DALY CITY, Calif. (June 22, 2011) Met with foggy weather for the first time this week, the 32 remaining participants in the 100th Annual California State Amateur Championship began match play today at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Top-seed Philip Chian continued his stellar play, beating Mark Harding of Hermosa Beach 2 and 1.
“I wasn’t hitting it well today,” the 20 year old said. “But I was getting it up and down real well and I’m real confident in my game right now.”
One of the most impressive rounds of the day came from 15-year-old Ben Doyle (pictured) of La Jolla High School, who knocked off Jack Perry, runner up at last year’s SCGA Amateur Championship. Doyle, who last month won the CIF/SCGA High School Championship, shot a 34 on the front nine, putting together birdies on holes 7 and 8 to go 7 up through nine. He eventually won 6 and 5 and will face Cory McElyea in the Round of 16 tomorrow.
Olympic Club member Randy Haag, the perennial top player in the amateurgolf.com Tournament Series, won his match against Cal Davis golfer Matt Hansen, 3 and 2.
No former champions are left in the field, as ’09 champion Geoff Gonzalez lost to Cameron Rappleye of Elk Grove 5 and 4 while ’07 champion Josh Anderson was upended by 17-year-old Shotaro Ban 1-up.
The 18th hole at The Olympic Club’s Lake Course was a lonely hole most of the day, as it took until the 10th match of 16 to reach the 18th hole and only three total went the distance.
Moving on to the Round of 16 are fellow SCGA members Xander Schauffele and Tain Lee, who will go head-to-head tomorrow. Schauffele, who will be attending Long Beach State as a freshman in the fall and is the 2011 State High School Champion, knocked out three-time SCGA Amateur Champion Scott McGihon 5 and 4.
Also escaping the Round of 32 are Bhavik Patel and Sam Smith, who both won their matches 2 and 1. Patel, a Fresno State golfer, finished in the top-5 at last year's SCGA Amateur Championship while USC golfer Sam Smith finished second in the 2006 SCGA Amateur.
The Round of 16 begins Thursday at 7:30 with the quarterfinals while the semifinals are set for Friday. The scheduled 36-hole final tees off Saturday at 7:30 a.m.