102nd Annual CGA Amateur Championship
Monterey Peninsula CC
June 17-22, 2013
June 22, 2013
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – Last Saturday Cory McElyea was finishing up his weather-delayed second round at the 113th U.S. Open at Merion GC in Ardmore, Penn. This Saturday McElyea wrapped up a weeklong spectacular display of golf at Monterey Peninsula CC in Pebble Beach, Calif. to win the 102nd California Amateur Championship 3-and-2 over Bryson DeChambeau.
While McElyea had a hectic week—which included flying across the country this past Sunday to California to play in this year’s championship—there’s no doubt that his experience playing on the biggest stage in golf helped him ultimately prevail as the latest California amateur champion.
“I think I was a lot more mentally prepared [coming into this event],” said McElyea. “Just realizing that I could play with some of the world’s best [at the U.S. Open].”
The 21-year-old Santa Cruz native took an early lead in Saturday’s 36-hole final and never looked back, leading from the third hole forward. McElyea won his first three holes Nos. 3, 4 and 6, by making pars, while DeChambeau made bogeys. On the par-3 seventh hole McElyea extended his lead further with a birdie to go 4-up. Then at the beginning of the back-nine things really looked to be getting out of hand when McElyea won the first three holes (Nos. 10-12) with a made birdie putt on No. 10, a conceded birdie on No. 11 and a conceded par on No. 12 to go 7-up.
However, the rest of the nine wasn’t smooth sailing for McElyea as DeChambeau cut his lead to 4-up at the end of the first 18 holes by winning Nos. 14, 15 and 18, two of those holes with birdies. When the second 18 holes began, DeChambeau continued his momentum by winning the second hole with a birdie and the third with a par cutting McElyea’s lead to 2-up.
“Playing with a big lead you just have to keep doing the same thing,” said McElyea. “But I didn’t feel like I was playing that bad, Bryson was just playing great, he made a lot of putts.”
The lead looked like it may have been cut down to a single hole on the par-4 sixth with McElyea under a tree in the right rough and DeChambeau in the middle of the fairway. With McElyea hitting his approach first, he advanced his shot to 20 yards short and right of the green with the flag in the back left; DeChambeau then got aggressive with his second shot and went over the green short-siding himself. McElyea was then able to get up-and-down from his location, while DeChambeau chipped to six feet and missed his par putt, going 3-down. In many ways that hole was a microcosm of DeChambeau’s day.
“It was just bad management,” said DeChambeau of the shot. “In the end I just didn’t manage my game as well as I should have.”
McElyea and DeChambeau then traded holes with McElyea winning the seventh with a par and then DeChambeau winning the eighth with a birdie. Then came the shot of the day on the par-5 ninth when McElyea holed-out for an eagle-3 from 60 yards with a 60-degree wedge to retake a 4-up lead with nine holes to go.
“That was definitely the turning point by far,” said McElyea of the importance of the shot.
DeChambeau would go on to win the 28th hole with a conceded five-foot birdie after McElyea missed his par putt, then the Clovis native looked to be in great position to cut the lead once again to two holes, but he missed a four-foot birdie putt on the 29th hole and settled for a halve. McElyea would then win the 30th and 31st holes to go up dormie-5, but DeChambeau made back-to-back birdies on the 32nd and 33rd holes to extend the match a little further. Then on the 34th hole after DeChambeau missed a 15-foot birdie putt, McElyea had a 10-foot par putt to close out the match that found the bottom of the cup.
With his win McElyea now joins at elite group of golfers and will have his name added to the Edward B. Tufts Trophy alongside the likes of major winners Johnny Miller, Ken Venturi, Gene Littler and Mark O’Meara, and he couldn’t be more thrilled.
“It’s awesome,” said McElyea. “Looking at some of those names, it’s pretty cool that my name will be etched on that trophy.”
Video Recap of the Final Round
June 21, 2013
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – One thing was made certain at the conclusion of Friday’s quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the 102nd California State Amateur Championship at Monterey Peninsula CC: An NCGA member will be crowned champion for the first time in four years.
Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis and Cory McElyea survived two rounds of golf Friday and will do it all-over again on Saturday for a 36-hole final which begins at 7:30 a.m.
With seven of the eight past champions coming from Southern California, NCGA players had a nice showing in this year’s championship with seven players advancing to the quarterfinals. None were better than DeChambeau and McElyea. Now one of them can add his name to the list of California amateur champions.
DeChambeau may never have a 13-hole stretch like he did Friday afternoon, going eight-under-par with six birdies and an eagle to beat Matt Hansen 5-and-4. Hansen, who wasn’t playing bad golf himself, going two-under-par over 13 holes couldn’t do much about his opponent’s hot play.
“I just kept trying to stick to my game plan by hitting as many as good shots as possible and make as many putts as possible” said DeChambeau. “Fortunately, I was able to do that and catch fire.”
Going into the final tomorrow the 19-year-old will stick to the same thing that’s been working all week and not deviate far from his game plan.
“I’m just going to try and play my best and not change anything,” he said.
In the other semifinal match McElyea went 19 holes with Fresno’s Pace Johnson. The match was incredibly even with one of the two players either holding a 1-up lead or the status being all-square for much of time. McElyea held a 1-up lead through 15 holes, but a bogey on 16 re-squared the match and after swapping pars on 17, it looked like a winner may very well be decided on the par-5 18th hole. Johnson was in prime position to close out the match, having a five-foot birdie putt to clinch the match, but he missed. Less than a minute later McElyea knocked in a four-foot par putt of his own to extend the match.
“You always got to think your opponent is going to make a putt that like that, so in that situation I thought it was over,” said McElyea.
With new life on the 19th hole, Johnson flared his tee shot into the right rough in front of a tree, while McElyea pummeled his drive down the center of the fairway. Johnson then came up 15 yards short of the green on his approach, while McElyea hit his approach 15-feet away. After a poor chip shot by Johnson that ran 20 feet past the hole, making him still away, his par putt coming back slipped by the hole; McElyea then calmly lagged his birdie putt to two feet for a conceded par.
The 21-year-old rising senior at University of San Francisco has had quite a week, having played in the U.S. Open at Merion last week. While he is admittedly “a little tired” McElyea says that he’ll be ready for tomorrow’s 36-hole match and will continue with the same approach he’s had all week.
“I’m just going to stick to what I’ve been doing,” he said.
Quarterfinal matches took place Friday morning with four players advancing to the semifinals Friday afternoon.
The first to advance was Hansen who beat Atherton’s Jonathan Garrick 4-and-2. Garrick held an early 1-up lead in the round before losing it and then regained it with a birdie on the par-5 ninth. However, from that point forward, some spectacular golf was played by Hansen as he won five holes on the back nine (Nos. 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16), four of them with birdies.
The second match of the morning and last to finish saw DeChambeau beat Seaside’s Nick Moore in 19 holes. DeChambeau won two holes on the opening nine (Nos. 3 and 5) to take a 2-up lead going into the back-nine, which saw very few halved holes. Moore got the match to all-square with an eagle-2 on the 11th—from 75 yards away in the rough—and a birdie on the 12th. A bogey on the picturesque par-3 14th gave DeChambeau a 1-up lead, but Moore quickly re-squared the match with a birdie on 16th. DeChambeau would then win the 17th with par and lose the 18th with a bogey, before winning with a par on the 19th hole.
The third match of the morning featuring McElyea and David Gazzolo of Riverside was fairly even the first 10 holes with no player gaining more than a 1-up advantage for more than one hole at a time. Then on holes 11-13, McElyea seized a commanding 3-up lead, thanks to two birdies and a double-bogey by Gazzolo. The Riverside resident would cut the lead to 2-up with a McElyea bogey on the 14th, but two more halves and a conceded par putt on the 17th gave McElyea a 3-and-1 victory.
