Austen Sandoval won the Sacramento County men's championship Sunday at Ancil Hoffman, three days after finishing second in the county junior at Cherry Island.
The 16-year-old Jesuit High School junior-to-be followed a first-round 73 with 5-under-par 67 at Ancil to rally from five strokes off the pace. He beat Elk Grove's Michael Grenz by one stroke after birdieing four of the last five holes he missed an eight-foot birdie putt on No. 17.
"I was far enough away from the leaders that nobody knew what I was doing," he said.
It was a coming-out party, of sorts, for Sandoval, who won his age division in the county junior but had won nothing near the magnitude of the county event filled with college players and accomplished veterans.
At 6 feet, 140 pounds, Sandoval is gangly thin yet hits the ball a relative mile. He sports a 4.0 grade-point average and, while it's early in the process, has an eye on playing for Stanford.
Sandoval, the latest to join a long list of strong junior boys to come out of Sacramento, answered a few questions Tuesday.
Was Sunday's win more fluke or formal announcement of your arrival as a local force?
I expect good things at the end of the summer, going into the fall.
You're a skinny dude. What's your waist size?
Ever afraid that your pants are just going to slide off?
No, but whenever I have more than one ball in my pocket I'm afraid my pants are going to sag. I have to keep my phone in my bag.
How many hours do you spend at the course in the summer?
Nine or 10 hours every day. I just wake up at 5:30, and I'm at the course by 7:30.
How many hours a week do you watch golf on TV?
I only watch the majors. Still, I'd rather play all day than watch the final round of a major.
Whose swing do you admire?
Adam Scott's, because it's perfect. It's so tight and simple.
Whose attitude do you admire?
Angel Cabrera's. I love how he doesn't care, he just hits it. If Angel Cabrera could have Adam Scott's swing, that would be the perfect golfer.
What's your favorite subject in school?
How disappointed are you not to be playing in the U.S. Junior Amateur this week in Truckee?
Incredibly. I couldn't even tell you how upset I was not to qualify. I did not click on that day.
What's your next event?
U.S. Amateur qualifying Monday in Santa Rosa, then the Optimist International.
Does being 5 under par in a round make you nervous?
No, but the circumstances of being in the mix make me nervous.
Finish these sentences: When it comes to golf, nobody is better than me at
Pitch shots, 60 yards and in.
I could stand to work on
Definitely my long-iron game, driver and fairway-wood game.
Roseville's Corey Eddings shot a two-round total of 3-under 141 to finish tied for sixth after stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Junior Amateur at Martis Camp in Truckee. He is among 64 players beginning match play today.
Rocklin's Kelsey Ulep shot a two-round total of 2-under 142 to finish tied for fifth after stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Girls' Junior Amateur in Fort Wayne, Ind. She is among 64 players beginning match play today.
Elk Grove's David Laskin won the county junior with a two-round total of 6-under 138.
El Macero's Tyler Raber shot a 7-under 63 on Tuesday in the first round of the Pacific Coast Amateur in West Vancouver, British Columbia, to lead the 72-hole event by three shots.
Call The Bee's Steve Pajak, (916) 326-5526.