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Big Canyon three-peat

Jones Cup XIV

Pang, Castillo help club win its third straight Jones Cup and ninth overall in the 14th annual event Wednesday.

June 26, 2013|By Steve Virgen
(Don Leach / Daily…)

SANTA ANA — Last year it was Mike Carpenter's 25-foot eagle putt that proved to be a memorable, heroic shot for Big Canyon Country Club's Jones Cup victory.

This year, it was head pro Robert Pang who stepped up with the seemingly improbable theatrics at the 14th annual Jones Cup Wednesday at Santa Ana Country Club.

Pang rebounded from a drive on 18 that pulled and hit a tree. No one thought Pang could pull off a birdie when his ball landed to the left, behind the green on 17. But Pang stunned them all and provided a birdie that eventually proved to be the difference, giving Big Canyon its third straight Jones Cup win and ninth overall.

The trophy is named after the popular auto dealer Fletcher Jones. But if Pang's team keeps this up, organizers might need to rename the event, "The Big Canyon Cup."

Pang played a huge part in this one with four birdies and the big one on the par-five 18. It helped Big Canyon finish at 11-under-par 61 in the two-best-ball format.

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Santa Ana had an opportunity to win its first Jones Cup on 18 with chances for eagle and birdie, but the host club came up short. Santa Ana nearly forced a playoff, but fell one stroke short at -10. Nick Kumpis, Santa Ana's assistant pro, came within inches of sinking his eagle chance from about 15 feet out. Santa Ana senior champ Boyd Martin just missed on his birdie chance from about eight feet out that would've forced the playoff.

Mesa Verde was third at -9, Newport Beach followed at -8 and Shady Canyon, next year's Jones Cup host, came in at -6.

"The three-peat, it's pretty fun to say," Pang said. "What a final hole. [Santa Ana] had eagle, birdie chances and we just escape. It was pretty cool. Santa Ana played well. They had a great team. Geoff [Cochrane] is always solid. They had a totally different look. That's the team that should have the perk with the home-field advantage. They made it exciting for everybody."

Santa Ana had a large gallery following its team adding to the drama at 18.

When Pang's drive on 18 hit the tee, he appeared to stay cool, even though he had a challenge to get to the green.

"I had no clue where the ball was at," Pang said of his drive.

He had 220 yards to clear the water, but he saw a straightaway shot just aside trees. He then needed about another 135 yards to get onto the green, and he was fine with that getting to within eight feet of the cup.

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