Joshua Sedeno (left) and Shotaro Ban
DALY CITY, Calif. — 17-year-old Joshua Sedeno of Loomis will face Cal-Berkeley senior Shotaro Ban in Saturday's 36-hole final at the 104th California Amateur Championship.
Sedeno made seven birdies in his 17 holes played in his afternoon match with Camarillo's Ramie Sprinkling, beating the former UC Davis golfer 2-and-1. Ban, facing his Pac-12 rival from across the bay, Franklin Huang of Stanford, was 1-down through 12 but won back-to-back holes at 13 and 14 to flip the match around. The pair proceeded to halve the remaining four holes, including matching birdies on 16, 17, and 18 as Ban powered his way into the final with a 1-up victory.
The quarterfinal groups had equal representation of both halves of the state, with two hailing from the host Northern California and two from Southern California.
The highest seed reaching the final four was Sprinkling, who, as the 19-seed, defeated former San Diego State golfer James Holley 2-and-1 on Friday morning to advance to his afternoon match.
Sprinkling, the 2014 Southern California Mid-Amateur champion, had maybe his toughest test of the tournament on Thursday during the round-of-16 when he was pinned up against Anaheim high-schooler Puwit Anupansuebsai, the No. 3 seed heading into match play. He handed the Thailand native a 4-and-3 defeat before facing Holley, of Chatsworth, who had Sprinkling 2-down through 11 holes. But Holley bogeyed three of his last seven holes and allowed Sprinkling to move in and secure a 2-and-1 defeat.
Sedeno, who is a senior at Del Oro High School in Loomis, just outside Sacramento, upset No. 2 seed Jake Knapp thanks to four birdies in a stretch of 10 holes, beginning with a 2 on the par-3 third. Sedeno was 1-down through five, but won six of his next seven holes to go four-up on the UCLA senior with five holes remaining. Knapp, who just returned from Chambers Bay where he was one of 16 amateurs in the field at the U.S. Open, fought back with back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14, but the pair parred out leading to a 2-and-1 win for Sedeno.
Sedeno, the winner of last month's Memorial Amateur, is committed to play for Southern Methodist University in the fall of 2016.
The other semifinal matchup was a duel of two rival Pac-12 golfers. Ban of San Jose, a senior at Cal-Berkeley, squared off with Stanford sophomore Huang of Poway.
Ban began the tournament having to compete against two of his Bears teammates, junior Ben Doyle and senior Keelan Kilpatrick. After disposing of them in the first two rounds, Ban needed a birdie at the par-5 18th to narrowly defeat UC Irvine graduating senior Pete Fernandez.
Huang, facing San Jose State senior Cody Blick, had the largest margin of victory during Friday morning's semifinals. Huang had a ridiculous stretch of golf from holes 6 to 11, making four birdies and an eagle to win all six holes and go 5-up on Blick through 11. Though Blick won the 13th with a birdie, Huang made his fifth bird of the day and captured a 5-and-4 win to advance to the final four.