Fore! World-class golfers to descend on region later this month


Olympian High School’s Steven Deutsch finished third among amateurs at last October's San Diego County Open golf tournament. Photo courtesy Southern California PGA

The Farmers Insurance Open is coming to the Torrey Pines South Course Jan. 28-31. The purse is $7.5 million.

The event, one of the San Diego region’s sporting jewels, will be played without fans this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top golfers who have committed to play include Jason Day (2015 PGA Championship), Jason Dufner (2013 PGA Championship), Brooks Koepka (2017 U.S. Open, 2018 U.S. Open, 2018 PGA Championship, 2019 PGA Championship), Rory McIlroy (2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship, 2014 PGA Championship), Phil Mickelson (2004 Masters, 2005 PGA Championship, 2006 Masters, 2010 Masters, 2013 Open Championship), Francesco Molinari (2018 Open Championship), Louis Oosthuizen (2010 Open Championship), Adam Scott (2013 Masters), Bubba Watson (2012 Masters, 2014 Masters) and Gary Woodland (2019 U.S. Open).

The sport of golf has had fewer restrictions than other sports during the pandemic due to its format essentially fitting into current social distancing protocols (aside from spectator galleries).

Tournaments have been ongoing since the declaration of the pandemic shut down most of the sports world.

Chula Vista, specifically the Enagic Golf Club at Eastlake, was home to the 2020 San Diego County Open last Oct. 13-15.

The tournament, which featured college golfers, former PGA Tour players, Korn Ferry Tour players and a smattering of amateurs, made a revival after a 19-year hiatus.

The event is regarded as a stepping-stone to the next level. It was last played in 2001 and is one of California’s oldest events after being founded in 1929. Its star power includes Sam Snead (1943 champion), Gene Littler (1949 and 1952 champion) and Billy Casper (1953-54 champion).

Scott Piercy was the last golfer to win the San Diego County Open in 2001.

Bryan Gorman, who won the 1981 San Diego Section and Southern California regional titles while attending Hilltop High School, won the tournament three times: 1986, 1995 and 1996.

The Eastlake course has expanded its range to 6,960 yards with the addition of 11 new tees to make it a par 71.

Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills came out victorious after firing rounds of 69, 66 and 64 for a three-day total 14-under par 199 to leapfrog several strong competitors.

The three-time NCAA All-American at Pepperdine University started the final round three strokes behind round-two leader Josh Anderson of Murrieta. Theegala finished the tournament one stroke ahead of Yorba Linda’s Derek Castillo and Manny Manzone of Scottsdale, Ariz., recording eight birdies and one bogey on the final day to take home the $10,000 champion’s check.

The professional purse totaled $55,000.

Chula Vista’s Tamashiro Genki tied for fourth at 201 to pocket $2,535 while Chula Vista’s Ryan Ellerbrock, a two-time league champion at Hilltop High School, tied for 29th with a three-under par 210 to nab $550.

Chula Vista’s Tyler Torano finished tied for 34th at one-under 212.

Kento Yamawaki of Encinitas captured the amateur division title with a three-day total 12-under par 201.

Chula Vista’s Steven Deutsch, a senior at Olympian High School, finished third among amateurs with rounds of 71, 69 and 71 to end up at two-under par 211.

The San Diego County Open presented by Enagic will return to Enagic Golf Club at Eastlake in October.


San Diego Junior Golf Association 2021 season tees off at Singing Hills Golf Resort

The San Diego County Junior Golf Association’s winners in the Sean O’Hair Heritage event Jan. 10 at Singing Hills Golf Resort Willow Glen golf course included Jaden Hunter in the boys championship division and Taylor Riley in the girls championship division.

Hunter, 17, who Canyon Crest Academy, posted a 6-under-par 65 for a two-shot win over Phillip Kench (Del Mar).

Hunter shot a 4-under-par 32 on the front nine that featured five birdies including birdies on three straight holes (7-9). His round totaled seven birdies and only one bogey.

Besides starting off his 2021 season with a win, he carries over from a terrific 2020 season with four 10 finishes.

Kevin Jiang (San Diego) finished third with a score of 68, tied with David Zhang (San Diego) and Colin Li (San Diego). Shea Lague (Jamul) finished tied sixth with a score of 69, tied with Jay Leng, Jr. (San Diego) and Jacob Paule (Chula Vista). Philippe Yturralde (La Mesa) finished in a tie for ninth with Connor Williams (Escondido), Carlos Mattei (Chula Vista), William Ma (San Diego) and Tyler Kowach (San Diego), all with a score of 70.

Riley, 16, a Point Loma High School junior and daughter of PGA Tour veteran and current USD golf coach Chris Riley, posted a 1-under-par score of 70 for a one-shot win. This is her first victory in the SDJGA older division. Last year she posted five top 10 results.

Riley’s back-nine round featured two-birdies and then posting seven straight pars for the title.

Kayla Geng (San Diego) and Jiya Dalal (San Diego) finished in a tie for second place with a score of 71, Anna Davis (Spring Valley) followed in fourth place with a score of 71. Jasmine Leovao (Oceanside) placed fifth with a score of 74 while Andee Avery (Carlsbad), Lynn Pham (San Diego) and Annika Yturralde (La Mesa) tied for sixth place with a score of 75.

Chula Vista’s Melanie Reyes finished in a tie for 11th with a score of 77.

For more information on the San Diego County Junior Golf Association, visit the website at for all results and point standings.

Fore! World-class golfers to descend on region later this month