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Golf's fresh new face

Jake Knapp is headed for UCLA this fall, but the Costa Mesa standout already has created a buzz.

By Steve VirgenPublished: July, 2012



Jake Knapp isn’t sure if he aced his senior project, but the Estancia High senior has confidence he did well. He chose entrepreneurial clothing design for his yearlong class endeavor. His methodical approach to a busy schedule allowed him to devote enough time to prepare for a solid presentation.

Swagger always has been a major factor for the UCLA commit from Costa Mesa. That confidence has been challenged since he landed on the cover of Southland Golf magazine for the May Junior Golf issue.

He’s enjoyed great experiences, and other ordeals that left him saying, “That’s the game of golf.”

“I got a lot of attention from [the cover,]” Knapp said. “I have never been on the cover of a magazine. It was a really neat experience. It was a cool honor. It’s hopefully a sign of more things to come.”

Another attention-getter came May 16 when he shot an amazing 10-under-par 61 to win the U.S. Open local qualifier at Newport Beach Country Club. It was the best score of any local qualifier in the nation. It was also one shot off the course record shared by Nick Price (2011) and Tom Purtzer (2004) in the Toshiba Classic.

On June 4, he missed the cut at the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying when he finished tied for 77th. It was Knapp’s second time competing in an Open sectional qualifier.

“I felt a lot more relaxed, I felt like I deserved to be there,” said Knapp, who’ll play July 20-22 in the SCGA Amateur Championship at Big Canyon Country Club. “I got off to a bad start. I had a couple of bad shots that cost me. It’s kind of a bummer. You’ve just got to learn from it and hope for a better result.”


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Readers Feedback:

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