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Owaki grabs lead in Costa Mesa City Championship

The incoming Chico State senior collects nine birdies to gain two-shot lead, heading into Sunday's final round.

August 03, 2013|By Steve Virgen
  • Lyon Lazare, the defending champion, celebrates after holing out on 18 during the first of two rounds at the Costa Mesa City Men's Championship at Costa Mesa Country Club on Saturday.
Lyon Lazare, the defending champion, celebrates after… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

COSTA MESA - Shortly after shooting a sensational round, Ricky Owaki took out his phone to take a photo of his score on the board at Costa Mesa Country Club Saturday.

Owaki, 21, then posted his picture on Twitter.

"Club house leader for now … #7under #lessgo," Owaki wrote with the photo.

Owaki, who shot a seven-under-par 63 on Mesa Linda, hopes to take another photo Sunday, posing with the hardware for winning the 41st annual Costa Mesa City Championship at Costa Mesa Country Club.

Owaki's impressive round, which featured nine birdies, earned him the top spot after the first of two rounds of the championship flight. He has a two-shot lead headed into Sunday's final round on Los Lagos. He will start at 1:40 p.m.

Former Estancia standout Marcus Sostak, along with Court Lewis and former pro Robert Caton each shot 65.

Andrew Levitt is three shots back of the lead after his 66.

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Lyon Lazare, the defending champion, as well as Jordan Guillen and Ryan Barry each carded a 67.

Owaki nearly distanced himself further as the leader, as he said he missed at least four makeable birdie putts, each from within 12 feet. He missed two putts for birdie from within six feet. He also had two bogeys, including one on the par-5, 466-yard No. 11 hole.

"I was feeling it today," said Owaki, who will be a senior at Chico State, where he is on the golf team. "I really didn't miss a fairway. I hit it right down the middle. Anything inside 115 yards, I was hitting my wedges basically perfect and getting it really close."

Getting it close to the cup was challenging for the players because of the tough pin placements. Owaki described some of the holes as borderline illegal.

During play Saturday morning, tournament director Sean Collins heard several gripes about the pin placements.

"Music to my ears," the Orange Coast College men's golf coach told one of the players.

"Everybody loves tough pins until they play in them and they realize, 'Wow this course is a little bit different than I'm used to seeing,'" Collins said. "We put them in different places, different from last year, based on there has been some work done to the golf course, as far as the bunkers. We worked on the bunkers and made them look a lot better. With that being done, I can't hide [the pins] behind those bunkers anymore. We put them behind some nice ridges and some nice slopes."

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