Derek Ackerman needed just one more round of even-par golf to claim a title at the 85th annual NCGA Junior Championships on Tuesday at Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach.
Holding a one-stroke lead after 36 holes, Ackerman shot a final round of 4-over 76 and finished in a two-way tie at second. His 54-hole effort of 70-71-76 gave him a 217 total.
Ackerman was still in good shape after 15 holes with a 4-under total. At the 454-yard, par-4 16th hole, however, Ackerman send his tee shot into the trees and struggled to a triple-bogey 7 and dropped to 1-under for the tournament. He followed that with a bogey on the 312-yard, par-4 17th and a bogey on the 387-yard, par-4 18th to finish 1-over for the tournament.
As Ackerman faltered, San Jose's Justin Suh took advantage -- barely. He was 3-under heading into the final three holes before suffering bogeys at 17 and 18 to finish with a 1-over 73 and 1-under for the tournament at 72-70-73-215.
Ackerman had six birdies in the first round -- all coming back to back -- to counter four bogeys. In his second round, Ackerman, who advanced to this year's CIF Boys' State Championships, was more steady, posting two birdies to go with one bogey and 15 pars.
Suh, who won the state individual crown and followed that up with a win at the Santa Clara County Championship, was solid in both of his rounds. Over his first 36 holes, he penciled in six birdies and 26 pars with just four bogeys.
Recent Sacred Heart Prep grad Bradley Knox, who will play for Stanford this fall, finished in a two-way tie for 12th at 224 following rounds of 78-74-72. Fellow Menlo Park resident and SHP teammate Bradley Keller shot 78-74-77 to finish in a tie for 21st at 229.
In the girls' division, Stephanie Yu of Palo Alto was tied for sixth after an opening round of 7-over 79. She finished in a four-way tie for 10th after shooting a 10-over 82 on Tuesday.
Next up for Ackerman will be the JGANC/NCGA NorCal Players Championship this week at Rancho Canada GC in Carmel Valley, followed by a U.S. Amateur qualifying tourney on Monday at Castlewood County Club in Pleasanton.
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