Johnson got out to a quick 3-up after three holes over Danville’s Cody Blick as Blick bogeyed the first two holes and Johnson birdied the third. That lead went to 4-up after another bogey by Blick on the sixth, but three bogeys by Johnson on Nos. 7, 9 and 10 cut his advantage to 1-up. The 22-year-old though closed things out winning three more holes (Nos. 13, 15 and 16) to win 4-and-2.
June 20, 2013
Video Recap of the Round of 16
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – Plenty of competitive matches occurred in the round of 16 of the 102nd California State Amateur Championship at Monterey Peninsula CC with four of the eight matches going at least 18 holes, two of those requiring extra holes.
The longest match on Thursday featured Riverside’s David Gazzolo (No. 18 seed) and co-medalist Corey Pereira (No. 2 seed) of Cameron Park, which was decided on the 21st hole. The match went back-and-forth with Gazzolo taking an early lead after the opening hole, before Pereira fought back to go 2-up on the ninth hole. Gazzolo would then win three straight holes before losing Nos. 14 and 16 to go 1-down, but then birdie the 18th to force extra holes.
After exchanging pars on Nos. 1 and 2—the 19th and 20th hole—Gazzolo won the match on No. 3 of the Dunes Course—the 21st hole—with a par. Pereira looked to be in prime position to win the match leaving himself with a 20-foot birdie putt while Gazzolo left his approach shot in the left greenside bunker. However, Gazzolo got up-and-down blasting his shot to five-feet away and sinking his putt, while Pereira ran his birdie putt three-feet by and lipped out his par putt coming back.
“It’s kind of sad, you never want to see a match end that way,” said Gazzolo, the only surviving SCGA player remaining in the field.
Gazzolo will be matched up against Cory McElyea on Friday as the Santa Cruz native beat Mac McClung 2-up. Neither player held a lead of greater than 1-up over the first 13 holes, and when McElyea captured the first 2-up lead of the match on No. 14 it was rather short-lived when McClung cut the lead to one hole on No. 16. McElyea would win the match in style two holes later however, by making a birdie on the par-5 18th.
Another match to go extra holes featured No. 29 seed Bryson DeChambeau and No. 20 seed Johnny Macarthur. It looked as if Macarthur would walk on to victory after taking a 3-up lead with a birdie on 13th hole, but then disaster struck for the Newhall resident as he’d lose the next three holes with two bogeys and a double-bogey. After halving the 17th, 18th and 19th holes, DeChambeau would win with a six-foot birdie putt on the 20th hole.
“I really wasn’t worried about [going 3-down after 13 holes],” said DeChambeau. “I was more focused on my game and trying to shoot an under-par round today.”
Facing DeChambeau in the quarterfinals tomorrow will be Nick Moore, the 21st seed, who got past No. 5 seed Mark Anguiano 4-and-3. The 30-year-old Moore took a 1-up lead on No. 3 and never looked back, winning five more holes to Anguiano’s two.
“The key today was just keeping the ball in play and getting the ball on the green. I made some nice putts, which definitely helps,” said Moore, who had four birdies on the day.
No. 32 seed Jonathan Garrick of Atherton continues to play with house money as he advanced to the quarterfinals beating No. 17 seed John Catlin 3-and-2. Earning the last spot via a playoff on Tuesday, Garrick’s game continues to shine as he’s able to play pretty loose.
“I got off to a bad start in stroke play [on Monday] and I’ve fought back ever since, so it’s kind of a rebirth,” said Garrick. “I didn’t fully expect to be in the match play [field] and now I’m playing much better and giving myself some good opportunities, and fortunately I’ve been able to capitalize on them.”
After going back-and-forth the first six holes of the match, Garrick went on tear winning four straight holes Nos. 7-10. The highlight of that stretch, which the 18-year-old will forever take with him is holing out for a double-eagle on the par-5 ninth. Choosing to play a hybrid off the tee with the tees playing up, Garrick then went for the green with his second shot from 260 yards out using a 3-wood.
“I thought I overcut it and it came up a little short, but then we got up to the green and couldn’t find it anywhere,” said Garrick, who went on to explain they thought the ball plugged in the bunker before ever looking in the hole.
