PEBBLE BEACH, CA (July 9, 2016) -- Pleasanton resident Ryan Knop again found his groove at Poppy Hills Golf Course.
Knop, a sophomore at UC Davis, grabbed a share of the lead at this weekend’s annual NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship on Saturday, posting a 2-under 69 to move into a tie for first with Miguel Delgado at 1-under 141.
The lone player to break 70 in the second round, Knop had a chance to take it even deeper. He’d start his day by going 3-under through his first four holes. From there, Knop, who shot an 8-under 63 at Poppy Hills en route to winning the 2014 Junior Tour of Northern California Tour Championship, rang up three more birdies, but he’d also suffer four bogeys.
Delgado, who took the lead on Friday with a solid 67, slipped back into a tie with Knop after carding a 74. A day after carding five birdies, Delgado could only manage one to offset four bogeys.
At just one behind the co-leaders is University of Santa Clara junior Hayden Shieh. Runner-up at the 2014 NCGA Public Links Championship, Shieh remained steady, posting a 72 for a two-day total of 142.
Also remaining within easy striking distance were Andrew Moren and Perry Cohen, who each finished the day at 143. Moren, the head coach at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, had two bogeys and two birdies on his way to a 71, while Cohen, a junior at St. Mary’s, shot 72. Cohen’s coach at St. Mary’s, Scott Hardy, won the Stroke Play title both in 2004 and 2011.
With no one breaking away, the door remains open for defending champion Robby Salomon and defending NCGA Player of the Year Nick Moore. Salomon, a star at CSU-Monterey Bay, shot 72, while Moore had a 74. Both are among a pack of four players, including 2014 JTNC Player of the Year Joshua McCarthy, who will enter the final round only four off the lead.
Record six-time NCGA Player of the Year Randy Haag, who’s competing as a senior, also is still in the mix. Haag had a 73 and is in a group of nine players who will begin the day at six shots back.
The cutline (low 40 and ties) came at 9-over 151.
ROUND ONE RECAP
The Irish reigned supreme, at least for a day.
Miguel Delgado, a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame, grabbed the lead in this weekend’s annual NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship on Friday, posting a solid 4-under 67 at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course.
Delgado, who reached the quarterfinals of the 2014 San Francisco City Championship, made his move on Poppy’s par-5’s. He’d play the four par-5’s at 4-under, adding a fifth birdie on the par-3 15th. His lone miscue on the day would be a bogey on the par-3 17th.
Just a stroke back at 68 is Noah Woolsey of Murrieta. Starting on the back-nine, Woolsey, a senior at Linfield Christian High, opened with a 33 thanks in part to back-to-back birdies on the 17th and 18th. On the front-nine, he’d post a 1-under 35 with eight pars and a birdie on the 9th.
Four players–Arizona State senior Nicolo Galletti, UC Davis sophomore Ryan Han, University of Santa Clara junior Hayden Shieh and recent Sonoma State grad Brandon Lee–are all tied for third at 70. Shieh, an All-WCC selection this past season, was runner-up at the 2014 NCGA Public Links Championship. Han, who was a three-time Monterey Bay League MVP while playing at Hollister High, reached the semifinals of the 2014 NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship.
Another five players, including defending NCGA Player of the Year Nick Moore of Monterey, are just four strokes back after opening with scores of 71. Defending champion Robby Salomon is T-24 following a 73.Following Saturday’s second round, a cut will be made with the low 40 (and ties) advancing to Sunday’s final round.
On what was a nearly perfect day, Poppy Hills played to a stroke average of 78.183. The toughest hole was the opening par-4 1st, which played to a 4.9080 stroke average and gave up only six birdies.