June 19-24, 2017
June 24, 2017
By Gary McCormick
Six days, two rounds of stroke play, and six rounds of match play – and it all came down to a pair of putts on the historic 18th green of San Francisco’s Olympic Club. One dropped, one didn’t, and that made all the difference in who hoisted the trophy as the champion in the 106th California Amateur Championship.
With a clutch birdie on he 36th hole, PJ Samiere of San Diego State won the title.
“Patience and perseverance, that’s what it took,” said Samiere. “But I’m really excited about this win.”
A fog-shrouded morning at the Olympic Club didn’t delay the start of the final round of the Championship, and it didn’t hamper Noah Norton, who hails from the hotter, drier environs of Chico, from getting off to a strong start in the 36-hole final against PJ Samiere, of San Diego.
Norton won four of the first five holes in much the same manner that he won his quarter-final and semifinal matches – with unerring putting, sinking putts for birdie par, par, par, and birdie in the first five holes while his opponent was narrowly missing his.
With the match 4-up in Norton’s favor after five holes, the contest settled into a rhythm for another stretch of five holes where neither player could get an upper hand. Each bogeyed the par-four 6th, matched birdies on the drivable par-four 7th, and paced each other with pars through 8, 9, and 10. Norton won #11 with a birdie after a brilliant approach shot that hit past the hole, then rode the slope back down to the front left hole location, leaving less than 2 feet for a tap-in birdie.
With the match now 5-up in Norton’s favor it was starting to look like Samiere, who on Friday went 19 holes in a win against Stanford senior Franklin Huang, and closed out Henry Chung, a senior at USF, 4 and 3, would have to find another gear if he was going to catch up. The rising senior at San Diego State showed a bit of what was to come on #12, stiffing an approach from 194 yards and sinking a birdie putt to take back a hole, while his younger opponent, playing from the right-hand bunker, failed to match his three. Then, after a run of four holes, 13 through 16, of both players making pars, Samiere found the extra gear that he needed.
Laying up from the fairway at #17, the final par-5 on the course, Samiere chipped up close to the front-left flag, sinking a putt for birdie, while Norton, who had to play up to the green from the rough wide right, missed his chance at a four. On #18, Samiere was inside Norton’s ball on the green, and took advantage of a read from his opponent’s putt to sink another birdie, taking the match into the lunch break down two, when he had been five down 7 holes before, and more importantly, with momentum.
Norton, from slightly worse position off the tee, pulled his second shot to the left, where it bounded off a reverse slope, away from the green, hit the cart path, and rattled around under an official’s cart before riding the cart path down the slope and around a curve past the third tee box.
The ball seemed destined for a trip as far, perhaps, as the fourth tee box before it hit a seam in the cart path and hopped the curb to find a good lie in the mild rough below the third tee. The youngster from Chico hit a high-arching flop shot through a fortuitous opening between a pair of cypress trees to catch the far side of the green, but had to settle for a bogey-five after narrowly missing the par putt.
After 20 holes, a run of three birdies and a par by PJ Samiere had brought the match back to all square, and it was shaping up to be a duel to the finish from there.
Asked about the sea-change after the match, Samiere said, “I knew that if I stayed patient it could turn around. The last two holes of the first 18 and the first two of the second really got me going.”
After three holes of all-square play, Norton showed that he wasn’t going down without a fight, going 1-up with a birdie at #5, the 23rd hole of the competition. It looked like he would take it up another notch at #6, the 24th hole, when he walked in a 30-foot birdie putt, but Samiere matched him with a delicate chip-in for birdie from the back collar of the green. With the good feeling from that play carrying forward, Samiere won the seventh and eighth holes with birdie-par to square the match again, then go 1-up.
Norton squared the match again at #9, finding the green from the right rough and two-putting for par while Samiere came up short from the fairway, chipped on, and then missed his par putt. A par at #10 put Samiere 1-up again, when Norton made a hard-working bogey from knee-high fescue in the native-area rough to the right of the fairway.
After matching pars at #11, there was some drama on the twelfth hole, a fairly benign par-4 that is something of a breather before play proceeds to the wicked-hard par-3 thirteenth.
