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109th Annual NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship

Spyglass Hill GC
August 13-17, 2012

August 17, 2012

Stroke Play Results – Match Play Bracket – Match Play Results

by Spencer Sorensen

2012 NCGA Amateur Champion: Jake Yount

PEBBLE BEACH – Given the spectacular nature of Spyglass Hill’s first five holes, it might come as a surprise that NCGA Amateur Match Play Champion Jake Yount now has a special affinity for the iconic course’s back nine.

The champion made do this week by playing his best golf on Spyglass Hill’s final nine. In his four matches leading up to the 36-hole final, Yount trailed early in three of the four before making a move on the back nine to finish off his opponents. Friday told a different story, though, as Yount got off to a quick start and cruised to the finish line, winning 6 & 4 over Eric Ash.

“I got off to a great start,” said Yount. “That really set the tone early.”

On the second hole of the match, when it took Ash five shots to get on the green after hitting two poor chip shots, the Blackhawk CC member took a 1-up lead and would maintain it the rest of the day. By the end of the seventh hole Ash was 3 down due to more trouble, having hit his approach on the sixth hole into the greenside bunker and on the seventh hitting his drive beside a tree that hindered his swing. Ash looked to get back in the match briefly when he hit his approach shot on No. 8 to four feet for a birdie and found himself 2 down. However, he then took a bogey on ninth when his ball failed to get to the fairway after it clipped a tree on his tee shot. Making the turn at 3 down, Ash continued to get into trouble, while Yount continued to play steady hitting lots of fairways and greens.

“[Once I took the lead] my goal was only to get beat by birdies,” said the 25-year-old tech salesman, who finished the front nine with eight pars and one bogey.

2012 NCGA Amateur Match Play Runner-up: Eric Ash

Playing from behind, Ash took an aggressive line on his tee shot towards the flagstick on the 12th hole, which would end up in the water to go 4 down. Then, on the 13th hole, the 19-year-old would hook his drive left out of bounds, and suddenly he found himself 5 down. On the par-3 15th, Yount hit his tee shot to 15 feet and made his only holed birdie of the day to go 6 up, which is where the match would stand after the first 18.

“On this golf course, [it seems] pars always win,” said Yount, who made 16 of them over his opening 18 holes.

The second 18, the Loomis native would hang tough and actually win more holes than Yount—winning four holes to Yount’s three—but by then he was running out of opportunities.

“It’s was definitely too little too late,” said the rising sophomore at Sonoma State. “I really dug myself a big hole at the start, so I knew it was going to be tough to comeback.”

2012 NCGA Amateur Champion: Jake Yount

Interestingly enough, Yount accomplished a lot of firsts this week. For one this was the first NCGA Amateur Match Play he has competed in, although he had qualified for one previously in 2005, he pulled out after qualifying for the U.S. Amateur that year. Second, this is the first trophy he will have his name engraved on. From a historic perspective Yount became the first mid-amateur to win the event since Matt Bettencourt won in 2001. But maybe the most interesting first of all was that this was Yount’s first time playing all 18 holes at Spyglass Hill GC.

Yount had only played nine holes before at the Robert Trent Jones Sr. design as high school junior, nearly a decade ago, but it proved not to matter as Yount navigated his way around the course like a weekly regular to win the 109th NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship.

“I rolled up here on Monday morning and had to start off the 10th tee, which was the first time I saw the back nine,” he said. “I had talked to a lot of people about how to play it, but I kind of blind-eyed it and stared at my yardage book a lot.”

Already Yount will be looking to defend his title in next year’s championship.

“It feel’s great [to win],” he said. “I look forward to next year and giving it another go.”

Final Match Video

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August 16, 2012

Match Play Bracket – Match Play Results

by Spencer Sorensen

Jake Yount on the eighth green in his Thursday quarterfinal match.

PEBBLE BEACH – The finals are set for the 109th NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship. Alamo’s Jake Yount, a 25-year-old mid-amateur, will take on 19-year-old Eric Ash of Loomis beginning Friday at 7:00 a.m., with the 36-hole match wrapping up tomorrow by mid-afternoon.

