Collin Morikawa officially cemented himself as one of the top professional golfers in the world last Sunday by claiming the PGA Championship, the first major title of his career. The La Cañada Flintridge native finished 13-under par to earn his third PGA Tour victory since turning pro in July 2019. Benefits from a PGA Championship include total prize money of $1.98 million, lifetime exemption into the tournament and five-year exemptions into the Masters, U.S. Open, The Open and PGA Tour. “It’s amazing. It’s been a life goal, obviously, as a little kid to kind of watch everyone grow up, all these professionals,” Morikawa told CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz after the win. “And this is what I always wanted to do.” Morikawa, who graduated from La Cañada High School in 2015, shot up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings and is currently fifth in the official world golf ranking behind Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson. At 23 years, six months and three days, he became the third-youngest player since World War II to win the tournament behind legend Jack Nicklaus and McIlroy.
The legend of La Cañada Flintridge resident Andre Henry continues to grow as the recent St. Francis High School graduate earned one of the most prestigious high school basketball awards.
The UC Irvine-bound standout is now associated with an honor named for another legend after being selected as the John R. Wooden CIF Southern Section Division II Player of the Year last Friday. Other notable winners include Chatsworth Sierra Canyon’s Ziaire Williams, who committed to play at Stanford, and Lakewood Mayfair’s Josh Christopher, who will continue his career at Arizona State. Both were considered five-star recruits.
“I feel like I was recognized with future pros,” he said. “Those guys are future NBA players. I would say it is one of the biggest highlights of my high school career.
“Honestly, this is huge for me. I just feel like all the hard work I put in finally paid off and I got the recognition. It’s a huge honor to have my name in the same sentence as [John Wooden]. Some would argue he’s the greatest coach ever in any sport. It’s a dream come true. I’m truly speechless. Continue reading “Local Basketball Star Wins Player of the Year Award”
The California Interscholastic Federation released its much-anticipated revised high school athletics calendar for the 2020-21 year, announcing a two-season format scheduled to begin in December.
CIF State, the governing body for prep sports in California, announced its schedule for section playoffs and state tournaments on Monday morning. Soon after, the Southern Section, the largest section in the state with 566 member schools, released a calendar that gives student-athletes an opportunity to play “90% to 100%” of a normal season, according to CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod.
“The reason for [the two-season format] was to help with the overlap of sports and trying to have some separation between two seasons to allow for dual-sport athletes, for coaches that coach more than one sport and for maximizing the utilization of school facilities,” Wigod said in a press conference on Monday. Continue reading “High School Sports Delayed Until December in CIF’s New Calendar”
Swimmer Douglas Nogueira is no stranger to adversity, in or out of the pool.
The former UC Santa Barbara competitor dealt with fires and mudslides when he lived near campus and, most recently, joined others in enduring a pandemic that forced schools throughout the state to cancel in-person commencement ceremonies — including his, which was held virtually.
“It was definitely bittersweet,” Nogueira, a St. Francis High School alumnus who graduated from UCSB as one of the best in the swimming program, said of the shutdown. “I remember that weekend in March when it all went down. I wasn’t really sure how it would go. Some people were cool and many were upset. I was indifferent. I go with the flow.”
Those challenges prepared Nogueira for his biggest one yet — the postponement of the Olympic Team Trials. The event, expected to feature more than 1,200 swimmers, was supposed to take place in Omaha, Nebraska, last month but was rescheduled for June 13-20, 2021.
The former Gaucho had qualified in the 100-meter backstroke and 200 individual medley and really hoped to accomplish his dream of competing in the Tokyo Summer Games, which will now take place in 2021 instead of this year. Continue reading “Swimmer Nogueira Keeps His Olympic Dream Alive”
Collin Morikawa wasn’t the only La Cañada High School alum to make headlines on Sunday.
David Lipsky took a significant step toward competing on the PGA Tour by winning the TPC San Antonio Challenge at the Canyons. The 2006 LCHS graduate finished 25-under par, four shots above Taylor Pendrith, to earn his first victory on the Korn Ferry Tour.
“Honestly, it’s been such an amazing week,” he said. “All parts of my game were clicking.”
A PGA Tour card for next season is the ultimate goal for Lipsky, who had never won a tournament in the United States as a pro. He won the Omega European Masters in 2014 and claimed the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which is played in South Africa, two years ago. Continue reading “Ex-LCHS Golfer Lipsky Savors a Texas Triumph”
Two weeks removed from missing the cut for the first time in his PGA Tour career, Collin Morikawa was ready to pick himself up in the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
“We’ve got a few more weeks left of the full regular season until the playoffs, and after that missed cut, I learned a lot,” he said. “I came out fresh, I had a nice week off, and I’m ready. I’m ready to compete with these guys.”
The La Cañada High School graduate proved he wasn’t fazed by his previous struggles and rallied to defeat Justin Thomas after three playoff holes on Sunday. Morikawa, who had lost a playoff one month ago, claimed his second PGA Tour championship with a par on the final hole. Continue reading “LCHS Grad Morikawa Wins Golf Tournament, $1.1 Million”
The boys’ basketball season came to an end two months ago but St. Francis High School standout Andre Henry is still garnering accolades from his impressive senior campaign.
The La Cañada Flintridge resident, who earned All-CIF Division 2 first-team honors, was recently named the state’s Division II player of the year by Cal-Hi Sports, an online publication that covers high school athletics in California.
“When you have him on your team, it makes your heart rate go down a bit,” Golden Knights head coach Todd Wolfson praised after clinching the CIF State Southern Regional championship with a 53-44 victory over Eastvale Roosevelt on March 17. “I trust him. He’s been here four years and built this thing with us.” Continue reading “Local Basketball Star Recognized as State Divisional Player of Year”
The La Cañada High School softball program is consistently of the most competitive in the San Gabriel Valley, a tendency that was cemented 25 years ago when the Spartans claimed their first CIF Southern Section championship with a 2-0 victory over San Bernardino Cajon in the Division 4 final.
“It was a very exciting time,” said former first baseman Jacki Asplund, who earned All-CIF, All-State and co-Rio Hondo League MVP honors following La Cañada’s winning season. “We had lost my junior year. Our goal was to win it my senior year. It was the ultimate goal, and we worked really hard for it. We just had a great group of girls that got along. We had everything we needed to be a winning team with our talent and commitment.” Continue reading “LCHS Captured 1st CIF Softball Championship 25 Years Ago”
The Flintridge Prep varsity girls’ water polo team edged No. 4-seeded Marina of Huntington Beach in the majority of statistics but struggled to get the ball into the back of the net last Saturday, as the Rebels fell to the Vikings, 6-4, in the CIF Southern Section Division 6 championship game at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine. Continue reading “Flintridge Prep Suffers 2nd Straight CIF Finals Loss”