Chip shots around the Newport-Mesa golf scene …
• Two-time Costa Mesa City Championship runner-up Ryan Knapp, who regained his amateur status earlier this year, is returning to the field for the 45th annual golf extravaganza Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6, at Costa Mesa Country Club.
Knapp, who works for a bank full-time, has been swinging the clubs well lately, causing some to wonder why he stopped playing on the professional mini tours after 1½ years, according to his affable father, Bob. His younger brother, Jake, plays on the PGA Tour and earned medalist honors in May at the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada USA West No. 2 Qualifying School.
Ryan Knapp, 26, played at Estancia High, Orange Coast College and UC Irvine, and qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in 2014. It would be quite a story if Knapp captured the 2017 Costs Mesa title, also known as the Will Jordan Classic.
While in college, Knapp, who grew up playing Costa Mesa, placed second in the 2009 and 2012 Costa Mesa City Championships. He was fourth in 2011.
Golfers play 18 holes each on the two public courses, the par-72 Los Lagos Course and the par-70 Mesa Linda Course. Hand carts and caddies are allowed and golfers tee off at 6 a.m. each day. There is also a Senior Division for players 50 and over. In addition to the golf course currently playing in its best condition in years, golf course management tries to make the layout challenging.
“We do everything we can to make the golf course as tough as possible,” said Danny Lane of Mesa Verde Partners, which operates the golf courses.
Past champions at Costa Mesa include Mark O’Meara (1979) and then-USC great Scott Simpson (1974). O’Meara won the Masters and British Open in 1998, and Simpson won the 1987 U.S. Open.
• As local private country clubs upgrade golf course and building facilities and compete for families and members, equity-owned Mesa Verde Country Club is the latest to announce plans for major…