Changes made to California State Amateur exemptions

There have been a few changes regarding exemptions for the 2009 California State Amateur amateurgolf.com has learned.

The most notable among these is that the any member of the SCGA, NCGA or PLGA who is also ranked in the top-200 of the Golfweek amateur rankings as of March 1, 2009 will be given automatic exemptions to the starting field.

A full list of exemptions follows: CGA Past Champions (beginning in 2003, this is a 10-year exemption) 2008 CGA Round of 32 Match Play Qualifiers 2008 SCGA Amateur Champion 2008 SCGA Match Play Champion 2009 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion 2008 NCGA Amateur Champion 2008 NCGA Stroke Play Champion 2008 NCGA Junior Champion 2009 State CIF Champion 2008 US Amateur Match Play Qualifiers Players listed on the top 200 Golfweek World Amateur Rankings as of March 1, 2009 Special Exemptions as selected by the CGA Board of Directors

Another important change will be to the qualifying process. In preceding years, NCGA members were required to qualify at an NCGA event, and vice versa. This year, NCGA or SCGA members will be allowed to attempt to qualify at any of the statewide locations. This is big news for collegiate golfers. For instance, whereas a Bay Area resident playing golf for USC would have to trek back to NorCal to qualify, this year they will be able to qualify closer to school.

A full list of qualifying sites follows:

-- April 20 -- Castlewood CC Corral de Tierra San Jose CC

-- April 27 – El Macero CC Oakdale GCC The Olympic Club

-- May 7 -- Rustic Canyon

-- May 11 -- The SCGA GC

-- May 18 -- El Camino CC Shadowridge CC

-- May 20 -- Empire Lakes GC Oak Valley GC Old Ranch

-- May 21 -- Cypress Ridge GC

The State Am will be held at Lake Merced GC June 22-27, with 36 holes of stroke play, with the top 32 players advancing to match play, culminating in a 36-hole final match. Lake Merced is a 6,863-yard par-72 in Daly City that was built in 1922, a Willie Locke design that was re-designed by Rees Jones.

Last year, big-hitting Cal-State Northridge golfer Nick Delio rose from an alternate to the championship on the strength of accurate drives consistently in the 320-yard range. For video of that event, click here.

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