101st California State Amateur Championship
La Cumbre CC
June 25-30, 2012
June 30, 2012
Kevin Marsh won the 101st California State Amateur Championship at La Cumbre CC in Santa Barbara on Saturday, beating Ben Geyer 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final. Marsh, a Santa Barbara resident, turned the match into his favor on the par-5 12th hole on the opening 18 as he birdied and Geyer parred to take a 1 up lead. Marsh would never allow Geyer to square the match from that point forward and played some great golf allowing Geyer to only win three holes the rest of the way, while he won six.
After 18 holes Marsh held a 2-up lead on Geyer. The Arbuckle resident would cut Marsh’s lead to 1 up with a birdie on the 20th hole, but Marsh responded accordingly winning three of the next four holes to go 4 up. Geyer made one last push—as he has done so many times this week—by winning the 26th and 28th holes to cut the lead to 2 up. But again Marsh responded by winning the 30th and 31st hole to go 4 up with five to play. When both players halved the next two holes with pars, that was all Marsh needed to seal the deal and become the new California State Amateur champion.
Early in the match Marsh gained a 1 up lead after birdieing the first hole. The two then halved holes two through four before Geyer won holes five and six with a birdie on the par-3 fifth and a bogey-6 on the par-3 sixth as Marsh took a double-bogey-7. Geyer bogeyed the eighth to allow the match to get back to all square, but then he recaptured a 1-up lead with a birdie-4 on the par-5 ninth. Marsh responded with an eagle-3 on the 10th to square the match and then won holes 12 and 14 to go 2-up. The two competitors then finished the first 18 with four straight halves.
Marsh ended the recent domination by collegiate players winning the California State Amateur as the previous six champions were all collegiate players. If Geyer had won he would have the seventh straight to do so, but instead Marsh becomes the first mid-amateur to win the title since 2005. Marsh also becomes the third straight SCGA player to win the title and the seventh in the past eight years.
June 29, 2012
Ben Geyer again made a back-nine charge in his semifinal match to make his way into the finals of the 101st California State Amateur at La Cumbre CC. The Arbuckle resident played most of the front nine against Jack Perry either 1 down or all square, but once the two got to the 10th tee Geyer started coming up big. After trading holes on 10 and 11, Geyer won the 12th hole and went up for good. Getting to 2 up after a Perry bogey on 15, Geyer had a chance to close out the match on the 17th hole, but a missed putt from two feet away extended the match to the 18th. There Perry made birdie to force extra holes. With the momentum in Perry’s corner Geyer hit his approach on the first hole to 15 feet, where he sank the birdie and won the match.
The NCGA’s Geyer will face off against Santa Barbara resident Kevin Marsh who won his semifinal match over Ronnald Monaco at 5 and 4. The Saturday 36-hole final against Geyer and Marsh will begin at 7:30 a.m.
Three highly competitive matches and one blowout comprised of the Friday morning’s quarterfinals at the 101st California State Amateur. Match three featuring NCGA members Ben Geyer and Matt Hansen looked like it might never end as the two had to play five extra holes before Geyer finally won on the 23rd hole. Hansen of Los Osos was in control the entire match until Arbuckle’s Geyer made a charge at the end. Hansen went 3 up after five holes, but Geyer began chipping away at Hansen’s lead as he squared the match on the 13th hole. Appropriately, Hansen responded with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to go 2 up with two to play and the match looked sewn up. With his feet to the fire Geyer made birdies of his own on 17 and 18 to square the match and force extra holes. After exchanging pars the first four holes, Hansen made only his third bogey of the day to lose the match, advancing Geyer to the afternoon’s semifinals.
The other talk of the morning was the first match featuring Bhavik Patel and Ronnald Monaco. In a similar way Patel lead the whole way, but in the end Monaco came out on top winning in 19 holes. The defending champion took his first lead with a par on the fourth hole and by the 10th hole he found himself 3 up. Halving the next three holes, Patel would lose the 14th, but halved Nos. 15 and 16 to go dormie. However, Monaco would birdie 17 to keep the match alive and after Patel bogeyed the 18th, the players were redirected to the first hole for extra holes. There on the opening hole Monaco would close out the match in style with a birdie-3 winning in 19 holes.
