DALY CITY, CA., August 4, 2006 -- Five months ago, Patrick Nagle wasn’t sure what lay in his golf future. The 21-year-old resident of Pacifica, Calif., had injured his hand in a freak accident and had to stop playing golf for four weeks. Today, the rising senior at the University of Illinois showed that he’s all the way back by capturing the 40th Pacific Coast Amateur Championship by one shot at The Olympic Club.
Nagle made just one birdie during his final round over the club’s famed Lake Course, but his 3-over-par 73 completed a 72-hole total of 285, also 3 over par. That was good enough for a one-shot advantage over hard-charging Stanford University student Matt Savage of Scottsdale, Ariz., whose 1-under-par 69 was the only subpar round today on a course that has hosted eight USGA national championships, including four U.S. Opens. The Pacific Coast Amateur alternated rounds between the par-71 Ocean Course and the par-70 Lake Course.
Tied for third were Georgia Tech rising sophomore Cameron Tringale of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and UCLA senior Kevin Chappell of Fresno, Calif., each of whom finished at 5-over-par 287. Tringale’s even-par 70 was tied for the second-best round today with Tim Hogarth of Northridge, Calif., but a bogey 5 on the finishing hole ended Tringale’s hopes for a win. Chappell closed with his second consecutive 73 today.
Adam Hagen of Scappoose, Ore., who shared the lead with Nagle heading into today’s final round, lost a ball in a tree on his first hole, started double bogey-bogey and skidded to a 79 today to finish tied for 13th. Defending champion Alex Prugh of Spokane, Wash., was never a factor, shooting 74 today and ending in a tie for 41st in the 90-player field.
Several players had the lead throughout the early stages of the final round, including 50-year-old Brady Exber of Las Vegas (who ultimately faded to a 79), but Nagle -- the 2003 California Amateur and Northern California Golf Association Amateur champion -- regained the lead by sinking a 20-foot putt for a birdie 2 on the uphill, 137-yard eighth hole.
Nagle extended his lead to three shots before making bogey 5 on the 14th hole. “At that point,” said Nagle later, “I knew I had to get by No. 17 (which plays as a par-5 for members but was a par-4 for the championship), and 16 was brutal, too. I hit two pretty good shots on 17 and made a tough downhill five-footer for par, so that was the key hole today.”
Standing on the tee of the 347-yard 18th hole, Nagle knew he had a two-shot lead over Savage. After knocking his drive into the rough, Nagle’s approach came up a yard short and spun back down the steep hill about 40 feet. “That was the difference between hitting the fairways and the rough today,” explained Nagle later. “You just couldn’t be sure how the ball would react coming out of the rough.” Faced with the corner of a bunker between his ball and the hole, Nagle took the safety-first route. “I played that chip WAAAY right of the pin,” he said with a smile later. I wasn’t taking any chances.” After lagging his first putt to within two feet, Nagle calmly drained the bogey putt to secure the victory.
The 21-year-old Savage, who shared the lead after the first round, nearly shared it at the end. After opening with three bogies in his first five holes, Savage rebounded with five birdies coming in, but a bogey 4 on the 157-yard 15th hole denied him at a shot at a playoff. “I was knocking it pretty close,” said Savage. “My longest birdie putt was 12 feet. Plus, I was keeping the ball below the hole, which is a must here.”
Chappell was among the most frustrated golfers at the end. “How else can you say it except that I gave the tournament away,” said Chappell as he watched Nagle finish. “I missed five or six short putts today that would have made the difference. But give Patrick credit; he played well and deserved to win.”
Nagle’s win completed a remarkable renaissance. In the spring, he injured his hand hitting balls off of rubber mats at Pinehurst Resort and didn’t play in his college’s final spring tournaments. In May, he won a playoff for the last U.S. Open sectional qualifying spot at Lake Merced GC (just down the road from The Olympic Club) and, with the help of cortisone shots, played in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot GC, missing the cut for the final two rounds.
He laid off playing after the Open. “The doctors said that the only thing that would make it better was to rest it,” explained Nagle, “so that’s what I did.” He didn’t pick up a club until late last week, played a practice round on Monday, and completed his comeback today. Next up is the U.S. Amateur later this month at Hazeltine National GC in Minnesota. “I’ll rest my hand tomorrow and then get ready for the Amateur starting Tuesday,” said Nagle.
PACIFIC COAST GOLF ASSOCIATION
40th Pacific Coast Amateur Championship
at The Olympic Club; Daly City, CA
6,790 yards; par 70
FINAL 72-hole results:
285 -- Patrick Nagle, Pacifica, CA, 70-73-69-73.
286 -- Matt Savage, Scottsdale, AZ, 69-76-72-69.
287 -- Cameron Tringale, San Juan Capistrano, CA, 71-75-71-70; Kevin Chappell, Fresno, CA, 71-70-73-73.
288 -- Henry Liaw, Rowland Heights, CA, 74-72-69-73; J.J. Wood, Yuma, AZ, 72-74-71-71.
289 -- Adam Hadwin, Abbotsford, BC, 76-71-68-74; Ben Fox, Studio City, CA, 69-73-71-76; Eddie Olson, Aptos, CA, 73-68-75-73; James Love, Calgary, AB, 70-72-73-74.
290 -- Clayton Ogden, North Salt Lake, UT, 74-74-70-72; Elliott Wainwright, Hillsborough, CA, 72-73-73-72.
