DALY CITY, Calif. (June 22, 2009) -- Scott Clayton of San Bernardino and Sam Smith of Turlock shot 5-under-par 67 and are tied for the lead after the first round of the 98th California State Amateur Championship at Lake Merced GC in Daly City. Second round pairings can be viewed HERE.
Clayton, age 21 and a senior at UC Riverside, had never played Lake Merced before yesterday’s practice round, but fired five birdies and two eagles on the 6,812-yard layout today. The two-time San Bernardino County Amateur champion holed an 80-yard lob-wedge shot on the par-4 17th for eagle but kept a level-head as the birdies kept dropping. “I had a lot of fun," Clayton said after his round. "It’s nice knowing that it’s 36-hole qualifying for 32 spots. I know once I’m into match play anything can happen.”
Smith, who will play for the University of Southern California this fall, made a hole-in-one on the 184-yard par-3 8th hole with a 6-iron to help him to the lead. “I hit the perfect shot,” the 18-year-old said of the ball which landed straight in the hole. Although Smith struggled early when he four-putted the third hole for a double-bogey then bogeyed No. 4 as well, he collected six birdies during his 18 holes.
Decorated amateur Tim Hogarth of Northridge, the 1999 California Amateur champion, 2009 SCGA Mid-Amateur champion and the only SCGA player to win the SCGA Triple Crown (SCGA Amateur, Mid-Amateur and State Amateur), is tied for third at 3-under par with 2008 San Francisco City champion Martin Trainer of Palo Alto. Four players are tied for fifth at 69: defending champion Nick Delio of Valencia, 2009 SCGA Mid-Amateur runner-up Tyler Crawford of Rancho Mirage, 2008 NCGA Valley Amateur champion Steven Chung of Sacramento, and Santa Clara College student Scott Travers of Trabuco Canyon.
Other defending champions are in the hunt as well. Two-time winner Casey Boyns (1989 and 1993) of Pacific Grove and Steve Woods (1994) of Cupertino shot 2-under-par 70s, while 2001 champion Darryl Donovan of Morgan Hill, 2005 champion Don DuBois of Newport Beach and 2007 champion Josh Anderson of Murrieta are two of 13 players tied at even-par 72. Anaheim Hills's Jordan Nasser (2006) fired a 2-over 74, and Gary Vanier of Pleasant Hill, the only player in history to win the California State Amateur (1982) and CGA Senior Amateur (2007), shot 6-over 78.
In the Roger Lapham Challenge Cup, a North vs. South team competition which counts the best five of six scores from pre-selected team members, the SCGA leads by nine shots over its Northern California counterparts. Aided by five sub-par scores, the Southern California team carded Delio’s 69, Crawford's 69, Joshua Dupont of Poway's 70, and 71s from Ladera Ranch's Jason Bittick and Simi Valley's Matt Hoffenberg. Josh Anderson's 72 will not count toward today's team score. The Northern California team collected scores from Chung (69), 2009 amateurgolf.com Monterey Bay champion Randy Haag of Burlingame (70), Taylor Travis of Fremont (72), 2008 SCGA Mid-Amateur champion Jeff Wilson of Fairfield (73), Chris Marin of Monterey (75), and Scott Hardy of Pleasant Hill (75), one of the 75s of which will not count toward the team score. Northern California is the defending champion.
After tomorrow's stroke play round, the field will be cut to the low 32 players and match play will begin. Last year's cut after two rounds of stroke play was 4-over-par 140.