Elk Grove’s Cameron Rappleye, who had a relatively easy first two matches as he played a total of 30 holes from Wednesday and Thursday, was challenged greatly by SCGA member Kevin Marsh. Things started off well for Rappleye as he took an early 2-up lead through five holes and despite Marsh squaring it through seven holes, Rappleye regained his 2-up advantage after 10 holes. Marsh then began to play some spectacular golf as he would go on to win four holes (11, 12, 15 and 17) all with birdies. His birdie-2 on the par-3 17th would close out the match 2 and 1 in Marsh’s favor.
The final and fourth match turned out to be not much of one at all as Jack Perry of Santa Barbara beat Sean Crocker 7 and 5. The match started off slow with only three holes won (all by Perry) and six halves in the opening nine. However, things picked up quickly as Perry would go on to win holes 10, 11, 12 and 13 to finish the match early 7 and 5.
The semifinal matches are currently taking place this afternoon with Monaco and Marsh in the first match and Geyer and Perry in the second match. The two remaining from the semifinal matches will compete in a 36-hole final tomorrow.
June 28, 2012
NCGA members Ben Geyer, Matt Hansen and Cameron Rappleye remain in the hunt to become the 2012 California State Amateur champion as all three advanced in their round of 16 matchups Thursday to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.
Hansen and Rappleye had to beat out fellow NCGA members in order to advance and both did so rather easily. Hansen of Los Osos had to face Fresno’s Michael Weaver, who has been one of the hottest NCGA players around the past year. However, Hansen had little problem with Weaver Thursday as he never trailed once during the match. After birdieing the first hole to go 1 up, Hansen would go 2 up with another birdie on the fifth. Weaver would get a hole back on the sixth with a birdie, but he would only win one more hole the rest of the day and it wasn’t due to poor play, Hansen just played that well. Hansen would win holes eight, 10 and 12 by going birdie-eagle-birdie. Hansen’s lone bogey of the day came on the 13th to go from 4 up to 3 up, but after winning the 14th and halving the 15th he punched his ticket to Friday play, winning 4 and 3.
Rappleye faced off against Redding’s Josh Baskins, who had a marathon of match Wednesday winning in 22 holes. Baskins would win the first hole, lose holes two and three, and win the fourth to square the match, but from that point forward Rappleye dominated. The Elk Grove resident won holes five and six to go 2 up and then three straight holes Nos. 10, 11 and 12 to go 5 up. Baskins would make one last birdie on 13 to win the hole, but Rappleye answered with a birdie on the 14th to close out the match 5 and 4.
Arbuckle’s Geyer had to square off against SCGA member Nial Platt on Thursday. After Platt won the first hole Geyer would win the next three and never look back as he stayed up the rest of the match. Platt would cut Geyer’s lead to 1 up, but Geyer would win the next two holes to go 3 up. From that point forward Geyer would hold at least a two-hole advantage until closing out the match on the 16th, winning 3 and 2.
Taylor Knoll of El Dorado Hills battled for 17 holes with SCGA member Ronnald Monaco before falling 2 and 1. Monaco came out strong winning the first two holes, but Knoll quickly answered by winning holes three and four. Knoll took a brief lead winning par-5 sixth with an eagle, but bogeyed the par-3 seventh to fall back to all square. The next 10 holes saw eight halves with only two holes won, both by Monaco including the 17th to close out the match.
Friday’s schedule will look quite different than the first two rounds of match play as both the quarterfinals and semifinals will be held tomorrow. Quarterfinal matches start at 7:30 a.m. with defending champion and medalist Bhavik Patel taking on Monaco. The 7:40 a.m. tee time matches Rappleye with SCGA’s Kevin Marsh. The third match at 7:50 a.m. puts two NCGA players up against one other as Hansen and Geyer square off. The final morning match at 8:00 a.m. features two SCGA players Jack Perry and Sean Crocker. Afternoon matches will commence approximately at 12:30 p.m.
