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Hi-Desert Amateur: Sawaia wins 2nd Straight Title
07 Nov 2005
see also: Hi-Desert Amateur Championship, Green Tree Golf Course

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Victorville, California (Nov 6, 2005) -- Joe Sawaia of Henderson, Nevada fired a final round 67 to win his second consecutive Hi-Desert Amateur Championship by one shot over Jeffrey Chen of Walnut, and Michael Reese of Apple Valley. Aaron Hobbs finished fourth with a two-round total of 142.

Sawaia’s first-round goal was to shoot low enough to play in the final group on the second day. He fired an even par round of 72, and missed his goal by one group, so he needed a new goal for the second round: “I wanted to post a low enough number so that those ahead of him on the scoreboard, but behind him on the golf course couldn’t catch me,” he said.

He succeeded with a solid 7-birdie, 2-bogey round on a golf course playing unseasonably easy due to an uncharacteristic lack of wind, but simultaneously devilish due to pins tucked in corners and on crowns.

Sawaia, a 37 year-old former baseball player who only took up golf when he was 23, played the final 27 holes of the tournament in 8-under par after struggling to an opening nine total of 3-over 39 on the first day of play. The key to his later success? “Hitting greens.”

“The greens here are very small, and chipping to them can be very difficult – especially with the pins placed where they were for both days of the tournament,” said Sawaia, who has made himself into one of the better mid-amateur players in the West over the last few years.

“Although I’m from Nevada, I like to play this tournament because I have family here. Plus the tournament just keeps getting better and better. I noticed a lot more college bags this year than last,” he said.

The college kids will likely keep coming to the tournament, and one of these days one of them might even beat Sawaia.

Story by David Ober, for amateurgolf.com

* * * *
Final results of the 2005 Hi-Desert Amateur Golf Championship, held at the par 72, 6,643 yard Green Tree Golf Course in Victorville, California:

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Name Hometown Total
Sawaia, Joe Henderson, NV 139
Chen, Jeffrey Walnut, CA 141
Reese, Michael Apple Valley, CA 141
Hobbs, Aaron Ontario, CA 142
Burke, Micah San Bernardino, CA 143
Valentine, Ron Lancaster, CA 144
Beck, Josh Victorville, CA 145
Sacilottto, Gianni Diamond Bar, CA 145
Ober, David Riverside, CA 146
Montanez, Ricky Helendale, CA 147
Plummer, Ryan San Bernardino, CA 147
Drake, Michael Riverside, CA 148
Matthews, Todd Hesperia, CA 148
Woo, Min Wook Davis, CA 148
Shope, Eddie Temecula, CA 149
Bussey, Matt Victorville, CA 150
Lyford, Ted Redlands, CA 150
Newman, Bryan San Bernardino, CA 150
Ober, Jeffrey Riverside, CA 151
Brown, Marty Lake Havasu, AZ 152
Yoon, Daniel Temecula, CA 152
Clayton, Bill San Bernardino, CA 153
Melendez, Martin Hesperia, CA 153
Bohler, Chris Sierra Madre, CA 154
Lynch, Brock Victorville, CA 154
Brolsma, Dirk Apple Valley, CA 156
Marasigan, Kix West Covina, CA 156
Marshall, Riley Valencia, CA 156
Stires, Todd Murrieta, CA 156
Butkys, Kris Thousand Oaks, CA 157
Schenk, Matthew Riverside, CA 157
Baden, Chris Bakersfield, CA 158
Labrador, Alfred Fontana, CA 159
Bagnell, Dane Rancho Mirage, CA 160
Elkara, Hassan Chino Hills, CA 160
Farish, Will Riverside, CA 161
Overton, Andy Lakewood, CA 162
Norys, Tom Riverside, CA 163
Fennessy, Bill Pasadena, CA 164
Hutchason, Ross Apple Valley, CA 164
Mischook, Maurice Altadena, CA 164
George, Jim Lake Forest, CA 165
Phillips, Robby Apple Valley, CA 165
Schumacher, Cody Riverside, CA 165
Walker, Garvie Yucaipa, CA 166
Michels, Darren Henderson, NV 167
Doty, Adam South Pasadena, CA 168
Phillips, Mark Apple Valley, CA 168
Rodriguez, Emilio Montebellow, CA 168
Barker, Bill Pasadena, CA 169
Buiniskis, Robert Fort Irwin, CA 170
Sandoval, Bryan La Habra, CA 170
Doucett, Bruce Apple Valley, CA 173
Sackheim, Craig Calabasas, CA 178
Reece, Chris Victorville, CA 180
Trejo, John Whittier, CA 181
Hallissey, Josh Warner Springs, CA 82/DQ
Wierzbinski, Steve Hesperia, CA N/A
Barre, Brian Garden Grove, CA WD
Jordan, Paul Redondo Beach, CA WD
Mena, Ed Rancho Cucamonga, CA WD