Kethan Reddy of Villa Park wins CIF-SS golf title

INDUSTRY—Kethan Reddy of Villa Park High School will look back at hole No. 11 and remember that’s where he clinched the Southern Section individual boys’ golf title.

Other competitors will recall the dogleg par five and think of the one that got away.

Reddy defeated Glen Lee of Valencia in a playoff Monday afternoon to win the section title at Industry Hills Golf Club, making par on No. 11 after long putts by Lee twice failed to stick on the upper tier of the green and made the slow roll back downhill.

Reddy and Lee were forced into a playoff after finishing with one-under par 70s on the hilly, tree-lined Zaharias Course, which yielded few birdie opportunities.

“I knew it was a tough day,” said Reddy, a junior who won his first AJGA event last month at Oak Valley in Beaumont. “I thought I had a chance at the top five or so, but I wasn’t really expecting to win. It’s a pleasure.”

Lee, a freshman, started his round on No. 12 and was four-under with four holes remaining, but bogeyed No. 8 and 9, birdied No. 10 and then finished with a double bogey on No. 11.

“I was hitting it really good, sticking it close to get birdies,” Lee said. “I feel like I choked.”

Reddy, meanwhile, began on No. 18, birdied No 2, double bogeyed No. 3 and then finished with a kick, scoring birdies on No. 15 and 16 before closing his round with a par.

“It was one of those days where you hit decent shots that turn out well,” Reddy said.

To settle the tie and determine an outright champion, Reddy and Lee were directed to hole No. 10 for a playoff. After each bogeyed the hole, they headed to No. 11.

Their first two shots landed in the same vicinity, but Lee’s approach from about 80 yards didn’t reach the upper tier of the green and rolled back down. Three putts later, he finally reached the upper level, but by then Reddy just needed to three-put from about 10 feet to win.

The 11thhole also proved to be the undoing for one of the pre-tournament favorites, Rico Hoey of Rancho Cucamonga, who shot a 67 last week to win the Central regional at Desert Willow in Palm Desert. Hoey arrived at No. 11 at one-under but scored a triple bogey and was not able to get back into contention, finishing with a 75.

“Everything just started going downhill,” he said. “It’s just golf, it’s frustrating.”

Another favorite, Jonathan Sanders of New Community Jewish in West Hills, double-bogeyed No. 11, rallied to birdie three of the final seven holes but finished two shots back of Reddy and Lee with a 72.

“I realized I needed a few birdies coming in,” he said.

Another player whose title hopes were done in by the back nine was Ryan Smith of Colton, who was three-under with eight holes remaining, but bogeyed 14, 15, 17 and 18 and finished with a 73.

“I fell apart at the end there but that’s the way it goes,” Smith said. “I missed a few short putts but I’m proud of myself.”

Reddy’s teammate at Villa Park, Ryan Tetrault, was one of two players to shoot 71. The other was John Lee of Los Alamitos.

The top 28 finishers advanced to the SCGA tournament May 31 at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena. The SCGA event also also serves as the qualifying event for the state championships. Check here for all the results from Industry Hills.