SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Aug. 12, 2008)--Youth prevailed but form didn’t at the first round of the inaugural SCGA Match Play Championship being played at Sandpiper Golf Course.
Top seed Tim Hogarth of Northridge was ousted when 17-year-old Bhavik Patel of Bakersfield rolled in a 60-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win 1 up over the beautiful seaside layout. Also going down were third seed Scott McGihon of Bermuda Dunes, and fourth seed John Pate of Santa Barbara.
Form took a beating in the senior division, as well. No. 1 seed Steve Rhorer of Costa Mesa never trailed in his match, finally closing out Steven Hakes of San Diego with a par 3 on the final hole for a 2-up victory. However, the nos. 2-6 seeds were eliminated.
Many of the match play championship tussles featured youth vs. age, and on this day, youth prevailed.
Patel takes out Hogarth
Patel, who at age 14 nearly became the youngest SCGA Amateur champion ever in 2005, made four birdies in his round, but both he and Hogarth lamented their poor play. Trailing by one hole coming into the par-3 finishing hole, Hogarth hit his tee shot to within 10 feet, and with Patel 60 feet away, it appeared as if the match might go extra holes until Patel drained his bomb for a birdie 2. “It was in all the way,” said Hogarth ruefully.
Wax waxes McGihon
Daniel Wax, 21, knocked out former three-time SCGA Amateur champion Scott McGihon, 40, of Bermuda Dunes, 6 & 5. Wax, a University of Denver student, birdied the first hole to go 1 up and never looked back, making two more birdies and no bogeys, while McGihon struggled with four bogeys and a double bogey.
Delio continues match play mastery
Reigning California Amateur champion Nick Delio of Valencia, 18, turned back 42-year-old John Balfanz of Bakersfield, 4 & 3, giving the Cal State Northridge rising sophomore six consecutive match-play victories this summer.
Dupont blows by Merich
Northwestern University student Josh Dupont of Poway, 19, knocked off 42-year-old Wayne Merich of Moorpark, 5 & 3, with Dupont posting three birdies and an eagle 2 on the 315-yard 10th hole after he drove the green 20 feet from the hole and the putt was eventually conceded.
Mac Arthur defeats Bittick
2008 CIF-SCGA High School champion Johnny Mac Arthur, 18, of Valencia eliminated 40-year-old Jason Bittick of Coto de Caza, 3 & 1. After making two bogeys in his first four holes, Mac Arthur rallied with four birdies in his final 13 holes, according a birdie 3 on the 17th hole to close out the match.
Kanda rallies from 4 down to win in overtime
2007 SCGA Amateur champion Brett Kanda, 21, of La Crescenta rallied from 4 down after 13 holes to edge 34-year-old Joe Sanders of La Quinta on the 20th hole. Kanda won four consecutive holes to pull even, three of them with birdies, then parred the second playoff hole to advance.
Wyatt outlasts Wiese
Fresno State student Brad Wyatt, 20, of La Verne parred the final hole to outlast 39-year-old Kent Wiese of Huntington Beach, 1 up. The two players made just three birdies between them, along with two double bogeys and 10 bogeys.
Two veterans bucked the trend.
DuBois takes out Greiner; Havro defeats Nasser
Don DuBois of Newport Beach — at age 49 the oldest player in the field and the 2005 California Amateur champion — edged 21-year-old Joe Greiner of Saugus, last year’s California Amateur runner-up, 1 up, while 47-year Gary Havro of Claremont defeated 2006 California Amateur champion Jordan Nasser of Anaheim Hills, 2 & 1.
Three matches go overtime
In addition to the Kanda-Sanders match, UC Davis student Austin Graham of San Clemente defeated UCLA’s Lucas Lee of Torrance on the 21st hole, while Bryan Hogan of Bakersfield took out Bryan Harris of Newport Beach in 20 holes.
Last two SCGA Senior Amateur champions ousted
In the senior division, the last two SCGA Senior Amateur champions were knocked out. Patrick Hanley of Venice defeated 2007 champion Rich Tolly of Laguna Hills, the no. 2 seed in this event, 1 up, with each player bogeying their final two holes. Reigning SCGA Senior champion Clark Heath of Coto de Caza didn’t make a birdie all day and fell to Boyd Martin of Corona del Mar, 3 & 2.
Second-round matches in the match play championship will be played tomorrow (Wednesday) beginning at 7:30 a.m. One of the featured pairings will see Delio, the current state champion, meeting DuBois, the 2005 titleholder. In another, Anderson and Hoffenberg, two members of the SCGA’s Morse Cup team in last week’s Pacific Coast Amateur, will square off. Quarterfinals will be played tomorrow afternoon. Semifinals will be played Thursday morning and the 18-hole championship match is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Quarterfinals and semifinals in the senior division will be played tomorrow and the 18-hole championship match will be played Thursday morning.
--Story by Robert D. Thomas, SCGA