STUDIO CITY, Calif. (June 19, 2008) -- Austin Roberts of Carmicheal looks like a 15-year-old and talks like one but most certainly plays an adult’s game. The Sacramento Waldorf HS student defeated San Jose’s Kevin Fryer 2-up and faces James Erkenbeck tomorrow. “I came into the week wanting to make the cut,” Roberts said. “But I love match play. My mindset now is just to beat the golf course. That’s really been helping me.” Roberts clearly has the nerve for match play; he came from a 4-down deficit in the first round of match play to defeat NCGA Four-Ball champion Travis Taylor.
Erkenbeck, an 18-year-old San Diego native, upended the defending champion, Josh Anderson of Murrieta, 2 and 1. The rising San Diego State sophomore and Torrey Pines HS alum displayed the steely nerves of youth on the greens, never giving Anderson the momentum.
After a blazing hot first round of match play, Saratoga’s Matt Marshall was unable to sustain his great play in the second round, losing to co-medalist Matt Hoffenberg of Simi Valley 1-up. (Hoffenberg also just completed his freshman year at San Diego State.) Marshall was 4-down after the 12th hole and made a charge that ultimately came up short.
Steve Woods, the 1994 champion, dropped his match against Josh Dupont of Poway, 3 and 2. Dupont faces Hoffenberg in the quarterfinals. Scott McGihon of Bermuda Dunes defeated 2006 State Amateur champion Jordan Nasser 3 and 1. McGihon, at age 40, has the distinction of being the oldest player left in the field. He will face Tim Cha of Chino Hills, a 3 and 2 winner over Bryan Harris of Newport Beach.
NCGA Amateur champion Ryan Hallisey (right) booked a trip to the quarterfinals via a 1-up win over Alex Kim of Fullerton. “He made a couple of mistakes and then I was able to hold on,” the rising Nevada-Reno junior said. “I just finished school so I really wanted to enjoy the week. My game feels good and I’m putting well.”
Modesto’s Jeff Burda, who was one of the oldest qualifiers for match play in recent memory at age 55, lost to Nick Delio of Valencia, 5 and 4. Delio is a freshmen-to-be at Cal State Northridge and got into the field as an alternate. Now he is in the quarterfinals where he will face Hallisey.
Two Northern Californians and six players from the south comprise the quarterfinals. Five of the competitors are teenagers and the average age of the final eight is 21.
The quarterfinals and semifinals set for Friday. The scheduled 36-hole final takes place Saturday at Lakeside Golf Club.
LAKESIDE GOLF CLUB/OAKMONT COUNTRY CLUB
Lakeside and Oakmont were both designed by Max Behr, Jr. and were part of the first great Golden Age of golf course architecture in Southern California, which occurred during the 1920s. This was an era that also saw the building of The Los Angeles CC’s North and South courses, Riviera CC, Bel-Air CC, Rancho Santa Fe GC and others. Visit http://scga.org/FOREWEB/mj08/stateam.htm for more information.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Although there were other tournaments held early in the 20th century, the California Amateur Championship dates its origins from 1912. It was originally held at Del Monte GC but when Pebble Beach Golf Links was built in 1919, the championship shifted to that location.
This year marks the first year that the California Amateur will have been played in Southern California. The championship will be played in 2009 at Lake Merced GC in Daly City and in 2010 at Rancho Santa Fe GC and La Jolla CC. It will continue to rotate between Northern and Southern California in succeeding years.