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amateurgolf.com Christmas Classic: Leuterio Aces Way to Victory
03 Dec 2006
see also: Del Monte Golf Course

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By Peter Conroy
amateurgolf.com

Click above to view interviews with Champion David Leuterio and Runner-up Sam Chavez, plus footage from the sudden-death playoff

MONTEREY, Calif. (December 3, 2006) — When you’re hot, you’re hot, and when David Leuterio of Sacramento notched his second ace in as many months Sunday in second round play of the amateurgolf.com Christmas Classic at Del Monte Golf Club, he was on his way to a 4-under 68, and a spot at the top of the leaderboard.

But a few groups away, 17-year-old Sam Chavez outplayed his foursome in the leaders group, finishing with a 2-under 70, for a two-day score of 142, tied with Leuterio.

That sent the tournament into a sudden-death playoff that saw Leuterio triumph by notching consecutive birdies. The win culminated with a 30-foot putt, capping what amateurgolf.com founder Pete Wlodkowski called the most exciting ending in the site’s seven-year history.

Leuterio, a UC-Davis product, needed an eight-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to stay alive, after Chavez put his second shot on the par five in the fringe, then chipped to within inches and tapped in.

Chavez kept the pressure on for the second hole, shaping a three-wood around the dogleg left to within 60 yards. Leuterio looked to be in serious trouble when he pushed his four-iron into the right-rough, between two large trees.

“I was under the tree, but I had a shot, I always like hitting it low anyway,” said Leuterio. “It was almost better that it was kind of restricted because earlier in the round, first hole of the day, that’s the one I doubled. I was in a similar position but I had a clear shot and caught a huge flyer and almost went out of bounds because I tried to hit a full shot.”

He punched his shot onto the right side of the green, while Chavez wedged to 12 feet.

“I thought I could make it, I canned a long one on my last hole, and having made one on the first hole of the playoff I had a lot of confidence in the putter,” said Leuterio. “I had good speed the whole tournament so that allows you to free up your stroke and focus on the line.”

He rolled the 30-footer into the cup, and Chavez pushed his putt wide right to seal the tournament.

“It seems like in the playoff, I didn’t really lose it as much as I got beat,” said Chavez. “Making those two long putts is pretty clutch.”

Still, the Hillsborough-native was happy with his performance.

“I thought it would be a good experience knowing that I’m going off to college next year, playing in the final group is where you want to be,” said the Arkansas-bound Chavez. “If you can’t perform under pressure in the final group, it’s hard to win.”

Leuterio started his day with a double, but got things back on track with a birdie in the third hole and his second career ace on the fourth.

“I hit a seven-iron right at the pin. From the tee it looked like it hit and jumped, I thought it might have gone over,” said Leuterio. “I was looking for it over and couldn’t find it when someone in my group asked if I checked the hole. I go look and it was in there, I’m like, ‘Wow, awesome.’”

From there, it was a matter of keeping a level head.

“It definitely gave me momentum, but also sometimes when you get a hole-in-one it gets you a little bit too high, so I was constantly telling myself to calm down,” said Leuterio. “I was a little riled up.”

Andrew Bowdish, the co-leader coming into the day, tied for third with Kevin Fitzgerald at even-par 144. Bowdish, who entered the day at 2-under, was 5-over after the first eight holes off the day, but righted himself in the back-nine by shooting a 3-under 33. Matt Marshall, the other co-leader coming into Sunday, never got things together, finishing with 146, good for fifth.

In the senior division, Charles Richesin maintained his steady performance, posting scores of 74-75-149 to edge Tom Lyons 76-74-150.

“I was just trying to get the ball up and down, the greens were really treacherous,” said Richesin. “I had a couple birdies today and an eagle and a couple birdies yesterday, I was just trying to get the ball around the hole and make the putts.
“The trick on this golf course is just staying below the hole, I’ve played this event for two of the last three years. I was introduced to amateurgolf.com three years ago, so now I come out and play with you guys.”

While the approach shots weren’t always the best Sunday for Dan Gray, his putter more than made up for it as he took net division with a 71-65-136.