Norton’s drive went wildly right, bounding out of the right rough onto the cart path before coming to rest against the curbing about 150-odd yards from the green. Taking relief in the light rough adjacent to the 13th hole, Norton faced a labyrinthine shot through a tangle of cypress trees that lay between him and the green. After much conferring with his caddie, an experienced Olympic Club hand, he chose 9-iron, set up for a fade and aimed for a gap in the trees.
“There was a tree I had to go over, and a window about ten by ten through the next ones.” Norton said afterwards. “I set up for a cut, and actually tugged it a little, and got it to the green.”
After finding the green from a position that would have had most players just punching sideways to the fairway and taking their medicine, the youngster from Chico narrowly missed a birdie putt that would have won the hole, settling for a conceded par and a halve, after Samiere, from good position in the fairway, missed his birdie, and made par from about four feet.
Spectators were still talking about the play at #12 when Norton squared the match—again—at #13. He hit the green on the 200-plus-yard par-3, in good position below the hole, while Samiere went left, into the rough, winning the hole on a conceded par putt while Samiere pitched on and missed a medium-length putt for three.
The duo then settled in for a run to the finish, matching well-fought pars for the next three holes. Both Samiere and Norton made birdie on the par-5 seventeenth hole, from bad positions – Samiere right of the green in the light rough, and Norton in the right-hand bunker. Samiere’s pitch onto the green narrowly missed dropping in for an eagle, then Norton got up and down from the bunker for birdie to stay alive in the match.
The 18th hole at the Olympic Club has seen a lot of drama over the years. There was the titanic struggle between U.S. Open legend Ben Hogan and unknown club pro Jack Fleck in the 1955 Open, and the heart-breaking demise of Payne Stewart’s round at the 1998 Open in the loss to Lee Janzen. In the 106th California Amateur it was a pair of putts, one that dropped, and one that didn’t, which decided the issue.
Playing from the back tees, both Samiere and Norton found good position in the fairway off the tee, and both slammed high, soft-landing approach shots to the vicinity of the back-right flag. Samiere’s ball was about six feet below the hole, Norton’s a bit further away – seven or eight feet – but to the left, leaving a tricky sidehill run to the hole. Lining up carefully, Norton played maybe a cup’s worth of break – but as it turned out he needed a little more. The putt slid by on the low side, no more than half a cup out, and stopped two feet past the hole.
After Norton marked and removed his ball, Samiere lined up his putt – a simpler proposition than his opponent’s, in all fairness, being shorter, and straight uphill – then gave it a firm rap, watching it track to the hole, then walking it in the last foot with a quick little fist pump as he became 2017 California Amateur champion.
The 36-hole final of the 106th California Amateur Championship was a premiere example of the finest that amateur golf has to offer. One hundred fifty-six players showed up to battle it out over two of the best golf courses in the Bay Area, the Olympic Club’s Ocean and Lake layouts, with nothing more on the line than glory, bragging rights, and a chance to see their name engraved on the Edward B. Tufts Trophy.
The 2017 winner will be in good company, joining such distinguished golfers as Jack Neville (five times) and Douglas Grant, co-designers of Pebble Beach Golf links; Gene Littler, the 1961 U.S. Open champion; Ken Venturi – a two-time winner, in 1951 and 1956, who went on to a distinguished pro career, a U.S. Open championship in 1964, and a 35-year tenure as the voice of golf on CBS television; and Johnny Miller, 1973 U.S. Open champion, 1976 British Open champion and a 25-time winner on the PGA Tour.
It was a tournament worthy of its heritage, closed out by a final round that was worthy of the distinguished names which precede that of 2017 champion PJ Samiere on the trophy.
June 23, 2017
By Gary McCormick
As it began so it would end.
The mix of Northern California and Southern California players who began the match play Round of 32 in the 2017 California Amateur Championship was almost exactly even – 17 from the north, 14 from the south and one from out of state – and at the end of the day it was one player from each portion of the state who advanced to Saturday’s 36-hole finale.
