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Golf Wilson

Wilson’s Ky Stopp Repeats As Moore League Boys’ Golf Individual Champion

The562’s coverage of Long Beach golf for the 2023 season is sponsored from Dan and Desiree Gooch.

After winning the Moore League Boys’ Golf Individual Final last year, Wilson’s Ky Stopp went to work on his mind and body in order to repeat the feat.

“It was a lot of mental reflection on my game and my demeanor on the course,” Stopp said. “It was also working out a lot. I was very skinny last year, and I still am skinny, but I’ve done a lot to push myself. It was grinding, positive mental self talk, hours at the golf course and hours in the gym. That’s stuff that champions are made of.”

Stopp reaped the benefits on Thursday at Skylinks Golf Course where he became the ninth boys’ golfer to repeat as Moore League individual champion. The senior won the four-day tournament by seven strokes.

“It just feels surreal,” Stopp said. “It’s one of the feelings not many people get to experience and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to experience that. I’m just proud of myself and grateful to be here and be able to share these memories with the people I love.”

“I’m just so impressed with Ky, he set a goal at the beginning of the year to put his name on (the trophy) twice and to watch him achieve it was pretty awesome,” Wilson coach Paul Henry said.

Stopp had a comfortable lead headed into the final round, but that came after he had a tough second round at El Dorado Park Golf Course on Tuesday. Instead of that derailing him, Stopp bounced back with a great third round at Recreation Park Golf Course on Wednesday to pad his lead.

“I was very patient,” Stopp said. “Last year was a lot closer because I got impatient. I tried to force a lot of things. This year I just stayed patient and if it happened, it happened.”

It’s also impressive that Stopp was able to perform in front of a sizable gallery that drove and walked the course with the final group. He even had support from LBUSD Sheriff Sgt. Stephen Okabe who met Stopp on campus a few years ago. They became friends and have played golf together, where Okabe said Stopp has given him some valuable pointers.

“He managed his emotions,” Henry said of Stopp. “He knew exactly what he needed to do this week, and when he had a bogey he didn’t get too wound up about it. He really controlled himself and stayed even keel.”

Stopp and Henry agreed that playing in the final group with Wilson teammates Bryson Barnes and Jet Adame helped all of the Bruins golfers.

“There were a couple times when they were all a little down, they get some strong emotions out there, but then they start cracking jokes with each other and it helps them,” Henry said. “It’s definitely an advantage for Ky to have two of his best friends out there with him.”

“It’s just great memories, and it doesn’t get any better than high school sports, especially winning,” Stopp said. “But winning around the people you compete against, who you know are also very good and respect you, that means a lot. It’s just incredible.”

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Henry added that he’s not surprised that his top three golfers have pushed each other to be better as the season comes to a close. Stopp finished with a four-round score of 288 with Barnes behind him at 295 and Adame in third at 297.

“They’re very competitive with each other,” he said. “There’s a lot of bragging rights on the line. It’s not atypical for them to finish a head-to-head nine hole match and then tell me, ‘Coach, we’re going to the back nine,’ and then the next day I get to hear about how competitive it was. I think the fact they’re measured by each other's games is a key to their success.”

This is the second year in a row that those three Wilson golfers and Long Beach Poly’s Nathan Brava-Partain were the last foursome for the final round. Brava-Partain finished fourth at 305.

Millikan golfers Jake Cammarata (5th, 309) Zach Wood (312, 6th) and Tyler Lao (321, 8th) also qualified for the CIF Southern Section postseason that starts on Monday with the regional at Los Serranos Golf Course.

After the medal ceremony, Stopp took a moment to make a speech and bring up people who he wanted to share the accomplishment with including Barnes, Adame and his dad.

“(My dad) always taught me to work hard and be humble and be honorable and put my best foot forward always, and my whole life I just wanted to make him proud,” Stopp said.

VIDEO: Moore League Boys’ Golf Individual Final
PHOTOS: Moore League Boys’ Golf Individual Final

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.