September 9, 2013
NAPA – Four players punched their tickets to next month’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in championship qualifying at Silverado Resort on Monday. All four players fired under-par scores on Silverado’s North Course and were the only four to do so, avoiding a dreaded sudden-death playoff to determine any spots.
Sharing medalist honors atop the leaderboard were Jeff Wilson of Fairfield and Drew Olson of Berkeley, who each fired rounds of 3-under-par 69. Wilson, who has previously earned or shared medalist honors in the championship proper multiple times, scored his 3-under 69 with five birdies and two bogeys. Getting off to a shaky start with two bogeys and a birdie in the first six holes, the 50-year-old had a spectacular back-nine converting birdies on Nos. 10, 15, 16 and 17.
Olson, two decades Wilson’s junior, scored his 3-under 69 with four birdies and one bogey. Birdies on Nos. 5 and 9 allowed the 30-year-old to make the turn at 2-under par, before a brief slip-up with a bogey on No. 13. However, Olson recovered immediately with a birdie on No. 14 and another on No. 17 to post a sub-70 score.
Finishing alone in third place, one shot back at 2-under-par 70 was Napa native J.J. Jakovac. The former NCGA Public Links Champion, who started his day off the No. 10 tee, made three birdies and one bogey with most of the action coming near the end of his round. With 12 pars and one birdie over his first 13 holes, the 31-year-old traded a birdie for a bogey on Nos. 5 and 6 preceding a birdie on No. 8.
Earning the final spot and taking fourth place alone with a score of 1-under-par 71 was Brent Holmes of Larkspur. The 29-year-old, who also started his day off the No. 10 tee, had three birdies and two bogeys in his round, and conversely compared to Jakovac, had most of his action begin during the beginning of his round. Opening with birdies on Nos. 13 and 14, Holmes traded a bogey on No. 16 with a birdie on No. 18, before reeling off eight straight pars and a bogey-6 on the par-5 ninth to post a 71.
Missing out on one of the four allotted spots by a single stroke and settling for first alternate instead was Daniel Butcher of Fresno, who posted an even-par 72. Taylor Hobin of Brentwood and Mark Nicoletti of Napa tied for sixth place at 1-over-par 73 and played-off for second alternate with Hobin prevailing.
The four players to advance will compete in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship on October 5-10 at the Country Club of Birmingham in Birmingham, Ala.