Both players’ semifinal matches wrapped up within minutes of each other as they both had to go the full 18 holes in order to advance. Yount’s match with fellow mid-amateur Danny Paniccia was controlled by Paniccia the entire front nine, with the Clovis resident taking a 1-up lead after the first hole and then a 2-up lead after making a birdie on the tough par-4 eighth hole. However, three of the next five holes went in Yount’s favor, squaring the match after making par on the 13th hole. Two holes later on the par-3 15th the Alamo resident took his first lead when Paniccia missed a five-foot par putt. The following hole, Yount returned the favor by also missing a five-footer to save par, which squared the match. After halving the 17th with pars, Yount played two well executed shots on No. 18, leaving himself with a 12-foot birdie putt that he admittedly “lagged” after Paniccia was in the hole with bogey.

“I just stuck to the process and made two good swings [on No. 18], and that was enough to get it done,” said Yount of his finish.

Eric Ash on the eighth tee in his quarterfinal match Thursday.

Similar to Yount’s match, Ash also hit two exceptional shots on the 18th to beat his semifinal opponent Mac McClung. Coming into the 18th hole all square after letting McClung back into the match with a bogey on the 17th, Ash hit his drive down the middle and then hit his approach shot to within four feet of the hole. However, the match wasn’t over as McClung had a birdie putt from about 25 feet that he missed with too little break. Ash then converted his right-to-left downhill birdie putt to take a 1-up victory.

“I was hoping I hit my approach shot to [within] an inch, but I felt pretty good about the putt because it was right-to-left and I love those [putts],” he said.

Ash looked like he might have ended the match much earlier taking a 3-up lead after 10 holes. But he would concede the 11th hole when he tried to “outdo” McClung’s approach shot and lose the 12th when McClung birdied to have his lead cut to 1 up. When he lost the par-3 15th due to a bogey making the match all square, Ash found himself in an unfamiliar place.

“I was a little nervous going into [No.] 16 because every match before, I had a 1 up lead going into it,” said Ash.

The two finalists both have displayed exceptional golf this entire week. If Yount were to win he’d be the first mid-amateur to win the event since Matt Bettencourt in 2001. The tech salesman played his collegiate golf at University of San Diego and has never played in the NCGA Match Play Championship before. He knows not to deviate too much from what he’s been doing this entire week.

“I just need to stick to my game plan,” said Yount. “It’s definitely a ball striker’s course and I’m hitting the ball well, so I need to just hit greens and hope the putts fall.”

Ash will be a sophomore at Sonoma State this coming fall and he’s had some success in NCGA events previously as he finished runner-up in last year’s NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

Ash’s plans were simple for Thursday night, although he admitted his swing has been failing him late in matches. “I’m going to get some rest and figure out my swing, but nothing out of the ordinary,” he said.


Danny Paniccia makes a birdie putt on the par-5 11th as Sebastian Crampton looks on.

Quarterfinal matches took place Thursday morning with two of four going extra holes. In the opening match between 16-year-old Sebastian Crampton and 35-year-old Paniccia, neither player ever took complete control of the match. Crampton took an early 2 up lead after seven holes, but that ended quickly with Paniccia winning the eighth. Paniccia took his only lead of the match after winning the 13th hole due to a Crampton bogey, but after hitting his tee shot out of bounds on No. 16, Paniccia was once again 1 down. Paniccia sank a 12-foot birdie on the 18th hole to force extra holes and after the two halved the par-5 first hole for the second time in a three and a half hour span, Paniccia drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second hole to claim a victory in 20 holes.

The other match to go extra holes in the morning included finalist Eric Ash and 16-year-old Maverick McNealy. The match remained 1 up or all square for the first 13 holes until Ash took a 2 up lead on No. 14 after McNealy hit his third shot into the water to take a bogey-6. McNealy would come back though winning Nos. 15 and 17 with birdies to square the match. On the 19th hole, McNealy would hit his approach shot into one of the many bunkers surrounding the first green, while Ash got on the green in regulation for a two-putt par to win.

Jake Yount had the biggest margin-of-victory not only in the morning, but of the entire day as he faced off against two-time runner-up in this event Scott Hardy. Making the turn at all square, Yount would go on to win holes 11, 12, 14 and 15 to win by a final of 4 & 3.

“The back nine has been favorable to me,” explained Yount after his two matches on Thursday.

Mac McClung of Fremont beat Grant Rappleye of Elk Grove in third match to tee off Thursday morning. Rappleye had a 1-up lead on three of the first six holes, but McClung would go on to win four straight holes on Nos. 7-10 to go 3 up in the match. The dagger of that stretch had to be when McClung chipped-in for birdie on the par-4 10th hole, when it looked like Rappleye may get back into the match as he had left himself a 15 foot birdie putt, which he’d go on to miss. The final margin was 4 & 2 in McClung’s favor.