Garrick’s quarterfinal opponent will be No. 24 seed Matt Hansen of Los Osos, who beat No. 25 seed Sam Johnston 3-and-1. Hansen was in control the majority of the match with a slight slipup on Nos. 6-8 where he lost three straight holes to go 1-down. However, the rising senior at UC-Davis got things together on the back-nine, not losing a single hole from that point forward, while winning Nos. 9,12, 13 and 17.
Hansen, who has qualified for match play the previous two years, losing in the round of 32 in 2011 and the losing in the quarterfinals last year, sees himself progressing in this event nicely.
“This year, [I’m] just more comfortable, [especially] on pressure putts,” he said.
The highest seed remaining, now that No. 2 seed Pereira lost on Thursday is No. 3 seed Cody Blick of Danville, who won his match 5-and-4 over No. 14 seed Jeremy Sanders. Blick grabbed a quick 2-up lead after the first four holes and stayed in control throughout, only losing two more holes while winning five of his own.
“My ball-striking was solid pretty much all day,” said Blick, who estimated he had 10 of 14 greens in regulation.
Blick, a 19-year-old who just finished his freshman year at San Jose State, is playing in his first ever California State Amateur Championship and having quite a bit of success. The Danville native hadn’t thought about ever entering the championship until winning the San Francisco City Championship in 2012, when he discovered the similar match play format.
The final match to conclude the day was Pace Johnson of Fresno beating Costa Mesa’s Jacob Knapp 1-up. Johnson was down early in the match before squaring it on the 11th and taking his first lead on No. 15 and expanding it on No. 16 going 2-up. However, Knapp fought back and birdied the 17th to force an 18th hole, where both players birdied.
On Friday quarterfinal play will begin in the morning at 7:30 a.m. with the last match going off at 8:00 a.m. The players who win their matches will then play Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. and 1:20 p.m.
June 19, 2013
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – Upsets were omnipresent in the opening round of match play in the 102nd California State Amateur Championship at Monterey Peninsula CC with 10 of the lower-seeded players advancing out of the 16 matches.
None was more apparent than No. 32 seed Jonathan Garrick who beat co-medalist Xander Schauffele 4-and-3 in the opening match of the morning. It was a wild 18 hours for Garrick who had to sink an eight-foot birdie putt on Tuesday evening to capture the final match play spot over six other players, but now he finds himself advancing to the round of 16.
“I had a 15-foot putt that I had to make at the end of regulation [yesterday] and fortunately I made it and that carried some confidence into the playoff where I made birdie,” said Garrick. “I had a lot of confidence going into today and felt refreshed and fortunate to be in the match play field.”
Garrick’s win gives him a matchup tomorrow against two-time NCGA Amateur Match Play champion John Catlin, who was another lower seed to win on Wednesday. Catlin, the No. 17 seed, faced Jay Hwang of Fullerton, the No. 16 seed, battling for all 18 holes, which included 13 halves. Catlin wasn’t thrilled having to go a full 18 holes, but was pleased to advance.
“I was frustrated,” said Catlin. “I hit the ball well really well all day, but I just wasn’t making any putts.”
The recently graduated University of New Mexico golfer though made a putt when it counted most, sinking an eight-foot birdie putt on the 18th to win 1 up. The Gold River resident hopes to continue winning matches as this will likely be his final California State Amateur as he has plans to go pro later this summer.
The third and fourth matches also produced upset-by-seeds as No. 25 seed Sam Johnston and No. 24 seed Matt Hansen both advanced and will face each other in the round of 16. Johnston of Carlsbad beat fellow-SCGA member Stewart Hagestad 2 up with Johnston winning the 17th and 18th holes after an all-square status at the completion of the 16th hole. Hansen won his match over 16-year-old Sean Crocker 3-and-1, with his key stretch coming on Nos. 12-14 winning all three, two of which were birdies.
