BAKERSFIELD, (July 7, 2006) -- Cal State Bakersfield student D.J. Fernando took advantage of extensive local knowledge and has a one-shot lead at the midpoint of the 107th Southern California Golf Association Amateur Championship, the nation's second-oldest, continuously contested amateur golf championship.
On a day when temperatures were surprisingly moderate for the region (i.e., less than 100 degrees), the 25-year-old Fernando fired rounds of 66-74 -- 140 and is a shot in front of three golfers: 15-year-old Bhavik Patel of Bakersfield (68-73), Murrieta Valley High School star Josh Anderson of Murrieta (69-72), and reigning Trans-Mississippi Mid-Amateur champion David Bartman of Los Angeles (73-68). Bartman's 4-under-par 68 tied with 2005 California Amateur champion Don DuBois for the low score of the second round.
Four golfers are tied at 142 and another four are at 143, including defending champion Scott McGihon of Bermuda Dunes 68-75).
The field was cut to the low 47 golfers, who will play the third round tomorrow beginning at 7:30 a.m. The final round is Sunday, also beginning at 7:30 a.m. Gallery is welcome to attend at no charge.
"I played well in the morning," said the 25-year-old Fernando, who has played the course many times. His morning round included six birdies, an eagle 3 on the 15th hole and two bogies. "In fact, I thought I was going to threaten coach Barber's course record of 63, but I ended up missing several short putts (Dave Barber,the Cal State Bakersfield coach, is a former head professional at Bakersfield CC).
"Then in the afternoon," he continued, "I struggled almost through the whole round, including missing three 3-foot putts in a row on the back nine." Although Fernando eagled the par-5 second hole, his wild round also included five bogies, a double-bogey 7 on the 15th hole and two birdies.
Fernando, like the other Bakersfield contestants, was accustomed to the conditions. "When I tried out for my college team last fall," he said, "our qualifying tournaments were 36 holes in worse heat than this. It was tiring today but I could deal with it."
Patel is bidding to be the youngest golfer ever to win the prestigious title, whose winners include Tiger Woods. The youngest winner was 17-year-old Paul Hunter in 1908, the first of his record five SCGA Amateur titles. Doug Clarke (1977), Tiger Woods (1984) and Al Geiberger (1956) were all age 18 when they won their titles.
The 38-year-old McGihon, who edged UC Irvine student Brian Edick of Valencia to win last year's championship, is seeking to become just the seventh golfer to win three or more SCGA Amateur titles and the seventh to win back-to-back titles.
His morning front nine was quintessential McGihon: one birdie, one bogey. "Then I began to get more and more comfortable with my swing," he said between rounds, "and all of a sudden had a nice little string of birdies." It wouldn't last in the afternoon, as McGihon made five bogies, a double bogey and three birdies.
107th SCGA Amateur Championship
at Bakersfield Country Club; Bakersfield, CA.
6,819 yards; par 72
140 -- D.J. Fernando, Bakersfield, 66-74.
141 -- Josh Anderson, Murrieta, 69-72; Bhavik Patel, Bakersfield, 68-73; David Bartman, Los Angeles, 73-68.
142 -- Mark Modglin, Simi Valley, 71-71; Jason Bittick, Coto de Caza, 73-69; Gary Havro, Claremont, 71-71; Dan Sullivan, Pasadena, 72-70.
143 -- Brian Edick, Valencia, 72-71; Scott McGihon, Bermuda Dunes, 68-75; Blake Trimble, Rancho Santa Fe, 75-68; Don DuBois, Newport Beach, 75-68.
145 -- Kevin Marsh, Las Vegas, NV 73-72; John McClure, West Los Angeles, 75-70; Brett Kanda, La Crescenta, 72-73; Jason Pridmore, Ventura, 71-74; Brian Leff, San Marcos, 71-74.
146 -- Todd Strible, San Marcos, 75-71; Ed Cuff, Rancho Santa Fe, 72-74; Michael Drake, Riverside, 76-70; Alex Kim, Fullerton, 73-73; Joshua Warthen, San Diego, 75-71; Gary Donovan, Cathedral City, 73-73.
147 -- Kyle Hopkins, Apple Valley, 72-75; Brandon Christianson, Valencia, 74-73; John Adams, San Clemente, 73-74; Kendall Adams Jr., Fallbrook, 76-71; Matt Ryan, Saugus, 72-75.
148 -- Kent Richardson, Bakersfield, 74-74; Yun-Gi "Kenny" Kim, Cerritos, 74-74; Patrick Carrigan, Walnut, 74-74; Christopher Cunningham, San Diego, 75-73.
149 -- John Pate, Santa Barbara, 74-75; Erik Jarvey, Palmdale, 74-75; Gerry Simoni, Carlsbad, 76-73; Michael Carpenter, Newport Beach, 72-77.
150 -- Tim Hogarth, Northridge, 77-73; Mike Reese, Apple Valley, 76-74; Steven Hakes, San Diego, 73-77; Jeff Wade, La Quinta, 72-78; Amit Chopra, Newport Coast, 74-76.
151 -- Phillip Telliard, Riverside, 70-81; Tyler Veysey, San Diego, 73-78; Mark Kiesel, Newport Beach, 78-73; Adam Marshall, La Quinta, 78-73; Bowen Osborn, Los Angeles, 77-74; Matt Higley, San Diego, 80-71.
FAILED TO QUALIFY FOR THIRD ROUND:
152 -- Scott Conway, Menifee, 78-74; Guy Livesay, La Habra, 78-74; Craig Steinberg, Oak Park, 76-76; Michael Turner, Sherman Oaks, 75-77; Aaron Conrad, Thousand Oaks, 77-75; Gavin Witzer, Los Angeles, 76-76; King Wilder, Pasadena, 73-79.
153 -- Robert Funk, Canyon Lake, 81-72; Tyler Hurst, Bakersfield, 75-78; Kyle Warren, Los Alamitos, 76-77.
154 -- Regan Kusmes, Newport Beach, 78-76; Bryan Hogan, Bakersfield, 77-77; John Chin, Temecula, 76-78.
156 -- Gregory Hetzer, San Pedro, 81-75; Rick Butler, San Diego, 81-75.
157 -- Jerry Michals, Carlsbad, 77-80; Patrick Mahoney, Rosemead, 79-78; Jake Yount, San Diego, 76-81; David Kendall, Irvine, 80-77.
158 -- Brett Atkinson, San Marcos, 82-76; Mel Collins, Long Beach, 78-80; Taylor Lancaster, Bakersfield, 79-79; Noriyoshi Ohyama, San Diego, 74-84; Ben Carter, Camarillo, 77-81.
159 -- Mark Coulter, Encino, 82-77; Marcus Schonabaum, Canyon Lake, 85-74; Greg Palmer, Laguna Hills, 76-83.
160 -- Eugene Medlock, Westlake Village, 82-78; Dan Hogan, Bakersfield, 81-79; Matt Metje, Bonita, 83-77.
161 -- David Ujihara, Brea, 83-78; David Hawkins, Palm Desert, 82-79.
162 -- Peter Israel, Santa Monica, 78-84; Bud Ardell, Incline Village, NV 83-79; Scott Thomas, Riverside, 82-80.
163 -- Danny Hoffenberg, Simi Valley, 78-85.
164 -- Lewis Beshoff, Long Beach, 77-87.