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August 15, 2012

Match Play Bracket – Match Play Results

by Spencer Sorensen

Maverick McNealy, the No. 3 seed tees off on the 16th hole Wednesday

PEBBLE BEACH – Eight players remain after Wednesday’s first two rounds of match play and the field proves to be plenty diverse. Of the eight that remain two are mid-30s, two are only 16-years-old and the remaining four players range between the ages of 19 and 25.

Danny Paniccia, the No. 5 seed, was the first to advance through to the quarterfinals, winning his afternoon match rather easily beating Matthew Miller 4 & 3. The 35-year-old got up early in the match and took a 5-up lead through 10 holes to cruise to a victory, which took only two and half hours to play. In the morning match Paniccia found himself in a tougher spot as he was 2 down through 13 holes to Freddy Wolfe of Rancho Mirage. However, the Clovis resident would close out the match by winning four straight holes, which included three birdies, to win 2 & 1.

Sebastian Crampton, the No. 29 seed, was the next to advance through and will square off against Paniccia Thursday morning in the quarterfinals at 7:15 a.m. The 16-year-old had two well fought matches as he faced current NCGA points’ leader Ben Geyer in the morning and two-time NCGA Four-Ball Champion Taylor Travis in the afternoon. Crampton’s 1-up victory in his round of the 32 match with Geyer had the feeling of a quarterfinal or semifinal match, not an opening round match as two marquee players battled it out for 18 holes.  His afternoon match proved to be a little less stressful, but still was tough as he halved the first seven holes of the match with Travis. The key to his match though was winning three holes out of four on Nos. 11, 13 and 14, en route to a 3 & 2 margin of victory.

“Those were big holes,” said Crampton.

Making it to the round of 16 last year as 15-year-old, Crampton has already surpassed that mark and hopes to draw from his experience last year going forward the next two days.

“I have found [since last year] that you have to play your own game,” he said. “You have to be aware of what your opponent is doing, but as long as you play your best and play the course, things usually turnout in your favor.”

Jake Yount favored based off his No. 8 seed advanced through to the quarterfinals, but had to play 36 holes in order to do so. His afternoon match against Patrick Soli went 19 holes, which capped off a nice comeback for the 25-year-old. Yount was 3 down at the turn and looked to be in trouble after losing his second straight hole on the par-4 ninth. Unfazed by the way the match was going Yount converted three consecutive birdies on Nos. 10, 11 and 12 to square the match. The Alamo resident took a brief 1-up lead after Soli bogeyed the 14th hole, but a double-bogey by Yount on the 16th would square the match, before he eventually won with a birdie on the par-5 first hole. In his morning match Yount held off Brian Knoll of El Dorado Hills 2 & 1, where he led from the sixth hole on.

Yount will face off with two-time runner-up in this event Scott Hardy of Pleasant Hill at 7:00 a.m. Hardy, the No. 17 seed, played solidly Wednesday knocking off No. 1 seed and co-medalist Jay Myers in the afternoon 3 & 2.

“The key for me today was that I hit some really good shots on the long par-4s when I had my rescue or 5-wood to hit into the green,” said Hardy.

The St. Mary’s golf coach had a similar margin of victory in his morning match as he won 3 & 2 over Levi Garcia of Paso Robles. Having made it deep in this tournament before Hardy knows what’s ahead, so he is mainly worried about his stamina the rest the way.

“Dealing with playing another 36 holes tomorrow is going to be the hard part for me,” said the 36-year-old. “I was really dying those last few holes.”

In the bottom half of the bracket Mac McClung, Grant Rappleye, Maverick McNealy and Eric Ash advanced with McClung and Rappleye set to square off at 7:30 a.m. and McNealy and Ash to go off last at 7:45 a.m.

McClung, the 31st seed, one of the last three players to qualify for match play after last night’s playoff, again maxed out his rounds at Spyglass as both his matches Wednesday went to the 18th hole. Playing Aidan Pinch of Santa Rosa in the round of 16, the match remained close throughout as neither player grabbed more than a 1-up lead. With Pinch winning the 16th hole after a McClung bogey to take a 1-up lead, the 20-year-old McClung would win the 17th and 18th hole due to miscues by Pinch, who took a bogey on 17 and a double-bogey on 18, allowing McClung to claim a 1-up victory. In his morning match, the Fremont resident had another tight match against co-medalist Austin Roberts. That match proved to be a tale of two different nines as Roberts controlled most of the front nine, while McClung played better on the back nine to win 2 up.