The opening ratio changed radically after the round of 32, with only five of those 17 NorCal players advancing. As it happened, five of the Round of 32 matches pitted Northern California players against each other – and those were the only matches to advance players hailing from NCGA territory.
The odds for a NorCal champion dropped again when only two of the five moved on to the quarterfinal, and those two – Noah Norton, of Chico, and Josh McCarthy of Danville, were matched against each other.
Playing a course setup that differed little from the 2012 U.S. Open setup (same hole locations, but friendlier rough) the young man who beat the odds, advancing to the final round to represent Northern California in the California Amateur, was Noah Norton. Norton, an incoming freshman at Georgia Tech University (Fall 2017) and 2016 AJGA PING Invitational champion, was matched against Spencer Soosman, of Westlake Village, a sophomore at the University of Texas.
The pair played an evenly matched round through the first half of the course, remaining all-square for two holes before Norton took a 1-up lead at the par-3 third hole. Playing from similar positions just short of the green, Soosman chipped up short of the hole and missed his par putt, while Norton putted to a few inches taking the hole with a conceded par putt.
The score changed at the next par-3, the famous Hole #8, which plays to an amphitheater green adjacent to the 18th green, overlooked by the Olympic Club’s handsome Spanish Revival clubhouse. Norton couldn’t manage the up and down from the back right-hand bunker, and Soosman squared the match with a routine two-putt par from 30 feet right of the hole.
After halving the 9th hole with pars, the match started to heat up, even as the fog thickened overhead and the chill breeze off the Pacific sprang up. Norton took command of the match at this point, winning holes 10 and 11 with birdies. The win at 11 came on a 25-foot birdie putt, coolly drained by the Pleasant Valley High School graduate while his opponent’s ball marker sat no more than three feet away from the hole on the opposite side. It looked like a sure halve after Norton’s putt dropped, but Soosman whiffed his tying putt by the closest of margins, giving the hole, and a 2-up lead, to Norton.
The pair halved the par-4 12th with pars, then another par-3 played a part in deciding the match. Play at No.13, a tight, tree-lined 195-yard three-shotter, moved Norton one hole closer to victory when Soosman’s tee shot went right, clipping a towering cypress tree and falling short of the green. Norton was on the green with a 30-foot birdie putt that he rolled up to inches from the hole for a conceded par, which won the hole after Soosman’s par putt slid past.
Norton showed that clutch putts aren’t the only strength of his game on the par-4 fourteenth. A laser-like second shot from the right rough, well short of Soosman’s position off the tee, came to rest just off the left edge of the green, 20 feet left of the hole. Soosman’s drive cut the inside of the dogleg left fairway, finishing up just into the left rough, but on a significant downslope. His approach was short of the green, in the runup area, but his chip up onto the green failed to carry the hole for him after Norton rolled in the birdie putt from the left fringe.
In what was becoming a theme for this match, the final par-3 on the course decided the issue. Number 15, not too long – short, even – at 157 yards, has a generous putting surface that is guarded by a trio of cavernous, steep-sided bunkers. Both players were on in one, Norton in slightly better position short and left of the flag. Soosman stood over his putt knowing that he had to win the hole to continue the match. A good lag and a conceded par by Norton were all it took to close out the match with a 4 and 3 victory after Soosman’s birdie putt slid past without dropping.
Reminded after the match of the role that a number of must-make putts played in his two wins today, Norton conceded, “That’s what I rely on. They’re what gets it done.”
The earlier semi-final match also finished on No.15, and had an eerily similar theme to the Norton/Soosman match. Henry Chung, of Cerritos, a senior at USF, was one down to San Diego’s P.J. Samiere for the first three holes of the match before squaring the contest with a birdie at the par-4 fourth hole.
The match stayed square until Samiere won the eighth hole with a birdie, followed by wins at 10, 12, and 14. Samiere, a senior at San Diego State and the 2016 Southwest Amateur champion came away the winner after the pair halved #15 with pars.
Norton and Samiere will square off Saturday morning at 7:30 to decide the 2017 California Amateur Championship.
