Southern Cal Honors Matches: Amateurs dominate, again
13 Dec 2008
see also: The Honors Matches, Andalusia Country Club


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (Dec. 13, 2008) -- The SCGA amateur team continued its commanding performance in today's foursomes matches, to defend its title and defeat the Southern California PGA team 23 1/2 to 12 1/2 in the 2nd Honors Matches at Indian Wells CC.

Beginning the day with a 12 1/2 to 5 1/2 lead over their professional counterparts, the SCGA concluded the championship by winning four of the six overall foursomes matches today.

Santa Barbara's John Pate set the pace for the SCGA team when on the par-4 10th, he holed out partner Kevin Marsh's drive from the fairway, a 7-iron shot from 164 yards in the alternate-shot format. He then had a 15-foot putt for birdie on the par-4 11th hole, which led to defeating Virginia CC's Mike Miles and Indian Wells CC's Butch Sheehan 4 and 2.

"My partner hardly had to putt today," Pate said with a laugh. The duo collected six birdies, an eagle and one bogey in their effort.

Canyon Lake's Robert Funk and Los Angeles' David Bartman, the 2006 SCGA Four-Ball and 2007 SCGA Foursomes champions, defeated Tamarisk CC's Kyle Kelly and Aviara Golf Academy's Bruce Nakamura 2-up in their match.

"We played well enough to win, although we could have played better," said Funk, who is also the 2006 SCGA Mid-Amateur champion. "You can't even compare it to yesterday's four-ball rounds, it's such a different format. We shot even-par though, which worked."

In other matches:

-Valencia's Brian Edick and San Diego's Tim Mickelson (SCGA) defeated Stadium Golf Center's Scott Mahlberg and Morgan Run Resort's Gary Sowinski, 3 & 2, after being all square for the first four holes of the match.

-San Clemente's John Adams and three-time SCGA Amateur champion Scott McGihon of Bermuda Dunes defeated the SCPGA's Chuck Minerd of Golf Made Easy and Torrey Pines Outings' Chris Starkjohann, 1-up. The SCPGA duo stalled on holes 13 through 16, going bogey-birdie-bogey-double bogey.

-SCGA's Scott Almquist of Coto de Caza and Don DuBois of Newport Beach halved their match between East Valley GC's Dale Abraham and Palos Verdes CC's Jim Gormley.

-Seniors Jerry Wisz of Alhambra GC and Jon Fiedler of Las Posas CC came back from yesterday's loss to defeat Howie Knodt of Chula Vista, SCGA Senior Player of the Year, and Boyd Martin of Corona del Mar, the 2008 SCGA Senior Match Play champion, 2 & 1.

The Honors Matches began last year as joint effort between the SCGA and SCPGA, and honored two individuals who have contributed to their respective associations. Len Kennett, longtime junior golf advocate and professional, was the honorary captain of the SCPGA's team, while Mark Johnson, multiple SCGA titleholder, led the amateur team.

"The SCGA team did excellent today, it was nice to see some of the guys I played with in the past and the new players coming up," said Johnson, who has won more SCGA championship titles than any golfer in the SCGA's history. "I feel so honored to be here and it brought back a lot of great memories for me, although I was itching to get out there and play myself after watching them."

Past SCPGA President and PGA captain Patrick Casey of Brentwood CC concurred. "The guys are all such gentlemen, and there was some great golf played out there today."

--Courtesy Katie Denbo, SCGA

ABOUT THE The Honors Matches

The Honors Matches are a biennial team event between the top players from the SCGA and SCPGA. The inaugural match was played in 2007. At these matches, the SCGA and SCPGA honor and celebrate an individual from each organization for their past accomplishments and dedicated service to the game of golf. Past SCGA honorees include Bud Bradley, Mark Johnson, Steve Horrell, Tom Morgan, and Jim Vernon. Past SCPGA honorees include Eddie Merrins, Len Kennett, Ron O’Connor, Jerry Anderson, and Tom Barber.

The teams are selected based upon their respective points systems. The top eight players and top four seniors are invited to represent their respective Associations.

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