SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (February 27, 2011) -- Patrick Grimes of Palo Alto qualified in style over the weekend at Lincoln and Harding Park golf courses, firing even par at Lincoln on Saturday and 4-under at Harding Sunday for a two round total of 136.
Grimes took Medalist honors by three shots over Timothy Bordeaux. Grimes got off to a solid start at Lincoln at Saturday, but Sunday at Harding Park was where he really got going.
"The course was really dry given some of the weather we've been having," Grimes told amateurgolf.com.
"The greens were firm, quick and smooth -- the highlight of my day was making a 45-foot putt from the front of the green on the 13th."
A senior at Menlo School in Atherton, Grimes recently signed a letter of intent with Stanford. And while handicapping matches in this eclectic tournament is nearly impossible, put Grimes on a short list of favorites -- he was a semi-finalist in the 2010 championship.
"After seeing the shape Harding is in, I'm really looking forward to match play," said Grimes.
This year's tournament has been condensed to a 32 player match play field -- defending champion George Gandranata compete against 28 players who posted 147 or better plus the winners of a 8-for-3 playoff at 148.
Randy Haag, the 2010 NCGA Player of the year who posts his own blog at www.randyhaag.com, predicted that the normal qualifying range of 150 would be a few shots lower and he nailed it on the button.
Haag, who played Saturday at Lincoln and Sunday at Harding, qualified comfortably at 70-75=145, tied for 12th.
By changing the match play field to 32, and making the semi-finals a 18 hole match instead of 36, the tournament committee has chopped one weekend off of the schedule. The hope is that many players who could not take so much time will compete, thus improving the overall strength of field.