Great field features Knapp, more [updated]


Plenty of stars to be seen at U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at Big Canyon and Newport Beach on Monday.

June 02, 2013|By Steve Virgen

Jake Knapp will admit he didn't make the best of decisions back in late February.

The former Estancia High golf standout is not one to sit around. He played in a pick-up basketball game at UCLA, where he is on the golf team. Unfortunately he suffered an injury, a small fracture to a tiny bone in his left wrist.

It was tough to sit out for two months, but he considered himself lucky the injury wasn't worse. He nearly flipped when jumping for a rebound and landed on his wrist as he was trying to break his fall, he said.

Knapp's life is filled with decisions, from nailing down his academic major (he remains undeclared) to figuring out what course to play on his 19th birthday (it was Friday and he played Monarch Beach). There are decisions at each tee, for each shot. He must know when to go hard and when to go at it smoothly.


His decisions will be put to the test once again Monday along with several high-level players in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier at Newport Beach and Big Canyon country clubs.

It's billed as golf's longest day. With regard to golf events that have taken place in Newport Beach, this is among the greatest.

An impressive field, that features Orange County star Beau Hossler, will be vying to grab a spot in the U.S. Open, to be played June 10-16 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Penn.

There will be five qualifying spots out of the Newport Beach sectional Monday.

Knapp, though he is still regaining strength in his left wrist, is playing to gain that spot. Knapp, who is right-handed, gained confidence when he won a playoff against two others to earn a spot to play Monday out of the local qualifier at Bermuda Dunes Country Club May 13.

Just four days after getting cleared to play, Knapp shot an even-par 72 and then birdied the par-five No. 1 hole to win the playoff.

"I was pretty excited to be in a playoff," Knapp said of his thoughts after his round at Bermuda Dunes.

Knapp said he had to wait around to later find out he was in a playoff.

"I wanted to be in that situation," he said. "I was only practicing for four days before the event. It was my first time playing since late February."

Now Knapp is excited to be playing in such an important event so close to where he grew up. He is quite familiar with Newport Beach Country Club.

Last year, he topped the field at the U.S. Open local qualifier with a 10-under 61, one stroke shy of the course record.

He says he thinks about the score now, but he won't be once the action begins on Monday morning.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles