PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (June 20, 2007)-- John McClure of West Los Angeles, the No. 32 seed, upset stroke-play medalist Blake Trimble of Rancho Santa Fe, 4 & 3, today and 16 golfers went home after the first round of match play at the California Amateur Championship at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.
Historically, it wasn’t all that big of an upset. Just 10 medalists in the nearly century-old tournament have gone on to win the championship gold medal; Steve Woods in 1994 was the last.
While the strong winds that wreaked havoc for players earlier in the week died down on the Monterey Peninsula’s Shore Course, the competition picked up for McClure, a real estate developer and the 2005 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion, who secured the final spot in a 10-for-5 playoff yesterday to make match play. During his second stroke play round, McClure was assessed a two-stroke penalty for touching his moving and unmarked ball on the green, and he had to chip in on the final hole yesterday to make the playoff.
“I got off to a good start today by birdieing two of the first three holes, and I was able to gain a few holes that Blake was having trouble with,” McClure said. “Match play is a good format for me. I’m pretty straight of the tee and I don’t hit many offline shots, which keeps the pressure on my opponents.”
McClure will be paired with good friend Keith Kinsel of Glendale in the Round of 16 Thursday; Kinsel defeated Los Angeles’ E.J. Kahn 2 & 1.
“It felt like we had blood out there on every hole,” said Kinsel. "There was a lot of up and down.
"I only three-putted once, which really helped. The course was probably three or four strokes easier today without the wind.”
Southern California golfers won nine of 16 matches. Josh Anderson, a recent Murrieta Valley HS graduate who will attend Pepperdine in the fall on a golf scholarship, defeated longtime golf friend Brett Kanda, who was seeded No. 2. It is the 18-year-old Anderson’s first time playing in the championship.
“The conditions were much easier out there today, and I played solid,” Anderson said. “The greens were really quick, but I didn’t have any problems. Brett and I are friends and have been playing together for a long time, so it was nice playing with him today.”
La Quinta High School star Ben Murray dealt Escondido’s Mark Etue a tough hand, when he defeated the 51-year-old Etue, 7 & 6. The end came after Etue hit his drive and two approach shots into the rough and conceded the match on the 12th hole.
“There wasn’t as much gale force wind today,” Murray said. “I just hit fairways and greens and minimized my mistakes. I plan to do the same tomorrow.”
Two-time California Amateur champion Casey Boyns of Pacific Grove outlasted Clovis’ Jon Dechambeau in 19 holes in “the best match-play round I’ve ever played,” Boyns said later. That’s quite an accolade considering that the 51-year-old Boyns is bidding to become the just the third player ever to win three or more California Amateur titles; he won in 1989 and 1993.
-Tim Honeycutt somehow righted the ship after dropping the first four holes to Robert Funk, but ended up taking the victory.
-UNLV's Eddie Olson used three birdies on the final three holes to steal a win away from Torrey Pines' James Erkenbeck.
-Justin Estrada, the youngest competitor in the field at 16, held off local favorite Jose Sanchez, who is the Monterey Peninsula Country Club's executive chef.
-Joseph Greiner fired nine birdies in 17 holes to top Kory Storer 2 & 1.
-- SCGA material used in article