Austin Graham wins Southern Cal Am

LOS ANGELES, July 19 -- In a five-way tie that came down to the last two holes, Austin Graham of San Clemente birdied hole 17 en route to a final-round, 1-under 70, and earned the title of 110th SCGA Amateur champion at Wilshire CC.

Graham, age 19 and an incoming junior economics major at UC Davis, broke up a logjam at the top of the leaderboard that included 2008 champion Kevin Marsh of Henderson, Nev., 2004 champion Tim Hogarth of Northridge, 2009 SCGA Mid-Amateur runner-up Tyler Crawford of Rancho Mirage, and Loyola Marymount golfer Jake Sarnoff of Manhattan Beach. In his 6-under-par victory (69-69-70-70--278), Graham rebounded from a bogey 6 on the 16th hole when he drained a 30-foot putt on 17 for birdie.

"I played smart today, and I hit aggressive, safe targets out there," Graham said after his round.

With his dad Tony on the bag ("He caddies 95 percent of the events I play in and helps me keep my game in perspective," Graham said), Graham is fresh off a win at the Long Beach City Championship last weekend, where he had an eight-stroke victory and shot a first-round 62 at El Dorado Park GC, the lowest tournament round he's shot. He said in hindsight, the win motivated him to play well at the Amateur.

"I learned a lot last week about staying in my game and keeping focused," he said. "I also knew that the competition at this event was going to be much more tough, and I had to mentally prepare for that."

Past championand 2009 SCGA Mid-Amateur champion Hogarth (73-67-68-71--279) played steadily while his competition struggled, but stalled on holes 6 through 8 when he collected three consecutive bogeys. After a birdie on 9, and a double bogey on 10, Hogarth righted the ship and birdied holes 13, 14 and 16 to put him in a tie for first. A missed birdie attempt from 10 feet on 17, paired with Graham's birdie-3, closed out his championship hope and put him in a tie for second with Marsh.

Marsh (72-68-70-69--168) ran up the leaderboard also, but two bogeys on 11 and 12 got him into scoring trouble.

"I made a couple of bogeys on the last few holes that cost me," Marsh said. "I never had a good putting round this tournament, and that's usually my strength. The pin placements were challenging."

Crawford (69-71-72-68--280) went birdie-bogey-birdie-birdie on holes 13-16 to secure the fourth-place spot, while Sarnoff (67-70-70-74--281), who was in second place coming into today's final round, claimed fifth after two bogeys, a double bogey, and only one birdie.

Third-round leader Spencer Anderson, a golfer at Duke and last year's fifth place winner who was as many as 7 under par and three shots in the lead today, succumbed to an up-and-down round that left him in seventh place (69-71-66-77--283), thanks to a bogey and two double bogeys on the last three holes.

"This win is a dream come true," Graham said. "I always wanted to qualify and play in this event, and to now have my name on the same trophy as Tiger Woods [winner in 1994] -- I'm speechless."

ABOUT THE Southern California Amateur

The SCGA Amateur is one of the nation’s oldest continuously contested amateur golf championships. The first SCGA Amateur was held less than one year after the Southern California Golf Association was formed on July 29, 1899. Only the Utah Amateur, begun in 1899, has a longer consecutive string (the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur both predate the SCGA Amateur, but both USGA events were suspended during war years). A match play format was used for the first 58 years of the tournament. In 1957, the format was changed to 72 holes of stroke play. In 1973, increasing interest and the number of entries resulted in regional qualifying with a 36- hole finale. The 72-hole stroke play format was reinstituted in 1974. In addition to the championship itself, for many years the tournament also had net competition in flights. However, due to the increasing popularity of this portion of the tournament, a separate SCGA Amateur Net Championship was created in 1993.

View Complete Tournament Information

Results For SCGA Amateur (Southern California) Golf Championship
Place  PtsScores
1CAAustin GrahamSan Clemente, CA40069-69-70-70--278
T2NVKevin MarshHenderson, NV26072-68-70-69--279
T2CATim HogarthNorthridge, CA26073-67-68-71--279
4CATyler CrawfordRancho Mirage, CA16069-71-72-68--280
5CAJake SarnoffManhattan Beach, CA16067-70-70-74--281

View full results for SCGA Amateur (Southern California) Golf Championship

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