SAN GABRIEL, Calif. (Nov. 6, 2013) -- Jim Knoll completed his journey for a wire-to-wire victory at the 22nd Annual CGA Amateur Championship on Wednesday, but it was no easy task. Coming into the final round with a seven-stroke advantage, the Sunnyvale resident won by a margin of two strokes finishing with a 54-hole score of 212, 1-under-par at San Gabriel CC.
After two under-par rounds on Monday and Tuesday with a 70 and 66, the 61-year-old wasn’t quite the same player posting a final round 76. Things looked to be right on track for another under-par round after opening with a birdie on No. 2, but six bogeys over the final 16 holes (Nos. 3, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 15) made Knoll sweat it out a little more than he likely wanted. After making a surprising bogey on the short par-4 15th—a hole Knoll birdied the first two days—his lead was cut to one with Gary Vanier right on his tail. However, a bogey by Vanier on No. 17 gave Knoll a two-shot lead going into the final hole where he would make his third straight par to win the title.
Vanier of Pleasant Hill—a former CGA Senior champion in his own right—finished second with a 54-hole score of 214, consisting of rounds of 73, 70 and 71. Defending champion Casey Boyns of Monterey finished in third with a three-day total of 220, scoring rounds of 71, 73 and 76. Tying for fourth and rounding out the top five at 221 were three-time CGA Senior Champion Jeff Burda of Modesto and Iain McDonald of Fullerton.
With the win Knoll adds this prestigious event to his already illustrious amateur career. A month ago Knoll became the first NCGA competitor to win three consecutive Senior Player of the Year awards and set a new point total for a season. Additionally, Knoll has several NCGA majors to his name: NCGA Public Links, NCGA Senior, NCGA Master Division, NCGA Senior Four-Ball and NCGA Senior Valley (twice).
The CGA Senior Amateur Championship is scheduled to return to Northern California in 2014 at the newly-renovated Poppy Hills GC.