DALY CITY, CA (June 24, 2009)--Jeff Wilson of Fairfield won the marquee match of the first day of match play at the California State Amateur at Lake Merced GC, taking out Tim Hogarth 4 and 3. Co-medalists Nick Delio and Geoff Gonzalez also advanced to the second round.
Gonzalez, playing in the first match of the day as the #1 seed, beat Logan Goettsch of Fresno 2 and 1. “I had a totally different mindset coming into today,” the Diablo resident and rising senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo said. “ I tried to use the positive vibes from yesterday but to a certain point, it doesn’t matter.” Indeed the 21-year-old carded a near course-record 64 in the second round of stroke-play qualifying in his previous round.
Delio, the #2 seed, has the look of a player whose game is hitting on all cylinders as he cruised through stroke-play qualifying and his first-round match, winning over Kevin Lozares 2 and 1. The Valencia resident’s power proved the difference in winning last year’s event at Lakeside GC, and is again proving a distinct advantage at Lake Merced.
Scott Oxandaboure of Carsbad was perhaps the hottest player of the day, holing a 214-yard double eagle on the 9th hole and then putting his tee shot within one foot on the par 3 12th. The Titleist R&D team member was five under on his day when he closed out 2005 State amateur champion Don DuBois, 4 and 3. “I was a little shaky coming into the week,” the former USC Trojan said. “ But today I hit fairways and I was able to convert.”
Two incoming USC Trojans will battle in tomorrow’s round of 16 – Sam Smith of Turlock and Martin Trainer of Palo Alto. Both teenagers have had very successful junior careers, and their first-round victories, Smith over Joshua Dupont 6 and 5 and Trainer over James Erkenbeck 3 and 1, hint at a classic battle tomorrow.
The vagaries of the match-play draw served up one terrific morsel Wednesday, that of a duel between two of the most decorated mid-amateurs in the state - Jeff Wilson and Tim Hogarth. Wilson has competed in four U.S. Opens (qualifying out of Lake Merced for two of those), and has advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur twice, capturing medalist honors in that same event three times. Hogarth’s résumé is equally impressive, highlighted by a U.S. Public Links Championship in 1996 and an appearance at The Masters in 2007.
Wilson took control of the match after the 4th hole, as the 45-year-old birdied four of the next five holes. “I started hitting it close,” the Green Valley CC member said. “And once you get up you can apply some pressure. This is a good golf course for me.” Hogarth was the highest seeded player, at #3, to lose in Wednesday’s first round.
Other former champions still in the mix include 2007 winner Josh Anderson, a 2 and 1 victor over Ramsey Sahyoun, and 1994 champion Steve Woods of Cupertino, who took out Scott Clayton 1-up.
The championship continues with the round of 16 Thursday. Friday serves up the quarterfinals and semifinals with the scheduled 36-hole finals set for Saturday.