Anthony Bonales had a two-day total of 157 while struggling to a 38th-place finish at the Modesto City Golf Championship last summer.
Bonales, a 2014 Central Valley graduate, exceeded his own expectations during his second appearance at the Modesto tourney.
Anthony topped 48 other competitors on his way to a first-place finish at the June 13-14 event.
"I've always wanted to win this tournament," Bonales said. "I didn't think I'd do it right after my first year of college. It definitely means a lot."
Bonales shot a 7-under-par 136 in the Championship Flight.
He finished two strokes ahead of Modesto's Patrick Burda (70-68-138).
Modesto's Marc Peterson (67-72-139) took third.
"It was nice to just be back home," Bonales said. "I just finished finals at school. I just focused on having fun."
Bonales closed with a 2-under-par at Dryden Park Golf Course on June 14.
Anthony had three birdies, including one on the 18th hole.
He parred the No. 16 and 17 holes.
"I had to go out there and be aggressive," Bonales said. "I didn't make any dumb mistakes. I knew it was going to be close. I didn't win by a lot. I played well when I needed to."
Bonales opened with a 5-under-par 67 at Creekside on June 13.
He had six birdies.
"I was in a good position going into the second day," said Bonales, who sat in a tie for first place atop the leaderboard.
Bonales was presented a trophy and $490 gift certificate that can be used at either of the golf course's pro shops.
"This is the second time I've played in it," Anthony said. "I didn't play very well last year. I wasn't expecting to win it. I played two solid rounds. My hard work paid off."
Bonales competed in 10 tournaments during his freshman year with the UC Riverside men's golf team.
"The most challenging part was getting used to the long days," Bonales said. "It was definitely a big adjustment. It was rigorous. I was really busy."
The Highlanders placed third at the Big West Conference Championship.
Bonales finished 27th with a 225.
Anthony tied for seventh (220) at the Santa Barbara Intercollegiate.
"It was nice to get a lot of playing time," Bonales said. "I played in every tournament. It was a big learning experience for me. We're a young team. I can't wait until sophomore year."
Bonales will participate in the US Amateur at Turlock Golf and Country Club next month.