June 27, 2012
Having started the match play portion of the 101st California State Amateur with only nine of 32 players representing NCGA clubs, Wednesday proved to be fairly successful day for NCGA players as six of a possible seven advanced to Thursday’s round of 16. The only NCGA loss that could have been avoided was that of Tyler Raber losing to Bhavik Patel. Raber the 32nd seed had a tough go facing the defending champion and this year’s medalist, who had his way with La Cumbre after the opening stroke play rounds, posting scores of 64 and 65. Patel went up early on Raber going 4-up through seven holes, but the El Macero resident mustered a comeback cutting Patel’s lead to 1-up through 16. Raber’s comeback was too little too late as Patel birdied the 17th to win 2 and 1.
The NCGA’s other two losses Wednesday came naturally as two NCGA players were guaranteed to advance, while two were guaranteed to lose as they faced one another. Matt Hansen of Los Osos, the highest seeded NCGA player at seven, had to face off against fellow NCGA member Peter Gibbs of Campbell the 26th seed. Their match was back-and-forth all day as one competitor was unable to seize the lead for more than a few holes at a time. Gibbs took an early 2-up lead through before quickly relinquishing it as Hansen won holes five and six to square the match. After a few holes of mostly all-square-golf with a couple brief 1-up leads by Gibbs, Hansen took his first lead on the 12th hole. Gibbs didn’t give up though as he squared the match on the 18th, before Hansen prevailed 1 up on the first extra hole.
The other all-NCGA match was also one never to forget as 15th seeded Ben Geyer of Arbuckle came back to beat Fresno’s Pace Johnson (the 18 seed) 1 up in 20 holes. Johsnon was up early and often as he took a 4-up lead after nine holes, but Geyer slowly started chipping away on Johnson’s lead on the back nine. Geyer won holes 12, 14, 15 and 16 to get the match back to all square, which included three straight birdie-3s by Geyer from 14 to 16. Johnson answered by birdieing the par-3 17th to go 1 up, before Geyer answered back with a birdie of his own on the 18th to square the match and force extra holes. Geyer made the comeback complete with a birdie-3 on the par-4 second hole to advance to Thursday play.
Josh Baskins of Redding came into match play as the 29th seed, but played well enough to survive and beat fourth seeded Max Homa in 22 holes. Homa controlled the match early with a lead for the majority of the front nine, including a 2-up lead making the turn. However, birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 by Baskins squared the match as the two would each win one more hole before completing the 18th hole. Then after exchanging pars on the first three holes Baskins birdied the par-4 fourth hole to put an end to the match.
Eighth seeded Taylor Knoll of El Dorado Hills also needed extra holes to win his match over Tain Lee. Similar to other matches, Lee led early holding a lead on six of the opening nine holes, before Knoll charged ahead on the back nine. After losing the ninth hole to go 2 down, Knoll won Nos. 10 and 12 to square the match. Subsequently, he took his first lead of the match after Lee bogeyed the 16th, but a bogey of his own on the 18th forced additional play. Knoll redeemed himself on the par-4 first hole by making birdie to advance to Thursday.
Fresno’s Michael Weaver, the 10th seed, had a tightly-knit match with Gary Robinson as neither player held more than a 1-up lead for the first 17 holes. Going back-and-forth all morning Weaver finally took over the final four holes with four straight 3s. After Robinson took a 1-up lead on the 14th hole with a birdie, Weaver answered with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 to take a 1-up lead. After halving the 17th hole, Weaver closed out the match in style with a birdie 3 to win 2 up.
The lone exception to Wednesday’s tight matches involving NCGA players was by the outstanding play of Cameron Rappleye of Elk Grove. Rappleye beat Brandon Gama of Santa Barbara rather easily with a 4 and 2 win. After Rappleye took a 1 up lead on Gama, he never looked back as he held a 3 up lead by the turn and went 4 up through 11 holes. Gama cut the lead back to 3 up with a birdie on 12, but after three straight halves and an outright win on the 16th hole, the final result was in Rappleye’s favor.
Tomorrow’s round of 16 will be similar to Wednesday’s schedule as the first match will tee off at 7:30 a.m. with nine-minute intervals. Two of tomorrow’s matches will be all-NCGA matchups as Baskins takes on Rappleye at 7:39 a.m. and Weaver faces Hansen at 8:15 a.m. Geyer will play Santa Barbara resident Niall Platt at 8:06 a.m., while Taylor Knoll will take on Ronnald Monaco of Rancho Cucamonga at 7:39 a.m.
