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amateurgolf.com San Diego Cty Am: Course Record Win for Chopra

FALLBROOK, CALIFORNIA (August 1, 2006) -- Teeing off in the second-to-last pairing Tuesday in the amateurgolf.com San Diego County Amateur, Amit Chopra of Newport Coast was 6-strokes behind. But Chopra, 35, started to see serious potential in his round as he reached 7-under-par for the tournament after 13 holes thanks to a blistering front nine 32 and two more birdies after the turn.

Chopra does numbers for a living, and sensing he might be close, he asked Paul Bush of amateurgolf.com how the tournament stood.

"Kelley is at 9-under," quietly replied Bush, who was working his first amateurgolf.com event.

Chopra responded by making birdie on Nos. 14 and 15, then closing his day out with three straight pars for a competitive course record round of 8-under-par 64. A magical round to be sure, one that has only been matched in practice rounds at the Golf Club of California by several PGA Tour professionals, according to Director of Golf Scott Bentley.

Brian Kelley of San Diego had nearly done the same the day before, firing a bogey-free round of 65 to take a 5-stroke lead over Gerry Simoni of Carlsbad into today's final round.

"My coach at Fresno State, Mike Watney, used to give us a dozen free balls for every bogey-free round," said Kelley, who just graduated after playing four years for Watney on the Bulldogs Golf Team. "When you have one of those days, you start thinking about it late in the round and it keeps you going."

Indeed, hitting driver-6 iron into 530-yard uphill par-5's (the 10th) and sinking the putt for eagle, then making 3 more birdies for a back nine of 31, as Kelley did on Monday, might keep you fired up as well.

Kelley came back with a solid round of 71 on Tuesday in the final round, despite a shaky start. He bogeyed No. 1 after finding trouble on the right off the tee, and bogeyed No. 3 to drop back to 5-under-par on the tournament. He used a four-straight-birdie tourniquet to stop the bleeding, however, posting a solid 35 on the front nine and widening the lead on his playing partners Andrew Bostrom (38) and Gerry Simoni (37). An even par back nine was capped off by a well-stroked 5-footer that, if not for Chopra's other-worldly round, could have easily been the winning putt. Kelley's playing companions, in fact, were sure the tournament belonged to him and were surprised to hear of Chopra's round.

As if to say "this isn't going to be your day" fate handed Kelley another blow in the parking lot, as he searched in vain for his car keys (he never found them, but fortunately his Mom came to the rescue).

Senior Champ
Senior Champ Steve Pircher

Kelley will likely try the pro ranks soon, while Chopra will head back to his job in the finance division of Pimco with a story to tell on Wednesday. As is becoming customary in amateurgolf.com events when a course record is shot by one of our players, Chopra will soon receive a framed scorecard for his wall.

In the Senior Division, Steve Pircher of Manhattan Beach -- who recently passed the "age 50" milestone required for amateurgolf.com's Senior cutoff -- followed his recent 7-stroke victory in the Oceanside City Senior Championship with a 9-stroke victory here after posting a 4-over-par total of 148. Unlike the Oceanside event, where he trailed the field by three and won by seven due to a blistering final round of 66, Pircher was the front runner at 1-over-par going into today's final round.

"I got a bit tripped up closing out the round today, when I made triple-bogey at No. 6 (his 15th hole) when I tried to hit out of a hazard when I should have taken a drop," said Pircher. "But at the beginning of the day I knew 75 might do the trick and I finished up right on that number."

Net Champions San Diego County Am
Net Winner Ryan Ehrlich (left) with Kurt Erikson (center) and Phil Hacker

John Vogel of Moorpark came back from a tough 84 on Monday with an 11-stroke improvement. His 1-over-par 73 moved him into solo second place at 157. John Jones of La Quinta finished in third at 161.

In the Net Division, Ryan Ehrlich's net 74 was good enough for a one stroke victory over Kurt Erikson of Carlsbad. Ehrlich, a 6.7 handicapper who made the trip in from Victorville for the event, was pleasantly surprised with the victory, after being hunted-down by the tournament committee in the clubhouse. Erikson shot a gross 75 on Tuesday to make a nice move up the leaderboard into second. amateurgolf.com "regular" Phil Hacker posted a 147 total for solo-third.

For complete results, please scroll down the page. Special thanks to The Golf Club of California for hosting the tournament, to the staff of amateurgolf.com and to all players for taking the time off from work to join us.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the North Orange County Amateur at Black Gold Golf Club on August 12 and 13. There are still spots available.

Click here for info.

