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Chris Marin of Monterey currently sits in second place in amateurgolf.com - Bridgestone Golf Tournament Series Player of the Year race, just 5 points behind Reid Scarff courtesy of his win at the California Mid-Amateur, but that only begins to tell the tale of his impressive play in 2009, and his rock-solid 2008 season.
Earlier in March, Marin was runner-up in the Scratch Players Mid-Am, before defending his title at the amateurgolf.com California Mid-Am the following weekend against a very strong field and winds that were even stronger. And that's coming off of a 2008 season when Marin entered eight tournaments and finished no lower than fifth.
Unfortunately, one of those 2008 runner-up finishes came in the tourney that is annually the one Marin wants to win the most, the Alameda Commuters Championship. In 2008 he finished three strokes behind Michael Jensen.
"The Commuters is definitely my favorite, that's the one I want to win really bad," said Marin. "My old golf coach from Chabot (Junior College) Zack Papachristos is always there with his team, so it's good to go back and see him. I've done pretty well there, came in fourth last year, but never played good enough to win."
Marin credits Papachristos with his maturation as a golfer.
"In high school I was a good golfer, but I was still young, still growing, immature," he said. "He slapped me around a bit, and got me comfortable playing good golf in a tournament setting. He was always supportive, you could call him anytime, for anything. And he had a lot of experience, started out as a wrestling coach, picked up golf later on. He was just the epitome of a coach."
Whatever style of coaching you believe in, this one worked with Chris Marin.
--By Peter Conroy, amateurgolf.com