By Gary McCormick
The final pair of Northern California players in the match play rounds at the California Amateur at the Olympic Club, Junior Tour of Northern California alums Noah Norton, of Chico and Josh McCarthy, of Danville, met in a quarter-final match this morning. The good news is that this matchup guaranteed that there would be a NorCal player in the semifinals. The bad news was that it ruled out the possibility of two NorCal players moving on.
Paired off in the last match of the morning, Norton and McCarthy were fairly evenly matched for most of the round. Norton went 1-up right out of the gate with a par at the first hole, but McCarthy squared the match with a three to Norton’s four at the par-3 third hole. The two traded pars for a three-hole run, Norton staying in the thick of things with clutch par putts while McCarthy made a habit of chipping or lagging close for conceded par putts.
McCarthy went 1-up at the drivable par-4 seventh hole with a birdie out of the right-hand bunker, then Norton came back with a par at the eight hole to square the match when McCarthy’s tee shot to the iconic par-3 landed short and rolled back down the false front. A chip-in birdie at the ninth hole put McCarthy up again, then 1-up with a par at the eleventh.
Norton took control of the match in the middle of the back nine with a run of pars that won holes 13 through 15, and the match went into the 17th hole with Norton 2-up. An errant drive followed by a tough chip out of unmown “native area” grass for his third gave a hole back to McCarthy, and the pair went into the final hole with Norton up by one.
Playing from the 280-yard forward tee box that was installed for the inaugural U.S. Men’s Amateur Four-Ball two years ago, McCarthy nearly drove the green on the historic closing hole, ending up above the flag but in the left-hand bunker. Norton’s drive ended up left of the green on a steep downslope in the amphitheatre-like bowl around the green. After McCarthy’s shot out of the bunker skipped past the flag and off the front of the green, followed by a chip and a lipped-out par putt, Norton was left to make a deft chip out of the greenside rough (his third shot), followed by a clutch par putt from slightly above the hole to close out the match and advance to the semi-final round.
In the remaining three matches, in which the remaining Southern California players duked it out amongst themselves, USF senior Henry Chung, of Cerritos, took Carlsbad’s Danny Ochoa to 19 holes before closing him out. Chung will meet PJ Samiere, of San Diego, in the semi-finals. Samiere also needed 19 holes to close out his quarter-final opponent, Stanford senior Franklin Huang. The fourth match, between Brian Song, of Beverly Hills, and Spencer Soosman, the highest seed remaining in the competition, was the only match of the morning that didn’t get to the 18th hole. Soosman won five out of six holes from #11 through #16 to close out the match on the long par-5, advancing to meet the lone Northern California player, Noah Norton, in the 1:15 p.m. semi-final match.
June 22, 2017
Two former players and buddies from the Junior Tour of Northern California, a Don and a Cardinal are now carrying the regional torch at this week’s California Amateur Championship at the Olympic Club.
Josh McCarthy and Noah Norton, who both competed on the JTNC, advanced to Friday morning’s quarterfinals after winning their Round of 16 matches Thursday on the Lake Course. The No.7 seeded McCarthy, who’s now a sophomore at Pepperdine, moved on with a 3 and 2 victory over No.23 Brandon Tsujimoto. Norton, an incoming freshman at Georgia Tech and the event’s bracket-buster so far (he’s the No.31 seed), dispatched No.18 Taylor Bibbs, 3 and 2.
In the upset of the day, No.1 seed Eddy Lai of San Jose lost 1-up to No.16 Danny Ochoa.
Either Norton or McCarthy is guaranteed a spot in Friday afternoon’s semifinals. The pair, who are good friends from their junior days, will meet in a 7:50 a.m. quarterfinals match.
“You have to be good to just to get to match play. To play my buddy in the quarterfinals, I’m proud of him,” Norton said of McCarthy. “We’re both competitors. He wants to win this as much as I do.”
McCarthy, who has never trailed in his two victories and hails from Danville, was an All-WCC First Team pick following his debut season with the Waves. He’d tie a Pepperdine freshman record with eight top-20 finishes.
Having knocked out No.2 seed Justin Suh on Wednesday, Norton too has yet to trail in any match. In his win over Bibbs, the 18-year-old former Pleasant Valley High star was solid, going 3-under through his 16 holes.
