Fioroni, Falcon golfers top LCC, forge two-way tie atop league

Torrey Pines’ Caden Fioroni overcame this trouble to par the first hole en route to a five-under 67.
(Ken Grosse)

Paced by junior Caden Fioroni’s five-under par 67, the Torrey Pines boys golf team upended La Costa Canyon Tuesday, April 16, posting a 17-stroke (358-375) victory at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. The result moved Torrey Pines into a tie for the lead, with LCC, in the Avocado West League standings. The two squads, will lock horns again next Thursday at La Costa in a rematch that figures to determine the 2019 league champion.

Having won the Avo West crown the past three seasons, Coach Chris Drake’s Torrey Pines club came into the LCC encounter in an unusual situation. After getting upset by Canyon Crest, April 2, Tuesday was a must-win scenario.

Kento Yamawaki
Former CIF individual champion Kento Yamawaki of La Costa Canyon sizes up an early putt. Ken Grosse

“That was a tough loss to CCA and when our coach talked to us before today’s match, he emphasized how important it was,” said Fioroni. “We played really well but when the other players’ scores came in, I was a little surprised at the margin of victory.” Falcon senior Alex Conley turned in a sterling 69 to snare the runner-up slot.

Facing a 7,200-yd. layout, Fioroni carded a bogey-free round, busting out a run of four consecutive birdies starting at No. 9. “We knew the course is pretty tough and pars would be good,” he said afterward. “It was a matter of being patient. I was aiming for the center of the green and waiting for the right times to try to score.”

Sporting a new club in his bag, Fioroni cited putting as the key to his success. “Two days ago I was in the pro shop and picked out this anchor putter and it felt good.

“I tried it out on the course against LCC and it was amazing how well I played. I’ll usually split my putts from the 6-to-10 ft. range—today I didn’t miss one. I think I’ll stick with it.”

For the second straight outing, freshman Luke Potter was the low scorer for Coach Casey Sovacool’s Mavericks, firing a two-under 70. Steady senior Kento Yamawaki, whose resume includes a CIF individual title as a sophomore, finished at 71. His take on the afternoon’s outcome was evenhanded.

“Everyone on our team could have played better, including me,” said Yamawaki, who was par-or-better on the first 11 holes before giving some strokes back on the second nine. “But they played great and had some guys that really clutched up.

“It was tough, we didn’t really know the course. Being at home can be a huge advantage. We’ll have a good chance to even next week.”

Torrey Pines is the defending San Diego CIF Division I champion, La Costa Canyon is the reigning Division II banner holder and the pair were 1-2 in last year’s combined standings although the Falcons had a 50-stroke advantage in the 36-hole competition.

Having the league championship on the line next Tuesday will be a big enough prize but Yamawaki feels there will be more to gain when the two schools square off next.

“If we break even with them in our two matches, we can win the league outright which is pretty important—that’s one of our goals this season,” said Yamawaki. “We won’t be competing directly at the San Diego CIF tournament but it will give us confidence for the CIF Regionals and State events. There’s still a lot of golf to play.”

Alex Conley
Senior Alex Conley was a key part of the Falcons' success Tuesday. Ken Grosse
Luke Potter
Firing a 70, freshman Luke Potter was LCC's low scorer. Ken Grosse

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