Two golfers were able to qualify for the earliest round of the CIF State Championship by finishing near the top of the leaderboard Thursday in the CIF Individual Championships.
Owen Calvin-Smith ’17 shot a 73 and Trey Fearn ’16 shot a 77 in the Individual Championships at Mission Lakes Country Club in Palm Springs. Calvin-Smith’s round was low enough to tie for the sixth-best score of the tournament.
“I came in knowing that par would be a good score on any hole, so I played it very safe throughout the round to eliminate any major mistakes,” Calvin-Smith said.
Fearn deployed a similar tactic.
“I tried to play very conservatively and simply scrape by because at that course with those conditions, that is really the only safe option,” Fearn said. “I know it does not [sound like] the mindset of someone looking to win, but when you’re an individual fending for yourself, you have to give yourself the best chance of advancing to the next stage.”
Brandon Kewalramani ’17 played in the tournament too, but he was unable to advance.
Calvin-Smith and Fearn will compete next in the CIF Regional State competition on May 26 at Brookside Country Club. They will need to finish in the top nine to move on to the State Championship in June.
While some top golfers will be participating in the Regional tournament, Fearn is not fazed.
“I am not going in with the mindset of wanting to just make it in the top nine to advance to State,” Fearn said. “I am playing to win. I think that is going to be the difference. Keeping in mind that top nationally-ranked players are in the field, I want to prove that I deserve to be up there with them.”
Calvin-Smith is using the week before the tournament to get more comfortable on the course.
“I am very familiar with the course, so I am practicing the shots that I typically struggle with at that course,” Calvin-Smith said.
Although some of the individuals continued, the team’s season ended in the CIF-SS Division Team Championship on May 16. They finished sixth overall.
The team had high hopes going into the team championships, so the early exit was particularly tough to swallow.
“It was really frustrating and disappointing, especially with the depth of our team this year,” Kewalramani said. “Some stuff did not go our way towards the end, and some other bad breaks just made it hard to recover.”
Two weeks earlier, the squad’s top golfers participated in the Mission League Individual Championship. Fearn won with a final round of 71 and was named league MVP.
“A team is more than one guy,” Fearn said. “We stuck by each other’s side as we struggled, and that is really what being part of a team is all about.”
The squad will lose four seniors next season, but Fearn is confident that Calvin-Smith and Kewalramani will step into their roles as senior leaders.
“Those two guys work hard and lead in different ways,” Fearn said. “I hope that regardless of how things go, they never give up on themselves and each other.”
Calvin-Smith doesn’t plan on changing his approach too much, even with the added title of team leader.
“I hope that [leadership] comes naturally,” Calvin-Smith said. “And I hope that I can help give advice to anyone who needs it and provide a spirit that will bring us into competition mode.”