June 26, 2012
Bhavik Patel continued his hot play on Tuesday with a 6-under par, 65, to finish the two days of stroke play with a 129 total and earn medalist honors. Patel, the defending champion, has the number one seed going into the match play portion of the event and will face NCGA member Tyler Raber of El Macero, who was one of nine players to finish 36 holes of play at even-par 142.
Eight other NCGA members besides Raber qualified for match play with Los Osos Matt Hansen leading the way. Hansen fired a 36-hole total of 137, 5-under par, after rounds of 69 and 68, respectively, to finish tied for sixth place. Hansen earned the seventh seed with his final position and will square off against fellow NCGA member Peter Gibbs of Campbell. Gibbs earned the 26th seed as he was one of the last to qualify after posting a two-day total of 142. Fresno’s Michael Weaver and Taylor Knoll of El Dorado Hills played a couple days of solid golf, each posting a 36-hole score of 138, good enough to tie for eighth place. Knoll, who earned the eighth seed will take on Tain Lee of San Juan Capistrano, while Weaver, the 10th seed will face San Diego’s Gary Robinson.
Arbuckle’s Ben Geyer, who started the day just one off the lead having posted the best first roound score of an NCGA participant, fell back Tuesday as he posted a score of 74, 3-over par. Geyer still qualified for match play with a 3-under par 139 total, good enough for 13th place, earning the 15th seed. He will face fellow NCGA member Pace Johnson of Fresno, who finished 36 holes at 140, 2-under par, to earn the 18th seed. Cameron Rappleye of Elk Grove and Portola Valley’s Robby Salomon also came in at 140, 2-under par and earned the 20th and 21st seed, respectively. Both players face SCGA members with Rappleye squaring off against Brandon Gama of Santa Barbara and Salomon taking on Diamond Bar’s Benjamin Lein.
The round of 32 will begin tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. with the Patel-Raber match. The 16 matches will go off in nine-minute intervals with the last match teeing off at 9:46 a.m. The round of 16 will take place Thursday before the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday. The week will end with a 36-hole final on Saturday.
After reclaiming the Lapham Challenge Cup last year, the NCGA quickly gave it back to the SCGA at this year’s event. The SCGA completely annihilated the NCGA Challenge Cup team of Ben Geyer, Randy Haag, Pace Johnson, Sam Smith, Michael Weaver and Kevin Wentworth by a score of 671-717, a 46-stroke margin of victory. The SCGA was led by the outstanding play of medalist Patel (13-under par), Max Homa (7-under par), Jack Perry (7-under par), Kevin Marsh (6-under par), Jacob Knapp (3-under par) and Manav Shah (2-over par). Five of the six SCGA Challenge Cup team members made match play, while only three NCGA members were able to do so.
June 25, 2012
Defending champion Bhavik Patel has a share of the lead after the first round of the 101st California State Amateur Championship. His round of 7-under 64 was matched by fellow SCGA members Kevin Marsh and Ronnald Monaco. Patel’s round consisted of nine birdies and two bogeys, where he especially took advantage of the par 5s making a birdie on all four of them, but struggled on the five par 3s making bogeys on two of them. Marsh’s round started off steady with four straight pars, but an impressive nine-hole stretch from holes five to 13 saw Marsh convert seven birdies including five straight between holes nine and 13. Monaco’s 64 was bogey-free and he really got going late making six of his seven birdies in his final 10 holes.
In a two-way tie for fourth at 6-under 65 are Valencia’s Max Homa and Arbuckle’s Ben Geyer. Homa had seven birdies in his round with one bogey, a bogey-6 on the 12th hole. Geyer, the low NCGA score of the day, had a similar round with seven birdies and one bogey. After a 2-under par front nine, Geyer got hot on the back nine making four straight birdies on Nos. 11-14. After a setback on No. 15 with a bogey-5, the Arbuckle native birdied the 16th to get back to 6-under par.
In total 35 players shot even-par 71 or better on Monday, making the early projected cut for match play at 142. After tomorrow’s stroke play round the top 32 will advance to the match play portion of the event, which begins Wednesday.