CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (April 29, 2008)--Four first-time flight winners scored impressive wins in the 74th SCGA Amateur Net Championship, which concluded today at Industry Hills Golf Club.
In the President Flight, played over the Eisenhower course, Michael Sheehan, a 58-year-old business broker and inventor from San Diego, shot net 65-69 -- 134 and finished five shots in front of Kevin Keller of Baldwin Park. Three players each shot 141; in the card-off, Don Bruzzi of Moorpark, John Suzow of Newbury Park, and Carlos Hernandez of Canoga Park finished third, fourth and fifth.
For Sheehan (no relation to the famed golfing family), it was his first time every playing in the event.
“My buddy dragged me to the qualifying tournament,” he said after his win. “I played three times last week and practiced twice so I was ready -- that and the fact that my doctor gave some new arthritis medicine!”
Sheehan reached the finals last year of The Golf Channel’s “For Inventors Only” with a combination divot repair tool and pencil sharpener, which he used today. He was one of nine players who had their course handicaps reduced after extremely low first-round scores and the only one to go on to win.
“My home course is Carlton Oaks,” he explained. “So this course seemed easy compared to that. I hit the ball straight, but I’m not very long, so I stayed out of the trouble all day.”
Yu-Nin Shang of Irvine was steady as a rock, shooting 67-67 -- 134 over the Zaharias Course to win the Vice President flight by four shots over Dave Keays of Foothill Ranch, who shot 69-69 -- 138.
First-round leader Richard Marion of Corona and Greg Uillery of Fallbrook each finished a shot back of Keays, while Richard Messer of Canyon Lake and Rick Cook of Mission Viejo were another two shots back, with Cook winning the card-off.
It was “third time’s charm” for the 35-year-old Shang, who is a database manager for the Orange County Register. “I played a lot of golf coming into the tournament,” said Shang after his win. "So I was confident.”
Industry Hills member Richard Trejo of South Gate took full advantage of his home court advantage, posting an 8-under-par net 64 on Eisenhower course today to win the Secretary Flight. His 69-64 -- 133 was five shots in front of Byron Macavinta of Garden Grove and John Jansson of Barstow.
Dave Heyer of Brea, Barry Thornton of Tempe, AZ and Frank Toledo of Walnut were another shot back at 139.
“There’s no question that I had an advantage because I’ve played here so often,” said Trejo after the win. “It takes a few years to understand this place, especially in your knowledge of the greens.”
The 60-year attorney also credited his son, John, who caddied for his dad today. “He played in last year’s event and had a great time,” said Trejo. "So I decided to enter this year. He was invaluable as a caddie; he saved me a lot of shots.”
At age 75, David Heil figured this might be the last time he plays in the SCGA Amateur Net, and he made it a time to remember, rallying with a net 64 over the Zaharias Course to win the Treasurer Flight by three shots over Michael Ireland of Redlands.
Heil, who plays most of his golf at Empire Lakes GC, shot 72-64 -- 136 today, while Ireland (another of those adjusted after the first round), shot 65-74 -- 139. Armando Sanchez of Escondido, Satoshi Ito of Long Beach, and Simon Saucedo, Jr., San Diego, finished third through fifth.
“I was lucky,” said Heil after his round. “My misses were good and I started with two pars and finished with three more.”
Heil also credited his son, who caddied for him. “He helped me read the greens and found my golf balls when I hit them off line,” said Heil.
It was also a family affair.
“My wife made me a great breakfast today and my son picked me up and took me to the course," he said. "I’ve never had a top-10 finish so this was a special moment, especially since it might be my last time playing in the event.”
View results for Southern California Amateur Net Championship