Nine players from area Catholic schools — seven of them underclassmen — advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Boys’ Golf Individual Championships next week, after posting solid scores in the Individual Regional Finals held May 6.

At the Southern Regional played at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach, junior Jaden Cantifio of Mater Dei shot the best score, a four-under-par 68, one stroke ahead of the runner-up. Other Catholic school qualifiers were sophomores William Sung of Servite (72) and Robert Keilch of Mater Dei (73), and junior Caden McMackin of J.Serra (73).

In the Northern Regional at River Ridge Golf Course, Oxnard, sophomore Justin  Lee of Loyola shot a three-under 69, good for second place (and four shots off the winning score). Tied for fourth at 71 were freshman Ivan Barahona, Crespi, and senior Daniel Nunez, Loyola. Other qualifiers were senior Ethan Kim, Chaminade (72), and sophomore Timothy Von der Ahe, Loyola (73).

Finishing just outside the top 20 were juniors Brian Arnold of Loyola and Kris Styles of Paraclete (74), and freshman AJ Ryland, St. Bonaventure, and sophomore Tim Smelser, Crespi (75). The top 20 golfers from each of three regionals (no Catholic school golfers competed in the Central Regional) will play in the individual finals May 16 at Goose Creek Golf Club, Jurupa Valley.

On May 13, seven divisional CIF-SS Division Team Championships will be held throughout Southern California. The top two teams from each division advance to the CIF-SS SCGA Team Qualifier, to be played May 16 in conjunction with the individual finals.

The top four teams, plus the top 28 individual players who are not part of a team already advancing, qualify for the CIF/SCGA Southern State Regional Championships on May 23 at Brookside Golf Course, Pasadena. The State Championship will be played May 29 at Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

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