“We’re both going to want to go out there and take care of business,” Norton said. “I love Josh. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Also punching their tickets to the semis were University of San Francisco senior Henry Chung and Stanford senior Franklin Huang.
Chung, who had a second-best team stroke average of 72.8 for the Dons this past season, has also shaken up the brackets. A day after eliminating No.8 seed and 2016 San Francisco City champ Daniel Connolly, the Cerritos resident knocked out No.9 Norman Xiong, 2 and 1. Chung, who also has never trailed yet, jumped to a 3-up lead through seven over Xiong thanks to three birdies. Chung will next take on Ochoa.
On the Stanford front, it was a mixed day. Senior and No.12 seed Franklin Huang moved on with a 3 and 1 win over former UC Davis standout Ben Corfee. No.19 Bradley Knox, meanwhile fell 4 and 3 to No.30 Brian Song.
Huang, an All-Pac 12 Second Team pick this past season, grabbed a 2-up lead with back-to-back birdies on the 4th and 5th holes. Corfee, a former winner of the NCGA Four-Ball Championship, eventually cut the lead back to 1-up with a birdie of his own on the par-3 13th, but Huang came right back with two more consecutive birdies on the 16th and 17th to seal the deal. The Poway resident will next take on No.20 P.J. Samiere of San Diego, who has yet to have to play the 17th hole in match play.
The last quarterfinals match will see Song go up against No.6 Spencer Soosman of Westlake Village. Soosman is the highest seed remaining in the brackets.
June 21, 2017
No.1 seed Eddy Lai of San Jose got through his first obstacle in the match play portion of this week’s California Amateur at the prestigious Olympic Club. It’s a good thing too, because he’s one of just five Northern California players left in the brackets.
Lai, a former standout at Bellarmine Preparatory who’s headed to UCLA in the fall, took a 1-up lead after the first hole and never looked back, knocking out No.,32 seed Jason Anthony, 3 and 2, in Wednesday’s opening Round of 32. Anthony had entered the event leading the points standings for NCGA Player of the Year honors.
Following Lai’s opening victory, however, the Lake Course became a haven for players hailing from Southern California. Nine of the 16 matches in the Round of 32 saw a Northern California player taking on a player from the Southland. The Southern California players went 9-0 in those matches.
Between the NorCal/SoCal match-ups, there were also five opening matches that saw a NorCal player taking on a fellow NorCal player. As a result, Lai will be joined by only four other Northern California players–Ben Corfee, Noah Norton, Bradley Knox and Joshua McCarthy–come Thursday’s Round of 16 matches.
Along with the Southland tidal wave, it was also a day of upsets, as the No.2, No.3 and No.4 seeds all were sent packing. No.2 seed Justin Suh, a former two-time Junior Tour of Northern California Player of the Year (2013, 2015) who’s now at USC, fell to Norton, an incoming freshman at Georgia Tech, 4 and 3.
No.3 Isaiah Salinda, another JTNC product from nearby South San Francisco, fell 1-up to No.30 Brian Song of Beverly Hills. The No.4 seed, Robert Hamilton of Gold River, who won the 2001 NCGA Four-Ball title and was the oldest player left in the brackets, lost 4 and 3 to Temecula’s Jake Williams.
McCarthy, who was JTNC Player of the Year in 2014, survived an all -NorCal duel with Ryan Sloane, Now a sophomore at Pepperdine, McCarthy jumped out to an early 3-up lead following a par on the 8th hole. Sloane, who’s at No.7 in the NCGA Player of the Year standings, didn’t give in however, eventually bringing the match back to all-square with a birdie on the 15th. McCarthy won the 17th with a par, and the two halved the 18th.
A former standout at UC Davis, the No.5 seeded Corfee also had a tight match before finally ousting 2016 Alameda Commuters champion Peter Kuest of Fresno, 2 and 1. In what was the showdown match of the day (and yet another all NorCal meeting), Stanford’s Bradley Knox outlasted 2015 runner-up Josh Sedeno of Roseville on the 19th hole. Knox won the first playoff hole (the par-4 9th) with a par.
