PEBBLE BEACH, June 21 -- Steve Woods of Cupertino hopes history will repeat itself after earning medalist honors in the 95th California Amateur Championship with a sizzling 6-under-par 66 at sun-drenched Pebble Beach Links.
After opening with rounds of 71-70 at Poppy Hills Golf Course, the 34-year-old Woods -- who in 1994 became the last person to win medalist honors and go on to claim the match-play championship in the same year -- edged his former San Jose State College teammate, Jeff Gilchrist of Carmichael, who also fired a 66 today.
They will be the top two seeds in the 32-man match play field, which begins play with two rounds Thursday (the first tee-off is at 6:10 a.m.) Quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Friday and the 36-hole championship match will be played Saturday. All matches are at Pebble Beach GL.
The cut for match play was at 223; defending champion Don DuBois of Newport Beach and defending SCGA Mid-Amateur champion Robert Funk of Canyon Lake each made par 4 on the first playoff hole to advance. DuBois will meet Gilchrist and Funk will play Woods in the first round.
Also advancing was last year's runner-up, Joseph Bramlett of Saratoga, who rebounded from an opening-round 77 to shoot 72 yesterday and 1-under-par 71 today, a round that included making par 5 on the second hole after hitting his second shot out of bounds, and making par 4 on the ninth hole after hitting his drive into the hazard.
Woods opened up on fire today, starting birdie-eagle-birdie, nearly acing the par-3 seventh hole and making birdie 3 on the 416-yard eighth hole after hitting his approach to within 14 inches to go 7 under par through eight holes. He then hit the flagstick on the ninth hole; had it gone in, Woods would have recorded 28 for the front nine but he ended up making bogey for a front-nine 30. He had two birdies in his first four holes but made two bogies coming in for an even-par 36 on the back side.
"It was a great round," said Woods afterwards, "but I'm just one of 32 winners today and the tournament begins tomorrow. None of this means anything in match play. It was fun playing with Jeff, especially coming in, but now you've got to shift immediately into match play." Woods' task is formidable; just 10 medalists have gone on to win the title and no one has accomplished that feat twice.
Gilchrist also started fast, making three birdies in his first four holes before making bogey 5 on the ninth hole to finish with a front-nine 34. He then turned up the heat on the back nine, making four birdies in his last six holes. "Steve's round was fun to watch," said Gilchrist afterwards. "I was just trying to keep up with him.
In addition to Woods-Funk and DuBois-Gilchrist, other intriguing first-round matches are:
16-year-old Gregor Main of Danville vs. USC student Brad Shaw of Pacific Palisades.
Yesterday's second-round leader UCLA student Brandon Christianson of Valencia vs. reigning Trans-Mississippi Mid-Amateur champion David Bartman of Los Angeles.
First-round leader Brian Edick of Valencia vs. 49-year-old James Meyer of Dana Point, one of two at that age in the field.
Adam Ichikawa of Los Altos, at age 14 one of the youngest players ever to make match play, against 21-year-old Erick Justesen of Cameron Park. Ichikawa could meet the other 49-year-old, Gerry Simoni of Carlsbad in the second round if both win their opening matches.
John McClure of Los Angeles, the 2005 SCGA Mid-Amateur champion vs. John Pate of Santa Barbara, the 1999 SCGA Amateur champion, in a battle of 46-year-olds.
95th California Amateur Championship
At Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, CA
6,833 yards, par 72
54-hole stroke-play results:
207 -- Steve Woods, Cupertino, 71-70-66.
208 -- Jeff Gilchrist, Carmichael, 71-71-66.
213 -- Cameron Tringale, Laguna Niguel, 73-69-71.
215 -- Gregor Main, Danville, 76-71-68; Jordan Nasser, Anaheim Hills, 72-71-72.
216 -- Marc Peterson, Modesto, 73-75-68; Scott Hardy, Pittsburg, 72-72-72; Brandon Christianson, Valencia, 69-70-77; Brian Edick, Valencia, 66-74-76.
218 -- John McClure, Los Angeles, 75-76-67; Adam Ichikawa, Los Altos, 73-75-70; Dan Sullivan, Pasadena, 76-70-72; Michael Carpenter, Irvine, 71-71-76.
