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Capistrano Valley Christian senior Luke Powell closed his high school golf career in transcendent fashion on Wednesday, May 31.
Powell surged with birdies on five of six holes from No. 9 to No. 14 to catapult into the lead and capture the CIF State Championship with a 7-under-par 64 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.
“My putter got really hot,” Powell told the Southern California Golf Association. “I had this as a goal since the first event of the season. It’s been a lot of hard work.”
The UCLA-bound senior shot a combined 25-under-par across four CIF postseason events, and his state-title card of a 7-under-par 64 was one shot off the CIF State Championship record set by current PGA Tour professional Rickie Fowler, who shot an 8-under 64 for Murrieta Valley in 2006 at the Santa Maria Country Club.
Over the course of the CIF postseason, Powell shot a 7-under-par 67 to win the CIF-SS Southern Regional, a 5-under 67 to finish third at the CIF-SS Championships and a 6-under 68 at the CIF/SCGA SoCal Regional before winning the state title.
Powell gave early indications he was in for a huge day with a birdie on the par-4 No. 3 and nailing an eagle on the par-5 No. 4, which put him in a tie for first at that point.
Powell then hit par on the next four holes before rolling in a birdie on the par-5 No. 9 to sit one shot off the leader after the front nine.
Powell then locked in after the turn to string together four consecutive birdies from No. 9 to No. 12, including the par-3 No. 11. Powell sank another birdie on the par-4 No. 14 to reach that Rickie Fowler mark of 8-under par and take a solo three-shot lead with four holes to play.
Powell had only one stumble on the day with a bogey on the par-3 No. 17 to fall just off that record mark, but with another par to round out the scorecard, Powell captured the CIF State Championship.
Powell won the title by two strokes over Joshua Kim of back-to-back team-champion De La Salle of Concord and Kush Arora of Amador Valley.