Grant Rappleye has yet to see the 18th hole in match play and hopes to keep it that way. Rappleye won both of his matches Wednesday by a 3 & 2 margin. Coming in as the 10th seed, Rappleye faced Chris Herzog, the No. 23 seed, in the morning and Wes Payne in the afternoon, the No. 26 seed. The 22-year-old never trailed in either match and has been pleased with the way he’s played at Spyglass over the past few rounds.

“I have played pretty solid for four rounds,” said Rappleye. “I have never played really well here, so I wasn’t feeling super good coming in here; it’s been a nice surprise so far.”

Maverick McNealy is the highest seed remaining in the championship (No. 3) and has arguably played the best golf out of anybody the past three days. The 16-year-old has yet to trail in a match as he won his matches rather easily, winning 3 & 2 in the morning over Eric Taylor of San Juan Capistrano and 5 & 4 over Kenny Maroney of Livermore in the round of 16. McNealy credits a lot of his success to the experience he got at last month’s U.S. Junior Amateur in New Hampshire, where he made it all the way to the quarterfinal round.

“It’s the same format [as the U.S. Junior], so it’s definitely helped,” said McNealy. “In match play, you just have to be smart and play your shots according to what your opponent does.”

Eric Ash, the final quarterfinalist, had two very dissimilar matches on Wednesday. Dominating his morning match against Jerry Ledzinski of Carmel, Ash only played 11 holes after Ledzinski conceded the match after being six down with eight seven holes to play. In the afternoon Ash had a difficult match against Cory McElyea of Santa Cruz, which came down to the final hole. Ash had more than three hours between his morning and afternoon round, while McElyea had a half an hour at best as his morning match with Nick Moore went 20 holes. Ash controlled the afternoon match most of the way, going 3 up after 11 holes. However, McElyea fought back and squared the match after the 16th hole. Ash would birdie the 17th, however, to regain the lead and only needing a halve on the 18th hole to win 1 up.

Tomorrow’s quarterfinal matches begin at 7:00 a.m. with the semifinal matches to commence at 12:30 p.m. and 12:45 p.m.

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August 14, 2012

Stroke Play Results – Match Play Bracket

by Spencer Sorensen

Co-Medalist: Jay Myers tees off on the 15th tee Tuesday

PEBBLE BEACH – One thing was certain after Tuesday’s round at the 109th NCGA Match Play Championship: A new champion will be crowned at the conclusion of the event on Friday. With past champions Darryl Donavan, Jeff Gilchrist, Randy Haag and two-time defending champion John Catlin missing the 150 cut, one of the 32 players remaining will add their name to NCGA lore.

First round leaders, Austin Roberts and Jay Myers continued to play on the same wavelength on Tuesday, to earn a share of medalist honors. After both players posted the low number Monday with six-under par 66s, the two matched one another’s score in the second round as they each individually finished with a three-over par 75. Their 36-hole totals put the two at three-under par 141, better than the 138 other players who completed two rounds of play.

Co-Medalist: Austin Roberts hits out of the 16th bunker Tuesday

Finishing nine shots higher than the day before may not have been what either expected after incredible rounds yesterday, but nerves had nothing to do with the higher scores.

“I felt about the same as I did yesterday, I just didn’t play as well today,” said Myers, who drew the No. 1 seed via random draw.

Roberts, who will be the No. 2 seed, explained how actually shooting such a low number on Monday allowed him to relax in Tuesday’s round, knowing he was inevitably a lock to qualify for match play.

“I was pretty confident going into today,” he said. “Basically there was no pressure on me because once it gets to match play it doesn’t make a difference [who shot what].”

Myers, who drove the green on the fourth hole Monday to make an impressive eagle, made birdie there on Tuesday, which briefly got him to seven-under par for the championship. However, the 22-year-old would double-bogey the seventh hole and bogey the eighth to drop to four-under par. On the back nine, Myers would make birdie on No. 11, but finish with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18 to post a 75.

“Yesterday I hit 15 greens in regulation, today I only hit six greens,” said Myers.

Starting off the 10th tee, Roberts also briefly got to seven-under par for the championship birdieing the 15th hole. Unfortunately though that would be the only red number the 19-year-old would see the rest of the day. The rising University of New Mexico sophomore played his last 12 holes with eight pars and four bogeys (Nos. 16, 4, 8 and 9) en route to 75.

“I just didn’t have the putting day that I had yesterday,” said Roberts. “[Yesterday] was a case where nothing went wrong. I was hitting every fairway, hitting every green, doing everything I was supposed to do.”

