Defending champion Tim Hogarth and Southern California’s finest amateurs will be competing for the 28th SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Mesa Verde Country Club on April 4-5. Hogarth, a four time champion of this event, will be competing at one of Orange County’s finest clubs, and a course he has not played since coming in 37th at the 2003 SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship, won by Eric Wang of Cypress with a 54 hole total of 70-69-69-208 (2-under par).
This year’s champion will be exempted into the 100th California State Amateur Championship at The Olympic Club on June 20-25. The top-5 finishers will earn exemptions into the 112th SCGA Amateur Championship at San Gabriel Country Club on July 8-10.
There are seven past SCGA Mid-Amateur Champions in the field including Hogarth (1999, 2007, 2009, 2010), Robert Funk (2006), John McClure (2005), Scott McGihon (2002), Craig Steinberg (1996 and 2001), John Pate (1999) and Brad Larsen (1995).
Three-time Mesa Verde Club Champion Ryan Gale will be playing alongside Hogarth and 2-time Mid-Amateur runner-up Jason Bittick in one of the featured pairing groups which will tee off at 8:15 a.m. for the morning round and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon round. Another 3-time Mesa Verde Club Champion, Tom McGreevy will be teeing it up in our other featured pairing with two of the SCGA’s most decorated champions; 4-time SCGA Amateur Champion, Craig Steinberg and 3-time SCGA Amateur Champion, Scott McGihon. They will tee off at 8:24 a.m. for the morning round and 1:39 p.m. for the afternoon round.
Other featured pairings to keep an eye on are:
“Here’s Johnny” Pairing
Tee 10 – 7:57 am / Tee 1 – 1:12 pm
John McClure (2005 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion)
John Pate (1999 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion)
John Adams (2008 SCGA Foursomes Champion)
Mid-Am All Stars
Tee 10 – 8:06 am / Tee 1 – 1:21 pm
Robert Funk (2006 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion)
Tyler Crawford (3rd Place, 2010 SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship)
Joe Sanders (2010 Northern Nevada Golf Association Player of the Year)
New Kids on the Block (3 youngest players in the field, all 25 years old)
Tee 1 – 8:24 / Tee 10 – 1:39 pm
SCGA’s Best Seniors (age 55 and over)
Tee 10 – 8:33 am / Tee 1 – 1:48 pm
Brad Larsen (2010 SCGA Senior Player of the Year)
Howie Knodt (2009 SCGA Senior Player of the Year)
Clark Heath (2008 SCGA Senior Champion)
Mesa Verde CC is a Billy Bell designed layout which opened in 1959 and has hosted a number of professional tour events throughout the years. Winners of the five PGA tour events staged here include Billy Casper and “Champagne” Tony Lema, who had his first PGA Tour win at Mesa Verde. Playing to all points of the compass, each hole at Mesa Verde offers unique strategic challenges and requires the precise use of all 14 clubs. By virtue of its Kikuyu grass fairways and roughs, Mesa Verde plays significantly longer than its listed 6803 yards. Add to that the mature tree canopy that lines most fairways and the challenge soon becomes evident.
Key holes include: The par four, 5th, which can be stretched to 456 yards and plays to a small, well-guarded green. The long and challenging par five’s on the back side, 11 and 13, which both tip out at over 580 yards. The 13th can be especially demanding when played into the prevailing afternoon breeze. However, as anyone who has played at Mesa Verde before will attest, the culmination of the round at the par three 18th is what many remember Mesa Verde for. Listed at a manageable 204 yards from the back set of tees, this little monster, with OB left and water all down the right, has most players thinking about it long before they step on the tee. Par is an excellent score here. Alan Tapie and John Burkle share the current course record at 62.