California State Am: Gilchrist, Nasser to Meet in Final

PEBBLE BEACH, California (June 23, 2006) -- On a day when two golfers chasing significant pieces of history went down to defeat, USC student Jordan Nasser of Anaheim Hills and Jeff Gilchrist of Carmichael each won two matches to advance to the final match of the 95th California Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

USC rising senior Jordan Nasser won two matches today to advance to the final match of the 95th California Amateur Championship.

The 22-year-old Nasser defeated fellow USC student Brad Shaw of Pacific Palisades, 1 up, in a quarterfinal match this morning, then knocked out defending Trans-Mississippi Mid-Amateur champion David Bartman of Los Angeles, 2 & 1, in the semis this afternoon. Bartman had eliminated medalist Steve Woods of Cupertino, 5 & 4, this morning. Woods was bidding to become the first person to win medalist honors and the championship in the same year twice; instead, he became the 85th medalist who failed to complete the double.

The 34-year-old Gilchrist, a reinstated amateur who was medalist here 10 years ago, defeated St. Mary's College golf coach Scott Hardy of Pittsburg, 3 & 1, in the quarters and turned back 18-year-old Joseph Bramlett of Saratoga, 3 & 2, in the semifinals. Bramlett was 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.

The 36-hole championship match will be played tomorrow with tee times beginning at 6:10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. For live hole-by-hole scoring click here.

Nasser never trailed in his match against Bartman. He took a 1-up lead when Bartman's drive on the par-5 second hole landed in a fairway bunker and, after exploding out, his third shot bounced hard over the green into a lateral hazard behind the green. Bartman squared the match by winning the fourth hole with a par 4, but Nasser won the sixth, seventh and ninth holes to grab a lead he never surrendered.

"He's a very good player," said Nasser of Bartman after the match. "Other than one hole (No. 15), I played very consistently and just happened to hit a few shots closer." Nasser's drive on No. 15 plugged in a fairway bunker and he ended up making double bogey to cut his lead to 2 up. "He gave me a little life there," said Bartman later, "but I couldn't capitalize on it. I just couldn't make any birdies this afternoon. I 'm happy with my week, but disappointed with the way it ended."

In the second match, Bramlett grabbed an early lead, but Gilchrist won three of four holes with pars, beginning with the eighth hole, and then halved the next five holes to secure the win. The key, said Gilchrist later, was No. 4. "He had about four feet for birdie and I had 12," said Gilchrist. "There have been four or five times during the week when I told myself I had to make a particular putt, and this time was one of them. I made mine and even though he made his, it gave me a little bit of momentum. Then I won the next hole and took off."

Jeff Gilchrist will face Jordan Nasser in the final match of the 95th California Amateur Championship.

In his quarterfinal match with Shaw, Nasser was 2 down after seven holes but rallied to deadlock the match 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 to Hardy but squared 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.

Both players are looking forward to the championship match. "This championship is just a step below the USGA events," said Gilchrist, "and I really want to win it." "How can you not enjoy playing for your state's championship on Pebble Beach," said Nasser. "I've had my dad on the bag all week and that's made it even more special."

95th California Amateur Championship
At Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, CA
6,833 yards, par 72
Match play results:

  • Jordan Nasser, Anaheim Hills, d. Brad Shaw, Pacific Palisades, 1 up
  • David Bartman, Los Angeles, d. Steve Woods, Cupertino, 5 & 4
  • Jeff Gilchrist, Carmichael, d. Scott Hardy, Pittsburg, 3 & 1
  • Joseph Bramlett, Saratoga, d. Gerry Simoni, Carlsbad, 5 & 4.

  • Nasser d. Bartman, 2 & 1
  • Gilchrist d.. Bramlett, 3 & 2

    The 36-hole championship match is scheduled for Saturday at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Tee times are at 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
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