Earning the third overall seed is 16-year-old Maverick McNealy of Portola Valley. McNealy followed yesterday’s round of even-par 72 with the low round of the morning wave at one-under par 71. McNealy will face Eric Taylor, the first player to qualify in the sudden-death playoff.

The low score of the day belonged to Josh Stone of Stockton. Stone fired a two-under par 70 in the afternoon wave, which included four birdies and two bogeys.

“I got off to a good start today by making a couple birdies and that allowed me to cruise on the front nine,” said Stone, who started his round off the 10th tee.

Match play will begin tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. with round of 32 matches. In the afternoon the round of 16 will begin at 1:00 p.m.


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August 13, 2012

Player Information – Pairings/Results

by Spencer Sorensen

PEBBLE BEACH – A Carmichael resident who attends the University of New Mexico co-leads the first round of the 109th NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship and it is not two-time defending champion John Catlin. Austin Roberts, 19-years-old, holds that honor with San Jose’s Jay Myers after both players posted incredible rounds of six-under par 66 at Spyglass Hill GC.

Roberts got the ball rolling quick in his bogey-free opening round as he birdied the par-5 first hole. Birdies on the sixth and ninth allowed Roberts to make the turn at 33 and from there things continued to get better. An eagle on the par-5 11th got him to five-under for the round and to cap things off, Roberts made a birdie on arguably the toughest hole on the course, the par-4 16th. A second nine of 33 gave the rising UNM sophomore an immaculate six-under 66, an unheard of score for a championship event at Spyglass Hill GC.

Myers, 22-years-old, finished a half hour after Roberts posted what was thought to be an untouchable score, but he too finished with several birdies and an eagle. The recently graduated San Jose Spartan started his round off the 10th tee and made birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 to fire a solid two-under par 34 after nine holes. Then a four-hole stretch saw Myers go four-under par with two birdies and an eagle. After birdies on the first and third holes, Myers made an eagle-2 on the 360-yard par-4 fourth to get him to six-under par. On his way in, the San Jose resident would exchange a bogey on the seventh for a birdie on eighth to remain at six-under.

Ben Geyer continued his sizzling summer with a two-under par 70 and held the first round lead for a few hours as the 20-year-old fired the low round in the morning wave. When the afternoon wave completed play, Geyer still managed a solid position, finding himself in a tie for third place with Taylor Travis of Fremont, four strokes off the lead.

The Arbuckle native has already had an impressive summer with an NCGA Amateur Stroke Play title to his name and a runner-up finish at the 101st California State Amateur Championship, which have put him atop the NCGA Player of the Year points list. The soon-to-be-senior at St. Mary’s College believes the biggest difference in his game, primarily has to do with his mindset.

“When I enter tournaments now, it’s not like I’m trying to get top-10 finishes anymore, I’m trying to win,” said Geyer, explaining his goal for the stroke play rounds was to shoot two rounds in the 60s.

Geyer played a steady round Monday with three birdies coming on Nos. 4, 6 and 14, while his lone bogey of the day came on the par-3 fifth hole. The 20-year-old credited his good play to his ball striking, explaining that he hit his driver well and had seven birdie putts within 12 to 15 feet over an eight-hole stretch.

“I had a lot of misreads, but they were barely missing the hole, so I’m not worried about my putting,” said Geyer.

Travis got off to a quick start with birdies on Nos. 1, 3 and 5, but almost gave it all right back with a double-bogey on the uphill par-4 sixth. Birdies on the eighth and ninth allowed Travis a front-nine score of 33, but the 22-year-old would post a one-over par 37 back nine, making birdie on the 11th and bogeys on Nos. 14 and 18.

Matt Ogden of Salinas, Reedley’s Tal Tartaglia and Eric Ash of Loomis also posted under-par scores, with rounds of one-under par 71. The trio currently sits in a tie for fifth place. Ogden, who started his round off the 10th tee, got off to a quick start as he birdied three of his first eight holes. (Nos. 10, 15 and 17). The 20-year-old cooled a little with four bogeys over his final 10 holes, but was still able to convert two more birdies in his round on Nos. 4 and 5. Tartaglia’s round saw most of the action in the middle as he birdied the sixth, 10th, and 11th before bogeying the 12th and 14th. Ash, teeing off the 10th, got off to a bad start with a double-bogey-5 on 12 and a bogey on No. 16. However, five birdies over his final 10 holes (Nos. 18, 1, 4, 5 and 7) to go along with a bogey (No. 8) allowed him to finish in red numbers.

