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amateurgolf.com Livermore Valley Championship Preview

CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA (December 20, 2005) -- amateurgolf.com is kicking off 2006 early, with the first major amateur golf tournament in California on January 7 and 8 at The Course at Wente Vineyards in Livermore. The tournament field has been filled with 112 players spread out over three divisions - Scratch, Senior Scratch, and Limited-handicap Net.

"We're excited to return to Wente Vineyards for the fourth-straight year," said amateurgolf.com Founder Pete Wlodkowski. "The course demands that players games are firing on all cylinders, and it's not surprising that two of the past three year's champions are past winners of the California State Amateur."

Darryl Donovan of Gilroy won the 2005 event in very challenging weather conditions. His experience winning the State Amateur at Pebble Beach, and competing in the US Open in 1992, no doubt helped him through the challenge of playing an already-difficult course in cold, blustery conditions that sent other players' scores north of 85 in many cases.

The prior year, Spencer Levin kicked off his amazing summer -- which was highlighted by a T13 finish in the US Open -- with a January win at Wente Vineyards. Mike Maurice, the Alameda legend, was the first to put his name on the trophy back in 2003 when he overcame challenges from Randy Haag and James Hay in the final round.

The Championship Division in 2006 will consist largely of Northern California's top amateurs such as 2005 NCGA Player-of-the-year Bob Niger. At least 1/2 dozen Southern California players will vie for the crown, as well as two players from Bainbridge Island, Washington, one from Henderson, Nevada and one (Harald Vaernes) coming all the way from Hawaii. A lone female contestant -- .5 handicap Shannon Yocum of Palos Verdes Estates -- will join her male counterparts around Wente Vineyards.

The Senior Division will also see some of the NCGA's top amateurs with names such as Rob Thompson, Earl Stewart, Frank Abbott, and Carl Selkirk in the field, all of whom have seen action on the national level. And not forgetting the Net guys, paced by the likeable Bob Fagan of Pleasanton. Fagan, in addition to being a tough competitor, is the Golf Nuts Society's all time leading scorer. Ask him about it, or check out his profile on www.golfnuts.com.

To view a complete list of 2006 players, click here>

NOTE: Although the 2006 field is full, you may add your name to the waiting list by contacting Liz McQueen at liz@amateurgolf.com or 650-207-0817.

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