The Eagles showed that they can play with best of the best out at the Champions Invitational, an annual high school tournament that touts former winners of Jordan Speith, Rickie Fowler, Colin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris, and Patrick Cantalay just to name a few. The tournament brings in some of the best high school golfers from all over the country, and puts them all together in Palm Springs for 54 holes of tough tournament golf. This year the tournament was held at Tahquitz Creek, and SFC posted its best finish ever in the event for the history of the program.
Charlie Hayes St-Clair, Luke Bailey, Connor Melehan, Maddox Ott, and Gavin Bostrom represented SFC in the tournament this year, and posted team scores of 300, 302, and 301 for a 3 round total of 903, placing them in 17th in the 45 team field. The strokes and place were both lows for the team whose previous low was 931 and best finish being 20th overall. While the second round score of 302 was the highest of the three, it might have been their most impressive round, playing in 30-40 mph winds. The boys never had to count a score over 80 for the 3 rounds, playing great team golf.
While going out and playing well as a team was the top priority, Junior Luke Bailey continued his impressive season, and put himself in position to add his name to the list with the current PGA tour pros to have won the Champions Invitational. Bailey started the tournament with a five under par (-5) opening round of 67. The score of 67 takes over the top spot as the program's lowest tournament round, previously held by Nick Cable, who boasted a round of 69 at CIF Finals in 2017.
Heading back out for the afternoon 18, Bailey fired a one over par (+1) 72 in the howling winds. The elements caused a rise in all the scores, and Bailey went to bed one shot off the lead and in the proverbial "final group" the next day. Opening his third round with a birdie meant Bailey was tied for the lead with 17 holes to go, playing in the same group with his biggest competition for the tournament. While Luke played a great round, he was stuck in neutral for most of the day, and finished his round with a one under par (-1) 70 and just couldn't get his round going to hand with Kush Arora from Amador Valley (Pleasanton, CA), shooting a six under par (-6) 65. Even though Bailey couldn't get going, he certainly didn't fall down the leaderboard, and finished the tournament in a tie for 3rd, placing him on the all tournament team.
The Champions Invitational was a big success for the Eagles, and they will look to build on that form after easter break and into CIF Finals at the end of the year.
Final Individual Results (out of 248 players)
Luke Bailey - 209 (-5) T3
Charlie Hayes StClair - 222 (+8) T49
Maddox Ott - 235 (+21) T136
Gavin Bostrom - 239 (+25) T158
Connor Melehan - 258 (+44) T226