“I hit two greens, and made everything I looked at, it was just one of those days,” said Gray. “I’ve played here almost 10 years now and have never been lucky enough or good enough to win it, so this is nice. But my secret today is the 22 putts, I’ve been bragging about it.”

* * *

Final results from the 2006 Christmas Classic, played at the par 72 Del Monte Golf Course follow:

Championship
Pos Name Hometown Rd1 Rd2 Tot Prize$
1 David Leuterio Sacramento, CA 74 68 142 500
2 Samuel Chavez Hillsborough, CA 72 70 142 400
3 Andrew Bowdish San Jose, CA 70 74 144 300
4 Kevin Fitzgerald Riverside, CA 73 71 144 200
5 Matt Marshall Los Gatos, CA 70 76 146 200
6 Steve Wilson Discovery Bay, CA 74 74 148 100
7 Brian Swenson Dublin, CA 74 75 149 100
8 Garett Wagner Brentwood, CA 73 76 149 100
9 Jess Stimack Santa Rosa, CA 76 73 149 100
10 John Sinovic Carmel, CA 81 70 151 75
11 Jake Bieber Alamo, CA 73 79 152 75
12 Brian Thompson Gilroy, CA 72 81 153 75
13 Jack Paton Hillsborough, CA 80 73 153 75
14 Kris Butkys Thousand Oaks, CA 75 79 154 50
15 Kyle Candlish Rancho Murieta, CA 81 73 154 50
Matt Costello Danville, CA 79 75 154
Jeremy Harris El Dorado Hill, CA 81 74 155
Kevin Conover Petaluma, CA 74 81 155
Corey Campbell Auburn, CA 77 79 156
David Nelson Reno, NV 83 73 156
Ramie Sprinkling Davis, CA 79 77 156
Doug Marjama Gold River, CA 78 79 157
Juan Lopez Lakeport, CA 83 74 157
Andrew Biggadike Palo Alto, CA 76 82 158
Jose Rodriguez Berkeley, CA 80 78 158
Jud Spencer San Jose, CA 81 77 158
David Staszko San Jose, CA 83 76 159
Dino Giacomazzi 85 74 159
Grant Norton Rancho Murieta, CA 81 78 159
Jason Melvin Carmel, CA 76 83 159
Sean Nadir Los Altos, CA 78 82 160
Cody Miller Citrus Heights, CA 81 81 162
Greg O'Malley Sonoma, CA 82 80 162
Mark Douglas San Jose, CA 81 81 162
James Martini San Ramon, CA 83 80 163
Jay Stimack Sacramento, CA 85 78 163
Ken Sisler El Dorado Hills, CA 85 78 163
Michael Burgess, Jr. Rohnert Park, CA 90 74 164
Michael Shwe Cupertino, CA 84 80 164
Troy Laughlin Placentia, CA 85 79 164
Jeff Haluska 80 85 165
Lawrence O'Neill San Francisco, CA 80 85 165
Robert Budenbender Citrus Heights, CA 82 83 165
Steven Kern Colfax, CA 82 84 166
Josh Boro San Jose, CA 84 84 168
Kevin Hartsoch Playa del Rey, CA 86 84 170
James Priscaro Santa Clara, CA 94 78 172
Blake Andrus El Dorado Hills, CA 85 89 174
Steve Batte Las Vegas, NV 87 87 174
Jamie Ensell San Jose, CA 94 89 183
Will Schramm Alamo, CA 102 85 187
Roby Seed Gualala, CA 89 106 195
Robert Goodwin Atherton, CA 83 wd wd
Kevin Kobalter San Rafael, CA WD
Will Haydon Aptos, CA NS
Tyler Raber El Macero, CA WD
Mason Mallory Hillsboro, CA NS
Matt Vukicevich Kenwood, CA WD
Matthew Wallach Los Altos, CA NS
Erik Hallgrimson Los Gatos, CA WD
Dan Thurston Rohnert Park, CA WD
Rhett Colbrese San Diego, CA NS
