ALAMEDA, Calif. (April 28, 2013) -- If not for a double bogey on a par 5 during Saturday’s round, Pace Johnson would have been even more excited about his weekend at the Alameda Commuters. Despite the 7, though, the 22-year-old Cal red shirt, closed brilliantly, firing weekend rounds of 64-66 to win with ease at the 2013 Alameda Commuters.
Johnson, of Fresno, was in the mix but trailed leader Shotaro Ban after the first two rounds of play last weekend. His red-hot 64 on Saturday was accompanied by another stellar round in Sunday’s finale and the field simply didn’t have a chance.
“I played well last weekend but didn’t sink any putts,” Johnson said. “So, this week, I was able to work on a lot of 15-footers and I started making putts.”
Johnson had shot 64 several times before but never in a competitive setting. He nailed nine birdies but was more proud of the way he bounced back after that double bogey.
“I birdied the first four holes and doubled the par-5 sixth,” he said. “But right after that, I bounced back and that really helped me out mentally.”
Ban, another Cal golfer who was the co-leader alongside Johnson entering Sunday, struggled with a 74 and finished tied for third place. Joshua Stone was the runner-up thanks to another solid weekend. He carded a 66 on Saturday and a 67 Sunday to close well.
Still, no one was catching Johnson.
“This was by far my best weekend of golf,” said Johnson, who plans to play a full schedule of events in California and across the country this summer. “It’s a really great win for me and hopefully it kickstarts one of my last years of amateur golf.”
Andrew Morgan of Long Beach shot a final-round 69 and finished tied with Ban in third place.
Carlos Briones and Jacob Soloman both played well in the final round, firing 69 and 67, respectively, and finished tied for fifth. Isaiah Salinda, who played his way to the championship match of last month’s San Francisco City Championship, finished tied for seventh along with Ryan Sloane.
In the Senior Division, Gary Vanier prevailed over Ken Webb in a playoff to take the title.
Vanier shot weekend rounds of 72-69 and finished tied after 36 holes of regulation play thanks to a final-round 69 from Webb.
Jim Knoll (72-71--143) was third while Jim Duncan (73-71--144) took fourth.