The fifth and sixth matches of the day also had lower-seeded players advancing, with neither upset winner trailing in either match. Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis (No. 29) beat fourth-seeded Tyler Raber 3-and-1. The soon-to-be sophomore at SMU won his first two holes and never relinquished the lead from that point forward. Johnny Macarthur (No. 20) defeated Lorens Chan (No. 13) 5-and-4 after what looked to be a promising start. After halving the first three holes and having the match get back to all-square after the seventh, Macarthur would close out the match early by winning Nos. 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13.
The first match to feature a higher-seeded player advancing was the seventh match of the day as Mark Anguiano, the No. 5 seed, beat Brandon Gama, the No. 28 seed, 5-and-3. Anguiano dominated in his match getting to 6-up through 10 holes, despite being admittedly nervous in his first match ever in the California State Amateur.
“After making birdie on No. 5, I started calming down a bit,” said the soon-to-be senior at Cal State Fullerton. “I was pretty nervous because I haven’t played match play in a while.”
Anguiano will face Nick Moore who won the eighth match of the day beating 2012 California State Amateur runner-up Ben Geyer. Moore, the current NCGA Public Links champion, defeated Geyer in 19 holes in a match that was truly a roller-coaster with Geyer re-squaring the match three different times after losing the first hole.
In the lower half of the bracket, No. 2 seed and co-medalist Corey Pereira advanced, but it took all 18 holes to beat the 31st seed Kevin Lee of La Palma. Both players played outstanding golf with Pereira firing an unofficial one-under-par 71, while lee fired an unofficial even-par 72. The 18-year-old, Pereira, is proving to be a strong player at MPCC with three straight rounds in the low 70s.
“The greens are pure here and I consider myself to be a pretty good putter, so I think this course plays a little bit to my advantage,” he said.
His round of 16 match-up will be against David Gazzalo, the No. 18 seed, who defeated Christopher Petefish, the No. 15 seed 2-and-1 in the 10th match of the day. Gazzalo never trailed in his match getting 4 up through seven holes before cruising to the finish.
Mac McClung (No. 7) beat Dan Sullivan (No. 26) in the 11th match, winning 2 up. Sullivan was actually in control most of the match having a 3-up lead through 10, but losing holes 11, 12 and 13 turned the match around as McClung would win the 15th and 18th coming in. McClung will face Cory McElyea of Santa Cruz who defeated Danny Paniccia of Clovis 4-and-2. McElyea (No. 10) never trailed Paniccia (No. 23) and played rather tough only losing a single hole.
Cody Blick, the No. 3 seed, ousted Joseph Sanders, the No. 30 seed, 4-and-3 in the 13th match of the day. Blick also never trailed in his match and was 3 up after first seven holes. Blick will face another “Sanders” in the round of 16 as Jeremy Sanders defeated Benjamin Lein in the 14th match of the day. Sanders of Chatsworth beat Lein in 19 holes, which was arguably the most volatile match of the day. Sanders relinquished two leads greater than 2 up at two different junctures before winning on the 19th hole with a par.
The final two matches of the day both produced seeded-upsets as Pace Johnson (No. 27) and Jacob Knapp (No. 22) advanced to face off against one another on Thursday. Johnson of Fresno defeated Dalan Refioglu, the sixth seed 2-and-1 in a match which didn’t feature a single halve over the first nine holes. Knapp defeated No. 11 seed Eric Sugimoto 3-and-1, despite making two sevens on the day.
Match play will continue on Thursday morning on MPCC’s Dune Course with the round of 16 beginning at 7:30 a.m.
June 18, 2013
Video Recap of Medal Play
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – Blustery conditions and plenty of sunshine provided an interesting combination for the second round of the 102nd California State Amateur Championship at Monterey Peninsula CC. As the day went on not only did the wind pick up, but the scores did too as those with later tee times struggled to break par. In fact, seven of the eight under par scores posted on Tuesday came from players with tee times during the first half of the field (9:30 or earlier).
The conditions were a boon to players like Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, who’s two-under-par 70—following a first round even-par 72—put him in a tie atop the leaderboard at 142, two-under-par to earn co-medalist honors. The honor was likely much to his surprise as Pereira was long gone by the time the trophy ceremony for the Egan Trophy was awarded.
