STOCKTON — Hilmar High sophomore Landon Azevedo did not reach his goal Monday at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Golf Championships.
His 2-over-par 74 (34-40) was four strokes too high to qualify outright for the Northern California Championships next week at Diablo Grande. But look at it another way: Only 13 players, from a field of 118, scored better in the section's most important tournament.
Conclusion: Azevedo is an up-and-coming star.
"I felt pretty good," he said later. "It was just one of those days mainly a lot of course knowledge."
Golf observers recognize Azevedo's progress, starting with his four-stroke improvement from last year's Masters as a freshman.
He's matched par 72 twice in recent weeks at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp in the Trans-Valley League tournament and at Stevinson Ranch, his home turf, en route to medalist honors last week at the Section Division 5.
Azevedo was further encouraged by a pair of 70s in practice rounds at The Reserve at Spanos Park.
But on the big day, he bogeyed his first three holes at the 12th, 13th and 14th and fought uphill the rest of the round.
To his credit, he rallied for birdies at the first, fifth and sixth.
Though not enough, Azevedo already looks forward to his final two seasons. For now, he plans a busy summer on the Junior Golf Association of Northern California circuit.
"I had a good run on the back side," he said. "I have two more years to make it (to NorCals)."