SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2012) -- Coming off of a runner-up finish at the 2012 SCGA Amateur Championship at Big Canyon CC just two weeks ago, No. 1 seed Xander Schauffele was in danger of ending up on the wrong side of an upset Monday in the opening round of the 5th SCGA Match Play Championship, being held this week at Sandpiper GC.
The San Diego State golfer was able to fight his way back, however, taking his first lead on the 13th hole of the match before eventually defeating Jeffrey Fortson of Palm Desert 2 up.
Schauffele moves on to face the 17th-seed Sam Yi of Northridge in the Round of 16 at 8:06 Tuesday morning.
A number of players with past success in SCGA events advanced to Tuesday's quarterfinals, including Maxwell Marsico, Jake Knapp, Kevin Dougherty, Dan Sullivan and Mark Miller, who won by default when his opponent Justin Warthen DQ'ed for missing his starting time.
Sullivan, winner of both the 2011 and 2012 SCGA Foursomes Championship with partner Miller, got out to about as hot a start as you can Monday, finding himself 7 up on opponent Cavin McCall through nine holes. McCall didn't go down without a fight, however, winning holes 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 to pull within two of Sullivan through 16. Sullivan clinched the victory, though, with a birdie on the par 4 17th hole. He will move on to face 2012 L.A. City Junior Champion Alex Angard Tuesday.
Tuesday will be highlighted by a number of all-collegiate matchups, as Univ. of Illinois golfer David Kim will take on Notre Dame athlete Niall Platt and Kevin Dougherty of Oklahoma State matches up with USC's Stewart Hagestad (pictured). Hagestad, after placing in the top five during the recent SCGA Amateur, pulled out a nailbiter Monday, defeating Aaron West of Woodland Hills on the 1 up with an impressive 42-foot birdie putt from off the green on the par 3 170-yard 18th hole.