219 -- Andrew Biggadike, Palo Alto, 75-75-69; Mark Modglin, Simi Valley, 74-74-71; Scott McGihon, Bermuda Dunes, 71-76-72; Roberto Galletti Jr., Clayton, 74-70-75; Aaron Goldberg, Carlsbad, 72-72-75.
220 -- Joseph Bramlett, Saratoga, 77-72-71; Chris Kilkenny, Arcata, 75-74-71; Erick Justesen, Cameron Park, 76-72-72.
221 -- John Pate, Santa Barbara, 73-77-71; Ed Cuff, Murrieta, 76-73-72; James Meyer, Dana Point, 71-78-72; David Bartman, Los Angeles, 73-75-73.
222 -- Matthew Pierce Jr, San Juan Capistrano, 76-74-72; Gerry Simoni, Carlsbad, 77-73-72; Steve Lass, Santa Barbara, 74-75-73; Brad Shaw, Pacific Palisades, 73-72-77; Matt Marshall, Los Gatos, 71-73-78.
223 -- Don DuBois, Newport Beach, 76-75-72; Robert Funk, Canyon Lake, 71-76-76.
NOTE: DuBois and Funk advanced with par-4s on the first playoff hole.
Failed to advance to match play:
223 -- Garett Wagner, Brentwood, 76-72-75; Peter Campbell, Encinitas, 72-75-76; John Dunn, Hidden Valley Lake, 77-71-75; Brian Bazzel, Carlsbad, 74-73-76; Jess Stimack, Santa Rosa, 74-70-79.
224 -- Eddie Olson, Aptos, 76-76-72; Scott Almquist, Coto de Caza, 77-74-73; Gary Young, Redwood City, 74-76-74.
225 -- Ryan Thomas, Alameda, 75-77-73; Adam Marshall, La Quinta, 73-78-74; Louie Bishop, Murrieta, 73-76-76; Jim Stevens, La Quinta, 72-77-76; Jeffrey Hollis, Clovis, 78-71-76.
226 -- Tim Lawlor, North Hollywood, 76-73-77; Chris Heintz, Brea, 73-72-81.
227 -- Brandon Beck, Oak Park, 73-77-77; Michael Drake, Riverside, 78-72-77; Todd Strible, San Marcos, 75-73-79.
228 -- Brett Kanda, La Crescenta, 73-72-83; Jerry Ledzinski, Carmel, 73-72-83.
229 -- Amit Chopra, Newport Coast, 79-73-77; Josh Bleyle, Mill Valley, 73-78-78; John Adams, San Clemente, 75-75-79.
230 -- Bob Niger, El Dorado Hills, 74-78-78.
231 -- John Yeun, Brea, 71-79-81.
232 -- Sean McNamara, Monte Sereno, 70-80-82.
232 -- Brian Lindley, Corona del Mar, 76-75-81.
234 -- Bowen Osborn, Los Angeles, 75-75-84.
First-round match play pairings (numbers in brackets are seedings):
6:10 a.m. Sullivan (12) vs. Cuff (21)
6:17 a.m. Nasser (5) vs. Lass (28)
6:24 a.m. Carpenter (13) vs. Kilkenny (20)
6:31 a.m. Main (16) vs. Shaw (29)
6:38 a.m. Edick (9) vs. Meyer (24)
6:45 a.m. Christianson (8) vs. Bartman (25)
6:52 a.m. McGihon (16) vs. Galletti (17)
6:59 a.m. Woods (1) vs. Funk (32)
7:06 a.m. Gilchrist (2) vs. DuBois (31)
7:13 a.m. Modglin (15) vs. Goldberg (18)
7:20 a.m. Hardy (7) vs. Pierce (26)
7:27 a.m. McClure (10) vs. Pate (23)
7:34 a.m. Tringale (3) vs. Marshall (30)
7:41 a.m. Biggadike (14) vs. Bramlett (19)
7:48 a.m. Peterson (6) vs. Simoni (27)
7:55 a.m. Ichikawa (11) vs. Justesen (22)
Afternoon matches begin at 12 noon.
Match play begins with two rounds Thursday, quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday. and the 36-hole championship match scheduled for Saturday. All matches are at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
For individual scorecards, click here.