NorCal Match Play: Upset City

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 13, 2008)--The vicissitudes of match play reared their head Wednesday at Spyglass Hill as seven of the top eight seeds went down in the first round, and none of the top 11 seeds advanced to the quarterfinals

On a day of upsets, of six players involved in the playoff Tuesday evening just to qualify for match play, five scored major victories in the first round.

Perhaps the match of the morning was a duel between seasoned veterans Mark Peel of Delray Beach, Florida and the Caddy Club of Pebble Beach and Jon Dechambeau of Belmont. Peel came back from a two-down deficit with four holes to go take a 2-up win.

“We both had our chances,” Peel said. “It was a really good match. I didn’t play that well but was able to get something going on 15.”

Indeed Peel would rattle off four straight holes to earn his way to the second round where he would lose to another Pebble Beach caddie, Chris Marin, 2 & 1. Marin will face Salinas Fairways’ Ricky Stockton in the quarterfinals after the 22-year-old defeated 47-year-old Jim Wilson of Butte Creek 1-up.

La Rinconada’s Matt Marshall, at the 12th seed, is the highest-seeded player still alive after defeating Alex Schmitt of the Meadow Club in the morning match and taking out the Olympic Club’s Devin Hexner 3 & 1 in the afternoon. Marshall will face Kevin Lozares of Palo Alto GC, a 1-up winner over Grant Norton of Rancho Murieta in the afternoon match.

Medalist and #1 seed Matthew Hollinseed drew a tough opening match in veteran Randy Haag. Hollinseed was unable to develop any momentum against the two-time champion of this same event and succumbed 3 & 2. Haag then lost to 16 seeded D.J. Fernando of Scratch Players 2 & 1. Fernando had earlier defeated Patrick Kucich of Brookside.

The Olympic Club’s Jon Peterson posted two lopsided upsets on the day, first taking out #8 seed Anthony Machi of Castlewood 4 & 2 and then upending 2007 NCGA Public Links champion Scott Hardy 4 & 3. The 35-year-old Granite Bay resident will face Fernando in the quarterfinals.

Mark Wyllie, a left-handed 16-year-old from San Jose, was the hottest golfer in the morning round, as he took out #2 seed Casey Boyns by virtue of five straight birdies on the back nine turning a 2-down deficit into a 3 & 2 win. Wyllie’s hot streak would run out in his afternoon match against Wes Leith of Wildhorse. Leith, who earlier beat Concord’s Bobby Bucey, won 4 and 3 over Wyllie and will face Clayton Davis of Atascadero in the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Thursday with the scheduled 36-hole final slated for Friday.

--Courtesy NCGA

Results For Northern California Amateur Match Play Championship
WinCAMatt MarshallSaratoga, CA400
Runner-upCAChris MarinMonterey, CA260
SemifinalsCADJ FernandoFrazier Park, CA160
SemifinalsCAWes LeithDavis, CA160
QuarterfinalsCAJon PetersonGranite Bay, CA120

View full results for Northern California Amateur Match Play Championship


The oldest of the NCGA’s major events, the Amateur Match Play Championship, dates back to 1903 when it was first played at San Rafael GC. Varying formats have been used over the 106 years of competition but today the tournament is 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying, followed by a 32-person seeded match play bracket. Pre-qualifying required for non-exempt players. Players must have a handicap index of 5.4 or less.

View Complete Tournament Information

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