VERO BEACH, Calif. — Twenty-eight California mid-amateur players punched their tickets to the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur, being held October 3-8 at John's Island Club in Vero Beach, Florida.
A California native/resident has not captured the title in more than 15 years, as Los Angeles' Greg Pupa was the last to raise the trophy back in 2000.
There have certainly been close calls, however.
Jeff Wilson of Green Valley has been medalist three times, most recently in 2004. Even more recently, he shocked the amateur golf nation and was medalist in 2010 at the U.S. Amateur — which was the first USGA championship at Chambers Bay. In 2008, he reached the Mid-Amateur quarterfinals, and the semifinals back in 2000 and 2001, among many other USGA accomplishments.
At Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, he carded 72 and snuck into the field via playoff. Three other Californians advanced alongside Wilson there, including Jason Anthony of Fairfield, Aleksei Koika of Burlingame, and Jake Yount of Danville, who was medalist at the site with 68.
In 2014 at Saucon Valley, Kevin Wolf of Lodi and Corby Segal of Santa Clarita reached the round-of-16. Segal, who was a quarterfinalist in 2012, carded 69 at South Hills Country Club in West Covina during this year's sectional qualifying and will get another shot to advance even further this time around.
California had a semifianlist in 2013 — Placerville's Kenneth McCready, who has since turned professional. The Union Mine High School and University of San Diego graduate lost during the final four to eventual runner-up Bill Williamson.
Recent Northern California Valley Amateur champion Nick Moore of Seaside posted 70 at Bayonet Blackhorse to earn co-medalist honors alongside David Moore of Monterey, John Sawin of San Francisco, Domingo JoJola of Burlingame, and Jordan Scott of Santa Barbara.
Sawin is the reigning Walter J. Travis Invitational winner while Jojola is a former golfer at the University of San Francisco who recently reinstated his amateur status.
The previously mentioned Pupa, the 2000 champion, will be back 16 years later looking for his second USGA title. At the South Hills site, he was among four other qualifiers. This year's California Amateur medalist Satch Herrmann, a former Cal State Northridge golfer, fired 65 and was top dog in West Covina. Jim Chang of San Marino and Mark Harding of Hermosa Beach, as well as Segal, made up the five advancers.
Another former Northridge player, Erik Jarvey, was medalist at Vista Valley Country Club.
A separate large chunk of Californians moved through sectional qualifying at Goose Creek Golf Club in Jurupa Valley, just outside Riverside. Medalist at this site was Tyler Crawford of Indio with 68, by one over Joe Doody of Huntington Beach and Bradley Shaw of Santa Monica. Also advancing, via playoff, were Jeffrey Fortson of Palm Desert and Michael Marks of San Diego.
Rounding out the California sectional qualifiers for the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur are: Dale Smith (Murrieta), Ryan Bogan (Rancho Santa Fe), Dae Chung (San Diego), Jon Peterson (Granite Bay), Brian Edick (Valencia), Bowen Osborn (Los Angeles), Sean Daly (Visalia), and Howard Oliver of Oakland, who travelled to Hawaii to successfully advance.