Andre De Decker of Menlo Park held off hard-charging Mario Beltran of Miami by three strokes to win the 119th California State Open at Maderas Golf Club in Poway.
De Decker led virtually from wire-to-wire after his opening 63, which tied the tournament record held by Charley Hoffman, who went from Poway and UNLV to the PGA Tour.
The 28-year-old De Decker carded a score of 63-71-72-71—277, 11-under-par, followed by Beltran at 69-71-76-64—280, Justin De Los Santos of Chatsworth at 72-69-75-65—281 and 1994 winner Jeff Hart of Solana Beach at 74-70-72-66—282.
De Decker was one-over for the first seven holes in the final round before turning things around a birdie on the eighth and a par-saving 15-footer at No. 9. The he holed a clutch 10-foot birdie putt at No. 15 and virtually wrapped things up with a tricky, downhill five-footer for birdie on the next hole.
Beltran’s closing bogey-free 64 included six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 eighth hole.
Two-time defending champion David Gazzolo of Riverside shot 68-70-76-69—283 to tie for fifth with Daniel Miernicki of Santee, who finished at 75-69-67-72—283.
Franklin Huang of Poway, who recently finished his career at Stanford, totaled 74-72-70-68—284 to tie for seventh with Kenny Pigman of Norco (74-69-71-70—284), Josh Anderson of Murrieta (72-73-69-70—284), Eric Ash of Phoenix (72-70-70-72—284), Kelby Scharmann of Trabuco Canyon (70-72-68-74—284) and Samuel Cyr of La Jolla (72-67-71-74—284).
Cyr had seven birdies in the first 11 holes of the final round, but stumbled down the stretch with consecutive double bogeys.
Former champions include Walter Hagen, who won the second Cal State Open in 1915, Jim Barnes, MacDonald Smith, Willie Hunter, George Van Elm, Olin Dutra, Johnny Dawson in the early years, and Dutch Harrison, Lloyd Mangrum, Gene Littler, Jerry Barber, Roger Maltbie, Kirk Triplett, Jason Gore, Todd Demsey and Todd Fischer since 1950.
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