SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Garrett Takeuchi went wire-to-wire in posting a four-shot victory in the boys division of the Golfweek Northern California Junior Open at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex Mackenzie Course.
The junior from Fresno, Calif., parlayed a masterful 4-under-par 68 into a steady final round of 74 for a 2-under-par total, holding off windy conditions and playing partner Nathan Wang by four strokes.
“Everything just fit together piece by piece,” said Takeuchi, who was playing in his fifth nationally-ranked event over the past year and will move into the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. “The first day I couldn’t miss a putt and my chipping was phenomenal – I just couldn’t ask for a better round.”
Scoreboard: NorCal Open
In Saturday’s opening round, Takeuchi started with birdies on three of his first four holes in taking command of the event right out of the gate. The 68 marked the second-lowest round of Takeuchi’s junior career – he shot 66 almost a year ago at the FCWT Preview Empire Ranch, also a victory.
Leading Wang by two shots heading into Sunday’s final round, Takeuchi had to battle the wind as well as the field. With gusts up to 20 mph Sunday, Takeuchi stayed away from any large mishaps to keep the field at bay.
“Today was windy – it was a battle,” Takeuchi said. “I just tried to make as many pars as I could and move on.”
Pars were good enough on Sunday and Takeuchi posted 14 of them.
After Wang birdied Nos. 3 and 4 Sunday to pull even with Takeuchi, sailing would not be so smooth. Bogeys at 8 and 10 put him three shots back then a triple bogey on the par-3 12th would prove too much to overcome despite rallying with a pair of birdies later in the round.
Wang finished at 70-76—146 to claim sole possession of second place, followed by Connor Motherway (75-72—147) and Jack Steck (73-74—147) who shared third place.
Sam Sommerhauser (76-72—148) rallied to finish in a four-way tie for fifth place with Darren Pang (75-73—148), Jeremy Yun (74-74—148) and Matthew Sutherland (73-75—148).
The victory earned Takeuchi automatic invitations to next month’s Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational at Mesa (Ariz.) Country Club and the Golfweek International Junior Invitatonal Nov. 2-3 in Florida.