SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2012) -- Top-seed Xander Schauffele, who pulled off an incredible comeback in the Round of 16 match Tuesday morning, fell Tuesday afternoon to Ronnald Monaco of Rancho Cucamonga 1 up in the SCGA Match Play Championship quarterfinals. Monaco advances to face Santa Barbara native Niall Platt (pictured), who himself won a close one to advance to Wednesday's round, defeating Gary Robinson of San Diego in 19 holes.
Platt won a back-and-forth match against Robinson, who was able to win the 18th hole and force the match to continue. But after pushing the match back to the first hole with his back against the wall, Robinson ran into a lot of trouble, hooking his tee shot right and allowing Platt to put the match away easily.
Brandon Gama, who was the last player in the field, continues his hot play at Sandpiper GC, advancing to the semifinals with a win over Kevin Fitzgerald of Riverside. Gama won holes 13, 14 and 15 with two birdies and a par to go 2 up, before winning 17 to seal the deal. Gama, also a Santa Barbara resident, will face USC golfer Stewart Hagestad, who defeated 2012 L.A. City Junior Champion Alex Angard 2 up, winning holes 17 and 18 to finish his round strong.
"This is why you play and pratice," said Hagestad. "I interned all summer but still rushed to the golf course at 6:30 every night for moments like this. It was a really fun match, [Angard] is a great player, but it feels really good to move on."
Monaco and Platt will tee off at 7:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, with Gama and Hagestad beginning ten minutes later. The finals will start 12:30 p.m.