By Glae Thien
SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (July 31, 2011) -- It figured the final round of the San Diego City Amateur golf championship would result in a coronation of a college player from those crowding the top of the leaderboard. However, Bucky Coe instead won with some impressive postgraduate play.
Coe, USD class of ’08, rallied from four shots off the lead after two rounds to prevail in a two-hole playoff with Ryan Barry for his first City Am title at Torrey Pines South on Sunday.
“Some of these guys are probably future pros,” said Coe, of Encinitas. “To hang with them and come out ahead is pretty exciting.”
After two days at Torrey Pines North, Coe turned in his best tourney round on the tougher South course with a three-under-par 69 to tie with Barry at 213, four shots ahead of second-round leader Tyler Torano.
The women’s title went for the second straight year to Rancho Santa Fe’s Kaitlin Drolson, who took a four-shot edge into the day and survived an 80 to finish at 227, two strokes ahead of Devon Brown and Georgina Salant.
Coe clinched the victory on No. 7 with a 3-foot birdie putt, set up by a strong 8-iron shot. For the tourney, he had no three-putts.
“I just knew if I hit better, I’d play better,” said Coe, who placed third two years ago. “To get some better shots gave me a little confidence, and that made a big difference.”
Barry, of Del Mar, faced a two-shot deficit to start the day and then highlighted his round in a final foursome of all college players with an eagle on the ninth hole.
“I’m really not disappointed. I hit the ball quite well,” said Barry, who rooms at the University of New Mexico with fellow golfer and Torrey Pines High graduate James Erkenbeck.
Defending champion Steven Kearney, a Carlsbad resident who plays at Stanford, had a 76 to finish in a tie for fourth (218) after a second-round 68 that put him two shots off the lead.
Drolson claimed her repeat title after yielding a one-shot lead with five holes left to Brown, of Rancho Santa Fe, who competes at Northwestern.
“A win is always good, however you get it,” said Drolson, a Pepperdine senior who plans to turn pro next year. “I appreciated having that lead (after two rounds).”
Chula Vista’s Howie Knodt (219) won the men’s senior title for the second time in three years by six shots over defending champion John Hoffman.