The 18-year-old improved as his day went on scoring a two-over-par 37 on the front-nine of the Dunes Course, but then made four birdies on the back nine (Nos. 10, 11, 13 and 18) for a four-under-par 33.
Sharing medalist honors with Pereira was first round co-leader Xander Schauffele. The 19-year-old followed his first round four-under-par 68 with a two-over-par 74 to finish at 142. He was quick to mention the effects his 11:20 a.m. starting time had.
“The wind was a big difference [from yesterday], it didn’t help having a later tee time,” he said.
The soon-to-be San Diego State junior had a birdie-less-round after making five the first day, but only had two mistakes making bogeys on Nos. 14 and 18 on the Dunes Course. Going into tomorrow as the No. 1 seed in match play, he knows that things will be different and hopes his experience on Tuesday will prepare him for tomorrow.
“It was good to see the course in extremely tough conditions, because par is going to win a lot of holes out there,” he said.
On Wednesday match play will get underway with 32 players getting a chance at adding their name to California golf history. Play will go from 7:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. with all players competing on the Dunes Course. The round of 16 will take place Thursday, with the quarterfinals and semifinals taking place Friday, before the 36-hole final on Saturday.
Getting the honor of playing Schauffele in the first group out Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. is Jonathan Garrick of Atherton, who survived a playoff that had seven players competing for one spot. Garrick was one of seven players to finish at six-over-par 150 and ousted his fellow-competitors after the first playoff hole (No. 1 on the Dunes Course) when he sank an eight-foot birdie putt.
Pereira, who drew the No. 2 seed will go out a little more than an hour later at 8:42 a.m. facing Kevin Lee. Earning the No. 3 seed with the low round of the day on Tuesday—a three-under-par 69—was Cody Blick of Danville, who will play Joseph Sanders (No. 30) at 9:18 a.m. Tyler Raber, who also came in with a 143 total along with Blick, drew the No. 4 seed and will face Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis (No. 29).
First round co-leader Mark Anguiano will make his debut in the match play portion of the event with the No. 5 seed, squaring off against Brandon Gama (No. 28) at 8:24 a.m. Dalan Refioglu, the sixth seed who finished at even-par 144 faces Pace Johnson (No. 27) at 9:36 a.m. Mac McClung the seventh seed will face Dan Sullivan (No. 26)—who had a hole-in-one on Tuesday scoring his ace with a 4-iron on No. 4 of the Dunes Course—at 9:36 a.m. In the No. 8 and No. 25 matchup are SCGA members Stewart Hagestad and Sam Johnston, teeing off at 7:48 a.m.
Sean Crocker is the ninth seed and he’ll face Matt Hansen the 24th seed at 7:57 a.m. Recent U.S. Open participant Cory McElyea (No. 10) has a tough matchup with NCGA Valley Amateur Champion Danny Paniccia (No. 23) as they tee off at 9:09 a.m. The last match of the day at 9:45 a.m. is a pair of SCGA members Eric Sugimoto (No. 11) and Jacob Knapp (No. 22). Last year’s Cal State Amateur runner-up Ben Geyer earned the 12th seed and will face off against current NCGA Public Links Champion Nick Moore (No. 21) at 8:33 a.m.
New SCGA member Lorens Chan drew the No. 13 seed and will face off Johnny MacArthur (No. 20) at 8:20 a.m. The No. 14 – No. 19 matchup features SCGA members Jeremy Sanders and Benjamin Lein, who will go out at 9:27 a.m. Christopher Petefish (No. 15) faces David Gazzolo (No. 18) at 8:51 a.m. The No. 16 – No. 17 matchup has two-time NCGA Amateur Match Play Champion John Catlin going against UCLA junior-to-be Jay Hwang.
Of the 32 players qualifying for match play 15 are NCGA members and 17 are SCGA members.
