Southern California has a newly crowned Champion Golfer of the Year in Wil Collins after closing strong in the Oakley Southern California Open to win by a mere stroke today, March 23rd at Monarch Beach Golf Links. The Albuquerque, New Mexico product took the early lead in round one after posting a 63 and never took his foot off the gas going wire to wire, finishing at (-11) 201 with all three rounds in the 60’s (63, 69, 69).
The third oldest Championship in the Nation saw an exciting finish unfold as Max Homa of Corona Del Mar chased down the leader in the final round to only have Collins respond and birdie the final two closing holes for the one shot victory in the Oakley Southern California Open.
Homa started the final round four strokes back from Collins but put himself right in contention on his final nine of the Open. Max rallied having four birdies in a stretch of five holes to close the gap and creep into the lead. Being two groups ahead of the leader Collins, Homa applied the pressure posting a 66 and finding himself in the clubhouse at -10 for the tournament and standing alone at the top of the leaderboard. Collins who had a five shot lead with nine to play watched it slip away with a three hole skid of +4. Collins then stood on the 17th tee finding himself trailing Homa by one shot setting up the exciting finish. With a nice approach into the 17th, Wil rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt to then tie the lead back with Homa. The Oakley Southern California Open came down to the 54th hole of the Championship, the water protected 512 yard par 5 18th. As Wil showed no nerves, he executed the hole perfectly and stood over a 10 foot birdie to knock it in the center of the cup and win the SoCal Open by one shot. The epic birdie-birdie finish was an exciting finish to a great three days of golf.
The 54-hole Championship had a field of 164 players contested over two of Southern California’s premier venues in the first two rounds in Monarch Beach Golf Links and Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club. The cut of +1 was made after the second round, where 54 + ties made the cut for the final round at Monarch Beach Golf Links. Both courses were a great test with beautiful views of Orange Country, California.
Low PGA Professional was awarded to Michael Block, PGA of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Clubs who finished T8 with rounds of 68 – 67 – 72 for a three day total of 207 (-5).
Low Amateur went to Kyle De Silva of Orange, California carding rounds of 70-68-72 for a tournament total of 210 (-10) to finish T17.
Many thank you to those that made the Southern California possible. The support of presenting sponsor Oakley is vital to the success of the Championship and are gracious for standing behind this tournament. In addition to Oakley, thank you to the supporting sponsors ForeFitness, Titleist, 1st/10th tee bars, Pepsi and Straub Distributing.
Thank you to host facilities Monarch Beach Golf Links and Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, PGA Professionals Eric Lohman Monarch Beach Golf Links General Manager and Michael Block Arroyo Trabuco G.C. Head Professional, and their entire staff and superintendent crews.
Finally, thank you to the Rules Committee and staff for their commitment to the game and countless hours logged.
Congratulations to Wil Collins on the exciting victory and thank you to all the contestants in the 2016 Oakley Southern California Open.