SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (June 26, 2012) -- Bhavik Patel took a step towards defending his California Amateur Championship title Tuesday, earning medalist honors after shooting a two-day score of 13-under par 129. He and 31 others advanced on to the match play portion of the championship, which is being held at La Cumbre CC in Santa Barbara.“The game plan was to stay aggressive, and I was able to do that. The course allows you to really succeed on the par 5s, especially if you hit the fairways,” said Patel, who birdied three of the four longer holes. “I enjoy match play because you can really feed off of your opponent, so I’m excited to get back out here tomorrow.”Patel had an outstanding 17 birdies throughout the two-day stroke play event, while only carding four bogeys. He finished T16 in last year’s stroke play competition, before going on to win the championship with an impressive match play performance.
The first round of match play will begin at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, with 16 matches being held throughout the day.
Narrowly missing out on medalist honors was Santa Barbara’s Niall Platt, who put together rounds of 66 and 65 to finish at 11-under par 131. Platt enters match play with quite the home course advantage, as his house sits just feet away from La Cumbre CC’s second tee.
Other Santa Barbara natives who advanced to match play were Round 1 co-leader Kevin Marsh and 19-year-old Jack Perry. Perry finished stroke play tied for third, carding rounds of 68 and 67, while Marsh faltered a bit, following up Monday’s spectacular round of 64 with a 72.A playoff occurred following Tuesday’s round, with nine individuals battling it out for the final seven match play spots. The playoff only took one hole, and was highlighted by Peter Gibbs’ eagle on the par 5 9th hole.