While Southern California players feasted in the Round of 32, things could change come Thursday’s Round of 16. For one, three of Thursday’s Round of 16 matches will be SoCal players taking on one another.
NCGA players, meanwhile, will have a shot at redemption, as the five left all have matches against SoCal players.
Lai, who finished runner-up to 2016 California Amateur champ Shintaro Ban at last year’s NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship, next will take on No.16 Danny Ochoa of Carlsbad, while Corfee will face No.12 Franklin Huang of Poway. Huang currently plays at Stanford.
In three other matches, Norton will take on Rancho Santa Fe’s Taylor Bibbs, McCarthy will tangle with Pomona’s Brandon Tsujimoto and Knox will face Song. By the end of Thursday, it’s possible that the quarterfinals brackets could have five Northern California players to three players from SoCal.
Each of the last two California Amateurs have been won by a Northern California player–brothers Shotaro (2015) and Shintaro (2016) Ban of San Jose. The last SoCal champion was Xander Schauffele (2014), who finished 5th at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
June 20, 2017
Eighteen-year-old San Jose resident Eddy Lai was a buzzsaw at last year’s NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship. That is, until he ran into eventual champion Shintaro Ban in the final.
Lai, who’s headed to UCLA in the fall and is a member at the Olympic Club, now will have a chance at redeeming himself by capturing one of the other big prizes Ban won in 2016.
The former Bellarmine College Preparatory standout and former NCGA Junior champion earned the No.1 seed at this week’s California Amateur Championship at the Olympic Club on Tuesday, finishing stroke play qualifying with a two-day score of 5-under 137 following a 1-under 70 on the Lake Course. Ban, who is not back to defend to his Cal Am crown, won last year at Valencia CC.
Overall, what was another busy day saw 32 players secure coveted spots in the brackets. Everyone else went home.
The No.2 seed will be former Junior Tour of Northern California Player of the Year Justin Suh. Suh, who now plays at USC and also hails from San Jose, earned that spot with a solid 67 on the tougher Lake Course that featured seven birdies. Also moving on was fellow former JTNC Player of the Year Joshua McCarthy, who finished T-3 at 140 after a 73 on the Lake Course.
In the redemption category, there’s also Roseville’s Joshua Sedeno. Sedeno, who fell to Ban’s brother Shotaro in the 2015 California Amateur finals at Lake Merced GC and now plays at Alabama, advanced with a two-day score of 142.
Other notable NorCal names advancing were defending Alameda Commuters champion Sebastian Crampton (143) and 2016 San Francisco City champion Daniel Connolly (140). Connolly’s father, John, owns the popular Johnny Foley’s Irish House on O’Farrell Street in The City.
The final eight spots in the brackets came down to 10 players who all came in tied at the cutline (144). Among the eight who advanced were Campbell resident Ryan Sloane, former Alameda Commuters champ Peter Kuest and Olympic Club member Jason Anthony, who came into the week leading in the points standings for NCGA Player of the Year honors.
In the North/South Challenge, where six of the best of the NCGA take on six of the best from the SCGA for the Roger Lapham Trophy, the SCGA won by 10 strokes, 703-713. The SCGA was paced by Norman Xiong’s 69 and three 70’s. The NCGA was led by Suh’s 67. Xiong, who plays at Oregon, had the hot-hand early, going 4-under through eight holes on the Lake Course before cooling off.
June 19, 2017
The chase for not only medalist honors but simply a spot in the match play brackets is on at this week’s California Amateur Championship at the Olympic Club.
As it appears, the Lake Course will have a lot to say on exactly who advances.
In Monday’s first round of stroke play qualifying, four Northern California players–Blake Abercrombie, Ben Corfee, Joshua McCarthy and Eddy Lai–all grabbed a share of the lead with rounds of 4-under 67 on the Ocean Course.
Thing is, they’ve still got a round to go on the Lake Course, which was playing four strokes higher than its sister. On the flip side, those who got beaten up by the Lake Course still have a shot at redeeming themselves with bounce back rounds on the Ocean Course.
