Zihao Jin of San Diego came from six strokes back in the final round to win the 122nd California State Open Championship by two strokes over Michael Block of Mission Viejo and Ryan Ellerbrock of San Diego at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta.
Jin, who recently finished his career at San Diego State by finishing third in the Mountain West Conference Championships, collected four birdies on the back nine in the final round to finish with a score of 65-73-69-66—273, 15-under-par.
“I was just playing my game this week and wanted to see what would happen,” said Jin, who also captured the 2015 American Junior Golf Association Golf Performance Center Championship and the 2020 Coronado City Amateur. “I really like the layout here at Bear Creek and I knew that I would have to make a run to catch up to Michael.
“I texted my caddie last night that it was time to make it happen in the final round, and that’s exactly what we did out there today.”
Block, who won the 2001 California State Open and the 2021 Southern California Match Play Championship among numerous other titles, carded a score of 70-65-66-74—275 to tie for second with Ellerbrock, who finished at 67-71-66-71—275.
Mason Glinski of Oxnard shot 69-70-67-70—276 to tie for fourth with Grant Booth of Scottsdale, Ariz., who wound up at 70-69-66-71—276, while Christian Rajcic of Ramona totaled 72-68-70-67—277 to tie for sixth with Josh Anderson of Grand Prairie, Tex., who shot 69-72-67-69—277, and Rico Hoey of Rancho Cucamonga was eighth at 70-72-69-67—278.
Ryan Abuan of Temecula was low amateur with a score of 66-73-71-69—279 and tied for ninth with James Song of Rancho Santa Fe, who finished at 76-67-69-67—279, Olin Browne Jr. of Hobe Sound, Fla., who wound up at 69-70-70-70—279 and Richard Lee of Phoenix, Ariz., who came in at 70-73-63-73—279.
Defending champion Matt Wilson of Costa Mesa tied for 28th at 71-73-71-71—286.
Other former winners of the California State Open include Walter Hagen in the second playing of the event in 1915, Willie Smith, Macdonald Smith, Willie Hunter, Horton Smith, Olin Dutra, George Von Elm, Tal Smith, Lloyd Mangrum, Gene Littler, Jerry Barber, Roger Maltbie, Kirk Triplett, Dennis Paulson, Jason Gore, Todd Demsey, Todd Fischer, Rex Caldwell and Jimmy Powell.
For complete results, https://scpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/scpga22/event/scpga2286/contest/1/leaderboard.htm