SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2011) -- Amateurgolf.com member, Matt Hansen overcame a one-shot deficit heading into the final round to win the 87th Annual State Fair Championship.
Hansen, who fired a 6-under 66 in Monday's final round, finished at 17-under for the tournament, besting Jake Johnson by one shot.
Johnson of Cameron Park got the party started on the Alister MacKenzie course at Haggin Oaks in the opening round after firing a 60 to blister the field by a monstrous seven strokes.
Johnson's round beat the course record by three strokes. In last year's event a new course record was made by Michael Weaver in the opening round with a 63 and then was tied by the winner, Grant Rappleye in the final round.
Johnson, a senior at Sac State, followed his opening round 60 with an even-par 72 and his lead shrunk to just one. Hot on his tail, behind by one, was Matt Hansen, sophomore at UC Davis, who shot 67-66. Asked if he thought he could catch Johnson, Hansen replied,
"I thought it would take 3-67's to win the tournament and I knew it would be a battle between about six guys."
And a battle it was, but it ended up between Johnson and Hansen. Never in the 18 hole round were the two separated by more than one stroke. At the turn the two were tied at 14-under par. Birdies by Johnson at 10 and 13 were offset by a double-bogey at 12. The two both parred 14 and 15 and both birdied 16 and 17 making them still tied at 16-under-par.
At the 537 yard par 5 18th, Hansen's second shot ended up hole high left of the green about 25 yards away in the second cut of rough. Johnson's second shot hit the green and rolled off the back into the fringe about 40 feet away. Johnson chipped up leaving his eagle attempt about 8 feet short of the hole. Hansen's eagle chip was a bit of a chunk advancing only a few yards, not reaching the putting surface. Still away, Hansen regroups, decides to use his putter and rolls it in for the birdie. Johnson attempt at the birdie rolls by giving the title to Hansen.
When asked about the chip shot, Hansen, 19, said," I thought to myself, you just choked, maybe you can make a playoff."
Hansen had some kind words for his fellow competitor congratulating him on his course record breaking 60 in round one and for the hard work of the committee and volunteers. The plus five handicap who is majoring in business, plans to rest up a bit to ready himself for UC Davis's opening season tournament the end of September.
ABOUT THE California State Fair
The State Fair Men's Amatuer Championship is one of
the oldest and most prestigious Amateur
Championships in the West. The Championship is
limited to 156 players. Competition commences over a
54-hole stroke play format with 18 holes played each
day. The field is cut after 36 holes to the low 45
View Complete Tournament Information