Gonzalez Takes Nipomo Amateur in Playoff

NIPOMO, CA (Jan. 10, 2011) -- Geoff Gonzalez of Diablo captured the 2011 Nipomo Amateur Championship at Monarch Dunes Old Course. The senior on the golf team at Cal Poly bogied his last hole in regulation play to force a three- way play-off with Justin Warthen of Arroyo Grande and fellow teammate at Cap Poly, Pace Johnson of Fresno. Warthen, the reigning club champion at Monarch Dunes shot the tournament low round 67. Johnson made the play-off by birdieing six of his last eight holes.

The play-off started on hole 1, a 453 yard par four. Gonzalez's tee shot found the middle of the fairway and Warthen was down the right side, but Johnson slightly pulled his drive and found the water left of the fairway. From 195 out Warthen punched an iron to the back of the green some thirty feet away. Gonzalez, from about 160 out stuck it to 15 feet. From the back of the green Warthen curled his putt around the cup and tapped in for par. Gonzalez missed the birdie attempt by burning the edge and tapped in for par to move on to the next hole. Johnson failed to make par and was eliminated.

The second hole was number 9, a dogleg right long par 4 of 470 yards. Gonzalez teed off with 3 wood and just missed the bunker on the right side of the fairway. Warthen also hit 3 wood but he pulled it left into the water hazard. Although not in the water his ball plugged in the rough a foot above the water line. Forced to take a penalty drop he hits his third shot just short right of the green. Gonzalez now had a green light. From about 165 yards out, he hit a towering iron that landed eight feet from the hole. Warthen now needed to hole out for par to have any chance of tying. Pitching with his 60 degree wedge the ball skipped off the false front, checked up and rolled down just short of the hole. Gonzalez now could two putt for the win. He slid his eight footer two feet by and banged it in for the victory.

Bryan Pierce, another Cal Poly player from Arroyo Grande, took solo fourth with a two-day total of 141. Taking fifth was Russell Boring a UC Santa Barbara player with a score of 144.

Thanks go to Justin Warthen, tournament director, for the first-hand recap on the play-off.

View results for Nipomo Men's Amateur Golf Championship

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