kings showed the plaque to principal Tim Bryan, an avid golfer who was proud of CdM's stunning win.

The Sea Kings edged St. Margaret's, 380-381, to capture the title for the second straight year. It wasn't like last season when most expected CdM to win it.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles