Field down to 16 at California Amateur
Eddy Lai upset top-seed Bryan Baumgarten on Wednesday <br>(NCGA Photo)</br>
Eddy Lai upset top-seed Bryan Baumgarten on Wednesday
(NCGA Photo)

VALENCIA, CA (June 22, 2016) -- Temperatures finally dipped below triple digits, much to the liking of the 32 players still competing in the 105th California Amateur Championship Wednesday. After a lengthy playoff to determine the match play field, Round of 32 action consumed Valencia CC, with some of the area's top collegiate players shining as they advanced to Thursday's Round of 16.

In a matchup which many thought could have been a finals, Hidetoshi Yoshihara, who is headed to UCLA in the fall, and Franklin Huang of Stanford battled through 18 holes before Yoshihara finally emerged as victor. Yoshihara, who is coming off a win at the CIF State Championship earlier this month which granted him an exemption into the California Amateur, fell behind early, finding himself 2 down after two holes.

"I didn't play as well as I would have wanted early on, but I just reminded myself to stay calm," said Yoshihara.

He battled back quickly, winning the next two holes to tie things up before taking a lead through six holes. Yoshihara would extend his advantage to as many as three through 13 holes, before Huang battled back down the stretch. On the brink of victory, 3up through 14 holes, Yoshihara would stumble, losing holes 15 and 17 with a par and a bogey. What had earlier looked like a match that wouldn't have to see the 18th hole, Yoshihara would right the ship, collecting a birdie to end the match.

"It means so, so much to me to reach the Round of 16," said Yoshihara. "This tournament has such great players, it's an honor to be here."

Though the Round of 16 is very college-heavy, two mid-ams did fight their way through Wednesday's action, led by 1999 Champ Tim Hogarth, who easily defeated Chris Steilen of Oceanside 7 and 6. Former SCGA Public Links Champion Sean Birren didn't have it as easy, but did manage to pull off a 19-hole victory against Ben Corfee of UC Davis.

The match of the day though may have been between USC's Andrew Levitt, who co-medaled during the tournament's 36-hole stroke play portion, and Roman Aragon of Saint Mary's. Heading into the 18th hole 1 down, Levitt drained a 20-foot par putt to put pressure on Aragon, who stood over an 8-footer for par, and the win. Aragon would miss, but would quickly find redemption with a winning birdie on the 19th hole of play.

Earlier in the day, 12 men returned to the course bright and early to finish a playoff that was called due to darkness Tuesday night. With five spots still on the line, three groups teed off at 7 a.m. on Hole No. 10, the event's second playoff hole. The final 32-man final match play bracket wouldn't be decided until the fifth playoff hole, with some players spending two hours out on the course before making the cut and beginning their Round of 32 action.

The Round of 16 will begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning, followed by both the quarterfinals and semifinals on Friday. Saturday's final match will be 36 holes.

Results For California Amateur Championship
WinCAShintaro BanSan Jose, CA600
Runner-upCAHidetoshi YoshiharaIrvine, CA400
SemifinalsCAPeter KuestFresno, CA300
SemifinalsCASebastian CramptonPacific Grove, CA300
QuarterfinalsCAEddy LaiSan Jose, CA200

View full results for California Amateur Championship

ABOUT THE California Amateur

The Championship is open to amateur golfers who have established current indexes of 4.4 and are members in good standing of the Southern California Golf Association, the Northern California Golf Association, or the Public Links Golf Association of Southern California. Nonexempt players must qualify. An entrant may play in only one qualifying event, even if the golfer belongs to clubs in both Southern California and Northern California. The 18-hole qualifying rounds will determine the qualifiers.

The championship field will play 36 holes of qualifying at a Northern or Southern California Location, with the low 32 golfers from that combined field moving on to match play (with a playoff, if necessary, to determine the final spots). Two rounds each of 18-hole match play will follow on Thursday and Friday and the 36-hole final match will be on Saturday.

The location will rotate yearly between Northern and Southern California locations.

View Complete Tournament Information

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