Just how big was the difference, besides the four stroke average, between the Ocean Course and the Lake Course? The first 33 scores on the leaderboard following Monday’s opener all came from the Ocean. That 33 number is one short of Tuesday’s magic number— only 32 players will advance to match play.
A pair of SCGA players, Danny Ochoa and PJ Samiere, are just one behind the leaders after rounds of 68.
Among those who were on the Lake Course who’ll be looking to get back in it on Tuesday are record six-time NCGA Player of the Year and Olympic Club member Randy Haag (77), 2016 NCGA Four-Ball co-champ Brett Viboch (77) and former NCGA Mid-Amateur champ Zachary Solomon (78).
In the North/South Challenge, which features six of the best of the SCGA taking on six of the NCGA’s best for the Roger Lapham Trophy, the SCGA leads after the first round, 352-357. The SCGA was led by Samiere’s 68 and a 70 by Spencer Soosman. The NCGA was paced by three 71’s—Noah Norton, Justin Suh and Jason Anthony, who entered the event leading in the race for NCGA Player of the Year honors.
The 106th California Amateur Championship gets underway Monday.
A full field of 156 talented amateurs from the Golden State will take on one of America’s most revered and challenging layouts – the prestigious Olympic Club.
Among some of the quick fun facts: This is only the second time the event has been held at Olympic Club. Bhavik Patel, who now plays on the Web.com Tour, won there in 2011. Xander Schauffele, who was leading the U.S. Open at Erin Hills in the second round, won the 2014 California Amateur at La Costa.
The oldest player in the field is 58-year-old Randy Haag, a member at Olympic. The youngest player is 15-year-old Bradley Vu, a member of the Junior Tour of Northern California.
Schedule: Monday 18 holes of qualifying; Tuesday 18 holes of qualifying; Wednesday Round of 32; Thursday Round of 16; Friday Quarterfinals and Semifinals; Saturday 36-hole Final.
Worth highlighting too is the competition within the competition. That would be the North-South Challenge, where six Northern California amateurs compete against six Southern California amateurs, counting the best 5 out of 6 scores for the two rounds of stroke play for the Roger Lapham Trophy.
Needless to say, both teams feature incredible talent. The teams will start on the Ocean Course from 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. on Monday, and will start from 11:10 a.m. – 11:40 a.m. on the Lake Course on Tuesday.
Representing Northern California:
- Senior at the University of New Mexico
- Named to the 2017 Division I PING All-Region West Team
- Junior at the University of California – Berkeley
- 2017 Alameda Commuters champion
- 2016 California Amateur semifinalist
- Alternate for the 2012 US Open at The Olympic Club at the age of 16.
- Incoming freshman at Georgia Tech University (Fall 2017)
- 2016 AJGA PING Invitational champion
- Sophomore at the University of Southern California
- Named to the 2017 Division I PING All-Region West Team
- 2014 NCGA Junior champion
- Currently leading NCGA Player of the Year standings
- Stroke-play Medalist at the 2014 California Amateur
- Runner-Up at the 2017 NCGA Mid-Amateur and 2017 NCGA Four-Ball (with partner Randy Haag)
- Freshman at Brigham Young University
- 2017 West Coast Conference champion
- 2016 California Amateur semifinalist
Representing Southern California:
- Incoming Freshman at Oklahoma State University (Fall 2017)
- Two-time CIF State High School Team champion
- First-Team Rolex Junior All-American
- Sophomore at the University of Oregon
- Represented the U.S. in the 2017 Arnold Palmer Cup
- Represented the U.S. in the 2016 Junior Ryder Cup
- 2015 CIF/SCGA So-Cal High School champion
- Sophomore at the University of Texas
- Two-team CIF State High School Team champion at Westlake High
- Four-time winner on AJGA circuit
- Senior at Stanford University
- T-2 Finish at 2017 Pac-12 Championship
- 2015 California Amateur Championship semifinalist
- Sophomore at UCLA
- 2016 CIF State Champion
- 2016 California Amateur Championship – Runner-Up
- 2016 SCGA Amateur Championship – 5thPlace
- Senior at San Deigo State University
- 2016 SCGA Amateur Championship – 4thPlace
- 2016 Southwestern Amateur champion