Big Names at Poppy Hills for U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier
November 25, 2014
A strong field will be at the new par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course on Monday for what is the first of three Northern California qualifiers for next year’s inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
In the who’s who department, among those pairing up with hopes of advancing to the championship proper include the tandems of Casey Boyns and Joey Ferrari, Jason Anthony and Randy Haag and Trevor Clayton and Michael Tolladay.
In both 1994 and 1996, Boyns and Ferrari teamed up to win the NCGA Four-Ball title. Boyns, who’s won NCGA Player of the Year honors four times, continues to shine on the NCGA senior circuit. He’d finish second to Jim Knoll in last year’s race for NCGA Senior Player of the Year honors. Ferrari, meanwhile, has returned to golf after serving a 10-year prison sentence for possession of drugs. The 1992 NCGA Player of the Year came back in grand fashion, winning this year’s NCGA Senior Valley Amateur title at Reserve at Spanos Park.
Anthony and Haag also are a formidable twosome. Anthony, who hails from Fairfield, finished second in last year’s NCGA Player of the Year race thanks in part to a win at the Fresno City Amateur and a Round of 16 run at the California State Amateur Championship. Haag, on the other hand, has won NCGA Player of the Year honors a record six times.
There’s also the twosome of 2014 NCGA Player of the Year Trevor Clayton and Michael Tolladay. Clayton won Player of the Year honors on the back of a win at the NCGA Valley Amateur, which included a first round score of 10-under 62 that set the record for an all-time low round in NCGA tournament history. Tolladay, who’s also from the Fresno area, finished sixth in last year’s NCGA Player of the Year race.
Among some of the other notables in the field include Phil Mickelson’s brother Tim Mickelson, who will play with Jake Yount and Encinitas resident Tianlang Guan. In 2013 at the age of 14, Guan, who’s paired with Perry Xin, became the youngest player ever to tee it up at the Masters.
While at Augusta National, he’d become the first recipient of a slow-play penalty in the then 77-year history of the tournament. He’d go on, however, to become the youngest player to make the Masters cut, never scoring higher than a bogey.
Following the qualifier at Poppy Hills, another two qualifiers will be held at Northern California sites. On Dec. 8, a qualifier will be held at Del Paso CC in Sacramento, which will host the 2015 U.S. Senior Open. Another qualifier will be held March 9 at Pasatiempo GC in Santa Cruz. Pasatiempo hosted the 1986 U.S. Women’s Amateur and 2004 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur.
The inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will tee off May 2-6 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.