Currently finding himself in a tie for 47th place and in danger of missing out on match play is 2010 and 2011 champion Catlin. The rising UNM senior had a birdie-less first round score of four-over par 76, but still played solidly for most of his round. His first bogey didn’t come until the 12th hole and his other three came over the final three (Nos. 16, 17 and 18).

“I didn’t take advantage of the par-5s [today],” said Catlin, succinctly summing up his round.

Tuesday the waves will reverse with the competitors from Monday afternoon’s wave going out first and the Monday morning wave going out last. At the conclusion of 36 holes, the top 32 seeds will advance to match play, which begins Wednesday. In the event of a tie for the final spots, a sudden-death playoff will take place immediately after Tuesday play is complete.


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NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship Preview

August 9, 2012

by Spencer Sorensen

PEBBLE BEACH – Last year when John Catlin successfully defended his NCGA Amateur Match Play title, the then 20-year-old joined an elite group, becoming only the 10th player in the tournament’s century-long history to win back-to-back years. Now 21-years-old, Catlin has the opportunity to put himself in even more rarified air as he looks to become only the fourth player in the tournament’s history to win three consecutive years. The last player to three-peat was almost 50 years ago when John Lotz won three titles from 1961-63. The Carmichael resident will begin his quest for a three-peat Monday at 9:00 a.m., but exceptional players will be in his way. Here is a list of five players from this year’s field, who could dethrone Catlin of his current title:

Ben Geyer, Monday tee time: 9:09 a.m., No. 10, – Geyer currently leads the NCGA Player of the Year points list after a stellar summer, which included a runner-up performance at the California State Amateur Championship and a win at the NCGA Stroke Play Championship, his first NCGA major. The Arbuckle native is currently ranked No. 72 in the R&A’s Amateur World Golf Rankings, 23 spots behind Catlin (No. 49).

Randy Haag, Monday tee time: 1:30 p.m., No. 1 – Despite being overtaken atop the NCGA Player of the Year points list, the six-time NCGA Player of the Year always proves to be a contender in every NCGA major he enters. Last month he finished tied for fourth at the NCGA Stroke Play Championship, he played in the final group at the Master Division Championship in June and finished fourth in the Four-Ball Championship with partner Darryl Donovan. Don’t forget that Haag was the last player before Catlin’s triumph in 2011, to win back-to-back titles (’91-’92), and also made it to the semifinals of last year’s event.

Spencer Fletcher, Monday tee time: 1:03 p.m., No. 10 – Fletcher, who just graduated from Arizona State University after playing four years on its golf team, hasn’t participated in any NCGA events this year, but could make a splash in this one. The 22-year-old from Los Altos made it to the semifinals of last year’s event before losing to none other than John Catlin in the semifinal round 4 and 3.

Scott Hardy, Monday tee time: 12:27 p.m., No. 10 – A multiple NCGA major winner, Hardy has competed in only two NCGA majors this year, but performed fairly well in both with top five finishes. With NCGA major wins in four different majors—Public Links, Four-Ball, Stroke Play and Valley Amateur—Hardy has yet to claim a match play title, although he came close in 2010 losing the final match to Catlin. Ask people who know amateur golf in Northern California, and most will say that Hardy plays Spyglass Hill better than just about anyone.

Sebastian Crampton, Monday tee time: 8:51 a.m., No. 1 – At only 16, Crampton is a dark horse to win, but he’s definitely talented enough to do it. Last year as a 15-year-old, Crampton earned the seventh seed in the match play bracket before falling to Fletcher in the round of 16. Earlier this year, Crampton proved he can handle the big stage, leading after 18 holes at U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying and missing out on qualifying for the championship by a single stroke.

Other notables in the field include: current NCGA Junior Champion Taylor Bromley (1:12 p.m., No. 10), 1999 champion Darryl Donovan (9:09 a.m., No. 1), 1995 champion Jeff Gilchrist (8:33 a.m., No. 10), current NCGA Valley Amateur champion Logan Goulding (8:42 a.m., No. 1), current Public Links Champion Trent Tessler (9:09 a.m., No. 1),

Action begins Monday at 7:30 a.m. with a morning and afternoon wave. On Tuesday the waves will reverse and at the conclusion of 36-hole, the top 32 players will advance to match play, which begins Wednesday. The tournament will be capped off Friday with a 36-hole match play final.

Author: lfudenna

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