STEVINSON, Calif. (March 29, 2008) - Play got underway in California's only statewide Mid-Amateur golf tournament today, the amateurgolf.com California Mid-Amateur. The tournament also fields strong Masters (40-54) and Senior (55 and over) divisions and a small Net Flight.
Jeff Dare of Pleasanton was the talk of the day.
Starting birdie-eagle on Nos. 10 and 11 as he teed off on the back nine first, Dare went on to rip through the back nine in 31 and touched 6-under for the first time as he made birdie at the par-5 first hole after making the turn.
An encounter with the tree that guards the split fairway on No. 2 led to a double bogey, but Dare settled down with three pars before going into one more barrage with three straight birdies at Nos. 6-8. A bogey at the number one handicap hole, No. 9, did nothing to take the smile off of Dare's face, nor take away the admiration of his fellow players.
"He hit it great today," said playing partner Dan Young, who fired a solid 75 himself. "And boy, did he hole some putts."
Indeed, the greens weren't their normal Stevinson "tour speed" but the course has weathered a wet winter well, and the Savannah grass is thick as usual.
Randy Haag, Robert Funk, Paul Ricee, and Andrew Biggadike all stand at 72 and will need some help or a really low round to catch Dare.
Harvey Hunter has a five stroke lead in the Net Division - he fired a net 69 today.
Conrad Nilmeier found none of the heavy rough, or much trouble at all for that matter, as he enjoyed a 16-greens-in-regulation round of 67.
"It was one of those days when everything seemed easy," said Nilmeier. I hit the ball well, and twice hit it really close for easy birdies."
Nilmeier, of Fresno, is employed by DiBuono and DeFendis Insurance, which has eight sub-5 handicap members in it's 25 member sales team (that's some company tournament...)
Right behind Nilmeier in the super-strong Senior Division (almost 40 players in size) is Steve Yavorsky of Capistrano Beach. Yavorsky made 7 birdies enroute to a 4-under 68. Jim Knoll, who made the cut in last year's US Senior Open, is another two strokes back at 70.
To view Sunday's pairings (pdf file) click on the name of the tournament above and then follow the "results" tab, or cut and paste the following url into your browser's location window:
- or call the Stevinson Ranch proshop at 209-668-8200 until 8:00pm.