Nick Sako leads Christmas Classic

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. (Dec. 3, 2011) -- 65 was the magic number today, in all three divisions of the Christmas Classic.

First off, was Nick Sako of Menlo Park (and the St. Mary's College golf team) who fired a 5- under 65 at the sun kissed Pacific Grove Golf Links to take the first round lead in the Championship Division.

Sako leads a trio of players (Jeff Hamm of Danville, Barry Logar of Fairfield, and Cameron Rappleye of Elk Grove) by 2 strokes on a day that was so nice that the short, scenic course we like to call "The Poor Man's Pebble Beach" was left almost defenseless.

Sako started his round on the eighth hole, and after a pair of pars played the back nine (right on the Pacific Ocean) in 2-under. He rattled off a string of three birdies on holes 3-5, then closed out his round with two more pars. And he wasn't the only bogey-free player in the field, as Logar accomplished the same feat.

Another 65, from the same tees, was posted by Jim Knoll of Sunnyvale in the Senior Division. The Northern California G.A. Senior Player-of- the-Year had an amazing eight birdies on the day. He is trailed by Mark Miller of Antioch, who fired 2-under 68, and Rob Adolph and John Seed, both of whom posted 71.

Tournament founder Casey Boyns (many regulars still refer to the tournament as "Casey's") posted a 2-over 72. It's his first time entering this event (which he has won more than once) as a senior.

In the Net Division, it's "Steele again" as the 14-handicap player from Concord posted 79 for a Net 65 and two shot lead over Marc Sanders of Turlock. Another shot back, and easily within reach, is Todd Knapp of Salinas.

Tournament Notes:

-Members of the staff from the Stevinson Ranch Golf Club Learning Center were on hand during Day 1. Visit Stevenson Ranch Golf Club here

- Best way to avoid the most treacherous pin placement of the day (it was dangerously close to a steep slope off the front) award goes to Jeff Hamm -- he holed out from 75 yards for an eagle two on the 7th hole (his 2nd).

- The "low family anywhere" award goes to the Rappleyes. With Hunter, Grant, and Cameron posting 2-under combined, and dad coming in at a very respectable 4-over, the family total combined gross today was 2-over-par. Look out Haas family, we might have a challenger for you someday.

- Special Thanks: Jim and Ryan from the new Stevinson Ranch Learning Center. To celebrate the opening of the Learning Center, and help out our charity of choice, they donated an overnight package for two, including golf and a fitting to the winner of our annual fund raiser for NCGA's Youth on Course. The closest to the pin winner was Spencer Blodgett, who hit it to within 6' 9" of the tricky pin placement on No. 1. Tom Silva (10' 6") was 2nd and gets a foursome at Stevinson, while Stephen Griggs was 3rd and wins a $50 gift certificate at Pacific Grove. Please pick up your prizes on Sunday before you tee off.

The final round will be played at Del Monte as a 9:00 am shotgun start. Pairings and first round scores can be viewed by clicking the link below. Users on a mobile phone browser can click on "tournaments/amateurgolf.com tournament series" and follow the schedule to find the Christmas Classic, scrolling down to see final round pairings.

View results for amateurgolf.com 2011 Christmas Classic

Latest in 

Amateurgolf.com, Inc.
6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92011