Jeeven Larson leads young Spartans on the links with 39 in first ESL tourney of 2019


By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

HANFORD – Strathmore’s Jeeven Larson has been close to achieving his biggest dream of qualifying for the state tournament by making it to the Southern California Regional Tournament. Each year he’s been close, but now a senior with one last chance he is leaving it all out on the links.

“That is the end goal, and of course the process to get there is really fun,” Larson said. “Just a little touching up at regionals, and I’ll be there.”

As a junior last season Larson had his best performance in the SoCal Regionals. He carded a two over par, 74, at Brookside Country Club in Pasadena.

While the score was ten strokes better than his previous performance at SoCal he was left with mixed emotions after he missed out on a nine-man playoff for two spots at state. He was happy he improved so much on one of the biggest stages in the state, but still was wondering what was next.

After the tournament Larson said, “After twelve holes I felt like I was going. It is definitely disappointing, but I still feel like I had a solid performance.”

Larson has always given studious attention to each aspect of his game. In past years it has feast or famine mindset. He knows his swing is in the correct position each time, but the constant analysis has caused him to freeze up. This season however, Larson believes his game is solid as it has ever been.

“My game is feeling very well rounded,” Larson said. “I don’t think there are many weak points.”

If Larson had to pick the area of his game where he had to make sure was spot on for SoCal it would be his putting. The attempts from six to eight feet to be precise.

Putting was the area which cost Larson a spot in the playoffs last season. On two separate occasions he missed two four foot birdie opportunities. Had he made both he would have automatically qualified for state.

On Monday, Larson’s putting, and short game was put to the test during the Strathmore Spartans first East Sequoia League mini-tournament at Kings Country Club in Hanford. Larson took second place after scoring three over par, 39.

Larson began the nine-hole tournament on the par-four ninth, and immediately faced a 10-foot putt to save par after his approach from 150 yards land short and left of the green. He made the uphill putt which bent a little to the left.

On Larson’s next hole, the par five first, he once again had a putt to save par. This time it was from five feet, and bent to his right. He was unable to convert as the ball fell off as it approached the hole resulting in a bogey.

Larson’s third hole of the round, the par-four second, another up-and-down chance to save par. This time his chip from the back of the green came to rest a foot away from the hole which he easily converted.

The Spartans scored a combined 290.

Strathmore’s head coach Eddie Green is pleased with how his team is coming along despite being young.

“The overall goal is always to win league or valley, but because we are so young we have some individual goals,” Green said.

Larson along with the Spartans’ number two player Chris Ferrer will be forced to carry the team. Ferrer, who shot a 51, hopes to join Larson at the regionals to cap off his senior season.

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