Roger Lapham Challenge Cup: The NCGA seized its revenge on the SCGA from 2012, winning the competition by 27 strokes. After losing to the SCGA by a 46-stroke margin last year the NCGA’s six-man Challenge Cup team won this year with a score of 734 to 761. In a format, which takes the best five scores of a six-man team, the NCGA followed yesterday’s team score of 364 with a 370, while the SCGA followed its 385 with a 376.
The NCGA team was led by the play of Bryson DeChembeau and Johnathan Garrick, who each shot scores of even-par 72 on Tuesday, while the SCGA team was led by Jacob Knapp with a one-under-par 71. The SCGA leads the overall the series 15-9.
June 17, 2013
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – A 19- and 20-year-old share the lead after the first round of the 102nd CGA Amateur Championship at Monterey Peninsula CC as Mark Anguiano and Xander Schauffele each fired a score of four-under-par 68 on Monday.
Anguiano had the early clubhouse lead posting a four-under-par 68 on the Dunes Course in the third group out on the day, scoring six birdies and two bogeys in his round. After an even-par front-nine with a birdie on No. 1 and a bogey on No. 5, the 20-year-old caught fire converting three birdies over his first four holes of the back nine on Nos. 10, 12 and 13. Dropping a shot with a bogey on No. 14, the Cal State Fullerton senior-to-be, finished strong with back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th.
“I was hitting good shots [on both nines], the results were just a lot better on the back-nine,” he said.
Anguiano, who’s already playing in his fifth California State Amateur Championship, hopes to continue playing well as he’s yet to qualify for match play.
“Hopefully this is the year I turn it around,” he said. “I’m off to a good start.”
Tying him for the lead some 90 minutes later was fellow SCGA member Xander Schauffele, who fired a four-under par 68 on the Shore Course. Ignorance proved to be bliss for Schauffele, making five birdies and one bogey in his first attempt playing the Shore Course. Only making time for one-practice round on the Dunes Course, the junior-to-be at San Diego State didn’t get overly aggressive in his play on Monday.
“I picked some really conservative shots and only attacked [flags] when I could see the whole green,” he said. “That really helped keep my card clean.”
Schauffele would make birdies on Nos. 6 and 7 before his lone bogey on the ninth to open with a 34 on the par-35 front-nine. Then on the back nine, the San Diego resident converted his three birdies on Nos. 11, 15 and 16 to close with a 34 on the par-37 back-nine.
Playing in his third consecutive California State Amateur Championship, having made match play in 2011 when it was held at Olympic Club, Schauffele has had previous success on the Monterey Peninsula before winning the 2011 Boys State CIF Championship at Poppy Hills GC as a high school senior. He looks forward to tomorrow and knows that the two courses present different challenges.
“I’m just going to keep the same game plan for tomorrow, fairways and greens,” he said.
In a tie for third place at three-under-par 69 are two NCGA members, Ben Geyer of Arbuckle and Andrew Biggadike of Belmont. Biggadike—playing on the Shore Course—was steady on the front-nine trading birdies on Nos. 1 and 8, with bogeys on Nos. 5 and 6. On the back-nine, the Olympic Club member was able to stay bogey-free and converted three birdies on Nos. 13, 14 and 16.
Geyer, also playing on the Shore Course, fired his three-under par 69, making four birdies, three bogeys and an eagle. Getting off to a slow start with bogeys on Nos. 1 and 6, the current NCGA Player of the Year turned things around nicely making birdies on Nos. 7, 10 and 12 before a bogey on No. 13 to get to even-par. Then, the recent St. Mary’s College graduate got into red numbers with a birdie on No. 15 and an eagle on No. 16.
“I just realized that I had to just keep plugging away,” said Geyer of his turnaround after a rough start.
Geyer’s three-under-par round helped the NCGA take a commanding lead in the Roger Lapham Challenge Cup as the North leads the South 364 to 385. After a humiliating loss to the SCGA in 2012 losing by 46 strokes, the NCGA looks to be in good position in obtaining revenge with a 21-stroke advantage going into tomorrow’s round. Other players on the North team that helped them gain an advantage were Nick Moore (72), Sam Smith (73), Pace Johnson (73) and Bryson DeChambeau (77), with Johnathan Garrick’s score of 78 being the throwaway. The South team’s best score came from Anton Arboleda and Jacob Knapp, who each shot a 76. Defending champion Kevin Marsh had a 77, Niall Platt and Robert Funk each had a 78, while the throwaway score was a 79 from Tim Hogarth.