SD County Amateur Champions
Champion Amit Chopra (right) with Brian Kelley (center) and Gerry Simoni

Final results from the amateurgolf.com San Diego County Amateur, played at the 6850 yard, Par-72 Golf Club of California:

Pos First Last Name City State Rd1 Rd2 Tot
Prize
1 Amit Chopra Newport Coast CA 71 64 135
500
crs record
2 Brian Kelley San Diego CA 65 71 136
300
3 Gerry Simoni Carlsbad CA 70 71 141
225
4 Daniel Wax Pacific Palisades CA 73 70 143
200
5 Freddy Wolfe Piedmont CA 72 72 144
175
T6 Andrew Bostrom Phoenix AZ 71 74 145
115
T6 Jim Ream Cerritos CA 71 74 145
115
T6 Adam Porzak Poway CA 72 73 145
115
T6 Mike Leibfried Rolling Hills CA 76 69 145
115
T6 Mark Scheibach Bermuda Dunes CA 76 69 145
115
T11 Bryan Martin Thousand Oaks CA 73 74 147
75
T11 Dongha Lee Bradenton FL 74 73 147
75
T13 Andy Chao San Diego CA 76 73 149
50
T13 Brian Kim Yorba Linda CA 79 70 149
50
15 Ryan Bailey moorpark CA 75 75 150
50
cardoff
Michael Reese Apple Valley CA 73 77 150
Louie Pullen ROANOKE TX 79 71 150
Andrey Mindirgasov Pacific Grove CA 75 76 151
David Staszko San Jose CA 78 73 151
Kris Butkys Thousand Oaks CA 76 76 152
E.J. Kahn Los Angeles CA 77 75 152
Joel Fieri San Diego CA 78 74 152
Danny Min Cypress CA 76 78 154
Shuhei Matsuo Malibu CA 77 77 154
Paul Rice Redlands CA 74 81 155
Rick Shlemmer Los Alamitos CA 77 78 155
John Lorenzo Laguna Hills CA 81 74 155
Steve Batte Las Vegas NV 84 71 155
Ali Siam Westlake Village CA 79 77 156
Bradley Bossenbroek La Mesa CA 77 80 157
David Pichon Camarillo CA 77 80 157
Jack Kim Porter Ranch CA 84 73 157
Brett jerhoff Cardiff CA 78 81 159
Christopher Nieto Gonzales CA 80 79 159
Patrick Traughber Long Beach CA 80 79 159
Michael Kraft Pacific Grove CA 84 77 161
Jeremy Power Las Vegas NV 82 80 162
Jonathan Avedon Los Angeles CA 77 86 163
Jin Han La Jolla CA 85 79 164
Matt Brockmann San Diego CA 86 78 164
Pete Wlodkowski Carlsbad CA 82 83 165
Mitchel Yoshitake Montebello CA 80 87 167
Andrew Bishop Poway CA 84 83 167
John Merz San Diego CA 84 85 169
Greg Moss Sherman Oaks CA 83 89 172
Robert Cizek Chicago IL 86 87 173
Christopher Vance Twentynine Palms CA 95 79 174
Ryan Ozonian Laguna Beach CA 85 wd wd
Paul Imondi Tustin CA 83 wd wd
Alexander Resurreccion Long Beach CA 93 wd wd
Tony LaMontagne San Marcos CA 81 wd wd
Tyler Crawford Rancho Mirage CA dns
Patrick Walker San Clemente CA dns
John Holm Chula Vista CA dq
Ryan Andrews Rancho Mirage CA nc
Jeff Stewart San Ramon CA wd/inj
SENIOR DIVISION
Pos First Last Name City State Rd1 Rd2 Tot Prize
1 Steve Pircher Manhattan Beach CA 73 75 148
200
2 John Vogel Moorpark CA 84 73 157
125
3 John R Jones La Quinta CA 81 80 161
75
Dave Sixt San Diego CA 80 82 162
Gary Alari Cedar Glen CA 80 93 173
Dave Patty Newport Coast CA 87 86 173
Wayne Spencer San Bernardino CA 93 84 177
Henry Stotsenberg Murrieta CA 88 wd wd
Greg McMaster Temecula CA dns
Lloyd Sappington Rancho Santa Fe CA dns
NET DIVISION
Pos First Last Name City State Rd1 Rd2 Tot
Prize
1 Ryan Ehrlich Victorville CA 68 74 142
200
2 Kurt Erikson Carlsbad CA 74 69 143
125
3 Philip Hacker Martinez CA 75 72 147
75
Jeff DeHart Altadena CA 73 76 149
Andre Fitzpatrick La Mesa CA 73 82 155
Scott Henrikson Carlsbad CA 82 78 160
I. Joe Ceniceros La Mirada CA 86 78 164
Robert Johnson San Diego CA 85 81 166
Tom Bruner San Diego CA 89 87 176
Terence Hsu Irvine CA 81 wd wd
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