the back nine on Costa Mesa Golf & Country Club's Mesa Linda course
en route to a startling 9-under-par 26 on that side. His 6-under 64
edged Newport Harbor golfer Justin Morehead by three shots to claim
the boys 16-17 division.
Exon's scorecard for holes 14-16 read: 3-2-2.
He hit driver-4-iron to within a foot on the par-5, 475-yard 14th;
drove the green on the 268-yard, par-4 15th within seven feet and
made the putt; and hit driver to 25 feet of the cup on the par-4,
278-yard 16th. Exon, who will be a senior at Woodbridge High this
fall, knocked in the 25-foot, left-to-right breaker.
He said he was just trying to two-putt.
Exon's back nine also included four birdies with a bogey 5 on the
18th. His previous low for nine holes was 31.
Exon's scintillating streak drew laughs and high-fives from his
playing partners, which included Santa Ana Country Club member Scott
"I've made eagles before, one or two in tournaments, but I never
expected [to tally three straight]," said Exon, younger brother of
former Woodbridge tennis standout Elizabeth Exon.
Exon said putting and accuracy off the tee fuel his game, but
added he didn't change his swing before stepping to the fateful
"I took a normal swing and hit the best drives of the day," he
Lessons the last two years with Mesa Verde head professional Tom
Sargent have aided Exon's rise. Exon said he spends six days a week
practicing or playing at Mesa Verde.
"[Sargent] has helped me]," said Exon, who started playing golf
five years ago. "I'm so much longer off the tee because of him."
Sargent, the 1997 PGA of America Professional of the Year who
served 17 years as Yorba Linda Country Club's head pro before coming
to Mesa Verde in 1995, said Exon's feat was rare.
"I've never heard of anyone doing that and I've been reading most
of the golf magazines for a long time," Sargent said.
Four days before his Costa Mesa triumph, Exon claimed the boys
division title by one stroke at the Junior Amateur Golf Scholars'
Jack and Madaline Hooper Memorial tournament at California Country
Club in Whittier. Exon shot even par for two rounds.
He considers the Costa Mesa victory his biggest yet because of the
unexpected back nine bliss.
"It was so random," Exon said.
Exon's game of late, though, is molding into a successful pattern.