CADEN FIORONI PAINTS A MASTERPIECE
Caden Fioroni, UNLV, finished his week at San Diego CC as the only player to card four rounds under par, four rounds under 70, and four rounds that totaled up to 270 (-14). His final round 66 was good enough to set him an astonishing eight strokes clear of the field and to get his name etched on the same trophy as Tiger Woods.
There's no such thing as perfect golf, but Fioroni came as close as one can with a bogey-free 18 holes on Thursday that included three birdies and an eagle on No. 16 that sent the Chula Vista gallery into a frenzy.
Fioroni entered the final round with a two-shot lead that looked plenty in jeopardy after he three-putted for par from 15-feet on No. 2 while both his playing partners, Tyler Kowack and Ian Maspat made birdies. When the final grouping of the 123rd SCGA Amateur made their way to No. 3, Fioroni was clinging to a one-shot lead advantage and looking shaky at best.
But a load of grit lead to pars on Nos. 3 and 4 before Fioroni broke through for a birdie on the fifth to reestablish his two-shot lead. By the time the Rebel added another one at No. 8 he was three strokes clear of Maspat and would never let anyone closer.
Fioroni was in complete control his game hitting 9 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens. He kept a clean card with zero stress until the 15th hole when he left his approach short and duffed a chip that still didn't reach the green. Moments later he would bury a 12-footer with a Texas Wedge that would have made SDCC's Billy Casper proud.
It took Fioroni eight holes to finally one-putt. But on the back-nine he did it three straight times nailing the coffin closed on everyone else's chances of getting back into the championship.
Despite shooting in the 60's his first three rounds, Fioroni managed to save his best for last with a final round 66 that was capped off by a two-putt par to win the title. His trip around SDCC only took 31 putts on some of the fastest greens in Southern California.