By Katie Denbo
Southern California Golf Association
APRIL 14, La Habra Heights -- It was a championship that came down to the wire, but in the end, tournament experience won out. Veteran SCGA champion Tim Hogarth added a third SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship title to his portfolio at Hacienda GC in La Habra Heights.
Northridge’s Hogarth, 42, won the SCGA Mid-Amateur winner in 1999 and 2007, and shot a 70-71-69—210, 2-under-par over the 6,925-yard Hacienda layout, defeating first-round leader Tyler Crawford of Rancho Mirage and Coto de Caza’s Jason Bittick by two strokes.
Hogarth entered the final round three shots back of Crawford, who faltered in the beginning of his final round by bogeying four of his first five holes. Although Crawford, who shot 69-69 yesterday, righted the ship, a costly double-bogey on the par-4 15th hole, combined with a birdie from Hogarth on 17, secured the title for Hogarth. While Hogarth and Crawford battled, Bittick continued to climb the leader board, birdieing four of his first five back-nine holes, landing the trio in a tie at 2-under-par going into the final few holes.
“When I heard that Tyler, Jason and I were all tied at 2-under at one point, that really made things more interesting,” Hogarth said after his round. “To actually win a close championship like this feels great.”
Bittick, one of the SCGA’s longest-hitting players, was four shots off the lead coming into today’s final round, but he stalled on 18, bogeying the hole which landed him in a tie for second place.
“The course played a lot harder today,” Bittick lamented. “The course was longer and the hole placements were much more difficult.”
Manhattan Beach’s William Degenhart shot 69-73-73—215 for fourth place, while Mark Scheibach of Bermuda Dunes took fifth place with 74-70-73—217.
Hogarth, a California State University, Northridge business alum who works in the health food industry, is the SCGA’s most decorated golfer, and one of the most accomplished players in the Southland. After winning the 1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, he was given an invitation to the 1997 Masters tournament, in what he says actually helps him play well this time of year.
“The week of the Masters [played last week] always does something for me and my game,” he said. “It gets my blood flowing and gets me excited to play. I think it helped me here today.”
Hogarth is the only player to win the SCGA’s “triple crown”: the SCGA Amateur (2004), SCGA Mid-Amateur (1999, 2007, 2009) and the California State Amateur (1999). With partner John Pate, he also won the 2004 and 2005 SCGA Foursomes Championships, and in 2008 he added an SCGA Tournament of Club Champions win.
Add these to his six Los Angeles City Amateur Championships, plus six Kelly Cup Invitationals, and two consecutive Pasadena City Amateur Championships, and his reputation as a premiere amateur golfer precedes him.
“No matter how many wins I get, each one feels great,” he said. “They’re all sweet.”