a magnificent run to cap a four-year career at Flintridge Prep.
Ross wanted his grandson to win the 35th annual CIF/Southern
California Golf Assn. final, which took place June 2. Kanda adhered
to his grandfather's request by winning the prestigious tournament
that had been previously won by Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Kanda never lost sight of the initials each time he teed off or
drained a put on the unpredictable greens, helping him cap a run that
no other area high school golfer had accomplished. He carded a
six-under-par 66 to win the individual championship by one stroke at
the SCGA Golf Course in Murrieta.
"My grandfather definitely had something to do with me winning,"
said Kanda, who was selected for the second consecutive year as the
All-Area Golfer of the Year by the sportswriters and editors of the
Glendale News-Press, Foothill Leader and Burbank Leader. "I went over
to see him [before he died] and he wanted me to win that tournament.
"He was an inspiration for me, so I wanted to initial all of the
balls. I knew he'd be watching me.
"Just by looking at the names on the trophy [after winning the
CIF/Southern California Golf Assn. final], words couldn't describe
it. It was awesome, but I couldn't think about it too long because I
had to focus on the state tournament."
Kanda, a La Crescenta resident, had a lot going for him and
channeled his emotions surrounding his grandfather's death.
The 18-year-old rallied from two strokes down with two holes
remaining to win a second straight Prep League individual
championship at Pasadena's Brookside Golf Course No. 2 on May 5.
Kanda, who will attend UNLV in the fall, then shot a three-under-par
69 to tie for third at the Southern Section Boys' Golf Individual
Championship at Canyon Country Club in Palm Springs on May 23.
After Kanda captured the Southern California championship in
Murrieta, he fired an even-par 72 to finish sixth at the
CIF-California Golf Assn. State Championship at Poppy Hills Golf
Course in Pebble Beach on June 8.
Veteran Flintridge Prep Coach Bob Loughrie watched the development
of former Flintridge Prep standouts Russell Surber and Jeff Osborn.