Ryan Lester San Jose, CA NS
Senior
Pos Name Hometown Rd1 Rd2 Tot Prize$
1 Charles Richesin Lodi, CA 74 75 149 350
2 Tom Lyons Pleasanton, CA 76 74 150 200
3 Earl Stewart Fairfax, CA 75 77 152 150
4 Mark Miller Antioch, CA 76 76 152 100
5 Rob Thompson Merced, CA 76 76 152 100
6 Mark Sollenberger Scottsdale, AZ 73 80 153 70
7 Terry Ackerman Monterey, CA 78 76 154 70
Chip Campion Salinas, CA 80 75 155
Neil Duffy Santa Cruz, CA 80 76 156
Kevin Gaughan Danville, CA 75 82 157
Michael Donnelly Clayton, CA 78 81 159
Bob Schoenherr San Jose, CA 79 80 159
Larry Raber El Macero, CA 81 78 159
Herb Jensen Carmichael, CA 77 84 161
Ron Erkenbrecher Clovis, CA 78 83 161
Dave Baydala Murrieta, CA 82 79 161
Thomas Moore Carmel, CA 79 83 162
Randy Blankenbaker Rohnert Park, CA 83 80 163
Bob Cayton Aptos, CA 82 82 164
Joe Rhodes Antioch, CA 77 89 166
Jack Rademann Orangevale, CA 80 87 167
John Seed Gualala, CA 86 83 169
Hilton Tudhope Carmel, CA 84 87 171
Daniel Kuper Sunnyvale, CA 88 87 175
Jim Bertholf Minden, NV 91 86 177
Tom O'Grady Los Altos, CA 81 wd wd
NET
Pos Name Hometown Rd1 Rd2 Tot Prize$
1 Dan Gray Patterson, CA 71 65 136 350
2 Derek Gilchrist Lincoln, CA 71 70 141 250
3 Charles Balisha Turlock, CA 74 71 145 200
4 James Murphy San Francisco, CA 75 72 147 100
5 Noel Rush Pacifica, CA 73 76 149 100
6 Tom Silva Turlock, CA 77 72 149 100
7 Peter Funt Monterey, CA 73 78 151 80
8 Peter Balisha Turlock, CA 78 74 152 80
9 Waiter Harris Menlo Park, CA 80 72 152 50
10 Robert Vernon San Francisco, CA 79 74 153 50
Dan Avila Turlock, CA 79 74 153
Fred Luper Suisun, CA 73 81 154
Terry Ulleseit Reno, NV 78 76 154
Don Swift Davis, CA 78 77 155
Marc Sanders Turlock, CA 79 77 156
Wesley Boudreaux Los Angeles, CA 76 82 158
Mark Johnson San Ramon, CA 78 80 158
Bill Strahan Burlingame, CA 77 82 159
Mike Burgess Rohnert Park, CA 80 79 159
Joe Morais Turlock, CA 82 78 160
Axel Gomez Turlock, CA 80 81 161
Al Richardson Santa Clara, CA 79 85 164
Frank Angelo Moraga, CA 83 81 164
Matt Newcomer El Dorado Hills, CA 78 88 166
Dave Nikitin Vacaville, CA 77 90 167
Todd Knapp Salinas, CA 85 83 168
Vincent Steele Concord, CA 83 85 168
Matt Mattina Lakeport, CA 82 87 169
Steve Cohen Marina, CA 90 81 171
Terry Trout Clovis, CA 94 80 174
Daniel Shaw Blue Jay, CA 88 87 175
Del Hocker San Jose, CA 85 91 176
Jim Thurman Clayton, CA 75 wd wd
Rick Bauer San Ramon, CA 97 97

Results For amateurgolf.com 2006 Christmas Classic
Place  PtsScores
1*CADavid LeuterioSacramento, CA7574-68--142
2CASamuel ChavezHillsborough, CA5072-70--142
T3CAAndrew BowdishSan Jose, CA2570-74--144
T3CAKevin FitzgeraldRiverside, CA2573-71--144
5CAMatt MarshallSaratoga, CA2570-76--146

View full results for amateurgolf.com 2006 Christmas Classic

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