Still in contention for medalist honors posting under-par scores on Monday were three players at two-under-par 70 and four players at one-under-par 71. Tied for fifth place with a two-under par 70 are Jerry Ledzinski of Carmel, Tyler Raber of El Macero and Jeremy Sanders of Chatsworth. The four players tied for eighth at one-under-par 71: Joseph Sanders of La Quinta, Benjamin Lein of Diamond Bar, Ryan Han of Hollister and Sean Crocker of Westlake Village.
Players will changeover to the course they didn’t play today, with times beginning at 7:30 a.m. At the conclusion of tomorrow’s round the top 32 players will advance to match play for Wednesday. Currently 44 players are at the projected cutline or better with 16 players tied for 29th place at two-over-par 74.
California State Amateur Preview
June 14, 2013
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – Before the 102nd California State Amateur kicks off Monday at 7:30 a.m. on Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course and Dunes Course, here is some things to know and things that should happen.
Beginning of the second cycle: After nearly a century of primarily holding the California State Amateur at Pebble Beach GL, the championship began a rotation of alternating sites between Northern and Southern California in 2007—the first being held at Monterey Peninsula CC. Now that the California State Amateur has successfully gone through its first rotation the tournament returns to MPCC in 2013 to begin its second cycle.
Qualifying scores should improve: Some strong winds occurred during the qualifying rounds in 2007 producing a very high average, 78.3 on the Dunes Course and 80.2 on the Shore Course. Five players that year, including eventual champion Josh Anderson, made the match play field with a score of 154, 10-over-par. Among the other Northern and Southern California sites since the rotation began, none have produced a 36-hole qualifying score greater than 148. Unless some wacky weather occurs on Monday and/or Tuesday expect a qualifying score in the mid-140s.
Different match play site: When MPCC hosted the California Amateur in 2007 players competed on the Shore Course for the match play portion. This year players will compete on the Dunes Course for match play, providing a new twist. The Dunes Course played easier during stroke play qualifying in 2007 by almost a full two shots, in part because it plays more than 100 yards shorter, meaning more birdies could very well be in play. However, the players will need to know when to be aggressive and rely on their putting; just ask MPCC superintendent Bob Zoller, who said: “The greens can be pretty treacherous, and there can be a lot of undulations to them. It will be very exciting because the greens are more severe than the Shore Course.”
Match play participants from 2007: Of the 32 match play participants from 2007, only five are participating in this year’s field: Robert Funk, E.J. Kahn, John McClure, Gerry Simoni and Casey Boyns. Four of those five players are 49-years-old and above, with Boyns being the oldest at 57.
Roger Lapham Challenge Cup: The SCGA dominated last year in the Roger Lapham Challenge Cup beating the NCGA by a 46 stroke-margin. Since its inception in 1990 the SCGA has held an edge leading the NCGA 15-8. This year’s NCGA team includes players, Ben Geyer, Pace Johnson, Sam Smith, Jonathan Garrick, Bryson DeChambeau and Nick Moore. The SCGA team comprises of Anton Arboleda, Niall Platt, Robert Funk, Tim Hogarth, Jacob Knapp and defending champion Kevin Marsh. Players from both respective teams will tee off Monday on the Shore Course between 8:30 and 9 a.m., and Tuesday off the Dunes Course between 10:40 and 11:10 a.m.
Marsh not likely to repeat: Defending champions always seem to be surefire contenders in most golf tournaments, but such is not the case in the California State Amateur. In the tournament’s century-long rich history only six players have done so with the last being nearly six decades ago, when Dr. Frank Taylor won in 1954 and 1955. That’s bad news for Marsh, who has his work cut out for him.