291 -- Adam Hagen, Scappoose, OR, 71-71-70-79; Dustin Pimm, Sandy, UT, 72-76-71-72; Michael McCoy, West Des Moines, IA, 71-74-74-72; Michael Wilson, Pacific Grove, CA, 71-76-70-74; Zach Bixler, Richland, WA, 74-72-69-76.
292 -- Brady Exber, Las Vegas, NV, 74-70-69-79; Drew Stoltz, Ft Collins, CO, 75-72-68-77; Michael Barbosa, St Petersburg, FL, 76-74-69-73; Ryan Thornberry, Ceres, CA, 70-75-71-76; Zack Miller, San Rafael, CA, 71-73-71-77.
293 -- Brian Edick, Valencia, CA, 73-75-70-75; Chris Heintz, Brea, CA, 71-75-72-75; Erik Hanson, Kirkland, WA, 70-72-73-78; Kevin Larsen, Santa Barbara, CA, 78-71-68-76; Kris Wasylowich, Lethbridge, AB, 73-73-73-74; Steve Saunders, Albuquerque, NM, 74-75-68-76.
294 -- Charlie Beljan, Mesa, AZ, 71-72-75-76; Jeff Wilson, Fairfield, CA, 75-72-74-73; Tim Hogarth, Northridge, CA, 75-78-71-70.
295 -- Blake Moore, Monrovia, CA, 72-75-71-77; Josh Immordino, Kent, WA, 72-69-74-80; Mitchell Gillis, Williams Lake, BC, 73-74-73-75; Randy Haag, Burlingame, CA, 76-73-71-75.
296 -- Gary Vanier, Pleasant Hill, CA, 71-78-73-74; Joseph Bramlett, Saratoga, CA, 71-74-76-75; Ryan Keeney, Redmond, WA, 71-78-75-72; Scott Hardy, Pleasant Hill, CA, 73-76-74-73; Tim McKenney, Scottsdale, AZ, 74-74-73-75.
297 -- Alex Prugh, Spokane, WA, 78-77-68-74; Bryan Toth, Victoria, BC, 75-74-75-73; Daniel Summerhays, Provo, UT, 75-74-72-76; John Pate, Santa Barbara, CA, 70-75-77-75; Scott Hval, Portland, OR, 78-73-73-73.
298 -- Steve Woods, Cupertino, CA, 71-76-75-76.
299 -- Graham DeLaet, Weyburn, SK, 77-72-77-73; Keegan Bradley, Jackson, WY, 77-72-73-77.
300 -- Craig Doell, Victoria, BC, 76-75-72-77; Todd Halpen, Calgary, AB, 77-79-70-74.
301 -- Travis Esway, Granite Bay, CA, 72-75-80-74.
302 -- Brendon Ehlers, Evanston, WY, 74-78-71-79; Joe Sawaia, Henderson, NV, 72-80-74-76; Michael Knight, Calgary, AB, 74-78-76-74; Nick Travers, Boise, ID, 77-72-75-78; Todd Griffin, Casper, WY, 77-78-72-75; Tye Alexander, Los Angeles, CA, 74-72-78-78; Will Johnson, San Francisco, CA, 77-76-75-74.
303 -- Joe Sanders, Incline Village, NV, 74-72-81-76; Nick Becker, Boise, ID, 72-81-73-77; Robert Funk, Canyon Lake, CA, 76-80-73-74; Scott McGihon, Bermuda Dunes, CA, 76-71-78-78.
304 -- Andrew Putnam, University Place, WA, 75-77-79-73; Matt Williams, Las Cruces, NM, 72-74-79-79; Steven Fink, Las Vegas, NV, 72-82-70-80.
305 -- Charles Soule, Longmont, CO, 79-79-73-74; Greggory LaVoie, Pasco, WA, 72-80-77-76.
306 -- David Nelson, Reno, NV, 76-78-75-77; Jordan Nasser, Anaheim Hills, CA, 78-75-76-77; Ken Kellaney, Phoenix, AZ, 78-82-71-75; Riki Kauika, Wanganui, New Zealand, 83-71-76-76; Ryan Kelley, Phoenix, AZ, 74-76-75-81.
307 -- Brett Smith, Boise, ID, 75-77-81-74; George E. Marucci, Jr, Wayne, PA, 79-77-75-76.
308 -- Dan Horner, Salt Lake City, UT, 77-76-75-80.
309 -- Tony Finau, Salt Lake City, UT, 79-81-69-80.
311 -- Adam Tebbs, Henderson, NV, 77-73-76-85; Anton Salome, Socorro, NM, 79-77-78-77; Carl Jensen, Salt Lake City, UT, 81-83-71-76; Jay Snyder, Vancouver, BC, 76-84-76-75.
312 -- Derek Tolan, Highlands Ranch, CO, 79-80-74-79; Jake Ellison, Provo, UT, 81-82-74-75; Seth Cotter, Sparks, NV, 77-75-76-84.
313 -- Paul Welle, Scottsdale, AZ, 73-81-76-83.
314 -- Alex Stamey, Mill Creek, WA, 74-84-77-79; Zen Brown, Arvada, CO, 79-76-78-81.
316 -- Don DuBois, Newport Beach, CA, 83-76-79-78.
330 -- Greg Wenzel, Sparks, NV, 82-82-84-82.
WD -- Ed Susolik, Newport Beach, CA, 75-85-WD; Roberto Galletti, Jr, Clayton, CA, 77-76-WD.
NOTE: The championship alternated rounds between the par-71 Ocean Course and the par-70 Lake Course