June 11, 2012
FRESNO – The 38 player field only yielded two available spots for championship qualifying and those were earned by Victor Ponte and Maverick McNealy after 36 holes of play. Ponte of Camarillo beat out all other competitors with a solid score of 3-under par, 141. After a morning round of 3-under 69, which included five birdies and two bogeys, Ponte cruised in the afternoon to a level-par 72, which included four birdies and four bogeys.
Portola Valley’s McNealy similarly put up a lower morning round score, posting a 2-under 70, with a slightly higher afternoon score of 1-over 73. His 143 total edged out three other players who finished at even-par 144: Tanner Hughes of Livermore, Nicholas Ounesavath and Jeffrey Yamaguchi both of Fresno. Ounesavath looked to be in prime position after firing a morning round of 5-under 67 to take the 18-hole lead, however, he struggled in the afternoon posting a 5-over 77. Hughes also had a solid morning round of 3-under 69 to put him in a tie for second going into the afternoon, but he came in with a 3-over 75. Yamaguchi played fairly steady recording six birdies, four bogeys and one double-bogey over 36 holes to finish with back-to-back 72s. In a playoff Yamaguchi earned first alternate and Hughes earned second alternate.
Ponte and McNealy’s play qualified them to play in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, July 16-21, at GC of New England in Stratham, New Hampshire.