Nat Young, of Santa Cruz, Calif., surfs during his heat of the Nike Lowers Pro on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at Lowers Trestles near San Clemente, Calif. (AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Mark Rightmire)

Santa Cruz pro surfer Nat Young ripped his way into the Round of 16 by winning an non-elimination round of the Nike Lowers Pro at Lower Trestles in San Clemente on Thursday.

Young came bursting out of the gate so to speak, capturing a nine-point wave on his first ride in his Round of 24 heat against Hawaii’s Sebastien Zietz and Brazil’s Tomas Hermes. He didn’t look back from there, catching 10 waves in the heat with his top two combining for a 17.17 total (which was a win by 3.31 points).

Zietz placed second with 13.86 points and Hermes placed third with 13.26 points. They will advance to the second Round of 24 heat, which is a man vs. man elimination heat.

Young’s win secured him a spot in the Round of 16, where he will go head-to-head against a surfer to be determined.

The event streams live at the Nike Lowers Pro site. The Nike Lowers Pro is an Association of Surfing Professionals-sanctioned event.

— Christina Gullickson, on Twitter @CGullTweets