PEBBLE BEACH, CA (June 23) -- It took a little longer than most years, but the "medalist jinx" finally struck at the 95th California Amateur Championship as reigning Trans-Mississippi Mid-Amateur champion David Bartman of Los Angeles defeated medalist Steve Woods, 5 & 4 in their quarterfinal match this morning.
At noon today, Bartman, 35, will face USC rising senior Jordan Nasser of Anaheim Hills, who defeated his Trojan teammate Brad Shaw of Pacific Palisades, 1 up. In the other semifinal match, 1996 medalist Jeff Gilchrist of Carmichael will face 18-year-old Joseph Bramlett of Saratoga, who was runner-up in last year's championship. That match begins at 12:07 p.m.
Woods was bidding to become the first person ever to win medalist honors and the championship in the same year twice; he was the last person to turn the trick in 1994. Instead, he became the 85th medalist who failed to win both title in the same year.
Bartman jumped out to an early lead, opening up with birdies on the second and third holes and then holeing out for an eagle 2 on the fourth hole to take a quick 2-up lead he never relinquished.
Nasser was 2 down after seven holes but rallied to deadlock his match against Shaw with a birdie 3 on the 11th hole. Shaw squared the match with a par 5 on the 14th hole and the match remained all square until Shaw hooked his second shot into the ocean lining Pebble Beach's famed par-5 finishing hole. Despite that, the match wasn't over until Shaw lipped out a 40-foot par putt and Nasser sank a three-foot par putt to seal the victory.
"It was hard playing a good friend," said Nasser after the match concluded. "I'll never root against Brad. It was a tough match and I just managed to grind it out."
Gilchrist, who was Woods' teammate at San Jose State, was 2 down after four holes only square the match with a birdie 2 on the seventh hole. Gilchrist eventually assumed control on the back nine as Hardy struggled with five bogies in seven holes.
Since his opening-round 77, Bramlett has played sparkling golf and this morning was no exception, as he made four birdies and two bogies in his 14 holes. Bramlett is hoping to become just the fourth player in California Amateur history to lose the championship match one year and come back to win the following year (Spencer Levin in 2003-4, Dr. Frank "Bud" Taylor in 1953-54, and J.J. McHugh in 1926-27 were the others).