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Final match recap and interview

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (June 30, 2012) -- He has a prolific resume, including two SCGA Amateur Championships and a USGA Mid-Am Championship, but when Kevin Marsh claimed the 101st California Amateur Championship Saturday afternoon in his hometown of Santa Barbara, it quickly climbed towards the top of his list of memorable moments.

"I've been lucky enough to win a lot of golf tournaments, but this one is right up there as good as any of them," said Marsh, as he addressed a crowd of more than 100 people during the award ceremony.

Marsh defeated Ben Geyer of Arbuckle, Calif. 4 & 3 in the 36-hole final of the six- day tournament, winning his first state title. Marsh blazed the La Cumbre CC course with eight birdies and one eagle in 33 holes, while putting on a putting clinic for the gallery of almost 200 locals, who were dedicated to cheering on their hometown hero.

 
 

Marsh and Geyer battled it out through the first 18 holes, with Marsh flirting between a one and two stroke advantage for most of the initial round. Marsh extended that lead to 4 up through 25 holes, but Geyer, who had pulled out four come-from-behind victories already this week, cut the lead in half after hole 28. On the 31st hole of the match, however, with the advantage back to 3 up, Marsh made the shot of the tournament, draining a 40-ft breaking putt to basically put the match out of Geyer's reach. Two holes later, it was over.

"Kevin capitalized when he needed to," said Geyer. "It was a great learning experience. Obviously coming into today anything but a win would be disappointing, but Kevin played really well, and it was a great week."

Geyer and Marsh got to know each other pretty well earlier in the week, as the two were in the same pairing during the stroke play portion of the championship. The final match was extremely friendly, with the two competitors congratulating their opponent every chance they got.

Geyer didn't make it easy on himself Friday, going to extra holes in both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches, playing a combined 42 holes on the day. While he admitted his legs "weren't feeling great" today, he almost said it didn't affect his game.

View results for California State Amateur Championship

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