SCGA Mid Am: Funk Grabs the Season's First SoCal "Major"

MURRIETA, April 11 -- "Pars win championships" is an aphorism that competitive golfers learn early in their careers and Robert Funk of Canyon Lake followed the prescription to perfection, firing a final round of even-par 72 to win the 23rd SCGA Amateur Championship by five shots at his home course, Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta.

The 42-year-old Funk, who had a two-shot lead over Jason Pridmore of Ventura heading into today's final round, captured his first major amateur title with rounds of 73-71-72 -- 216. Funk finished five shots ahead of Pridmore and 1999 champion Tim Hogarth of Northridge. Hogarth, who has also won the U.S. Amateur Public Links (1996), California Amateur (1999) and SCGA Amateur (2004), rallied with a 2-under-par 70 to tie for the best score of the tournament, but he started too far back to catch the leader.

"This is a very special win, being that both my family is here watching and it's my home course," Funk said. "I'm a little emotional, I knew I had a chance to win, I played well and I did it. It feels wonderful."

John Adams of San Clemente birdied four of his final five holes to finish in fourth place at 222, while former Minnesota Amateur champion Bowen Osborn of Los Angeles, reigning Trans-Mississippi Mid-Amateur champion David Bartman of Los Angeles and La Quinta's Adam Marshall tied for fifth at 223. After struggling to a 6-over-par 42 on the front nine, Bartman righted the ship with a 5-under-par 31 on the back. He and the other top-5 finishers earned exemptions into this year's California Amateur and SCGA Amateur championships; the top 10 will be exempt for next year's SCGA Mid-Amateur.

With the Jack Nicklaus-designed track playing to its full 7,060 yards, Funk was the only golfer in the field to finish at even par and had one of just five sub-par rounds in the 54-hole event. He balanced his nines today with one bogey and one birdie on the front side and two birdies and two bogies on the back. Pridmore, who is a professional road racer for Suzuki motorcycles and recently captured the Lompoc City Championship, kept things close with a birdie 4 on No. 11, but two bogies coming home was too much to overcome against the steady Funk.

"I learned a lot on this course," Pridmore said. "I hit a lot of loose shots and didn't hit the clubs I normally am strongest with well today, but Robert [Funk] played great."

Defending champion John McClure of West Los Angeles was never a factor this year and finished at 236, 20 over par.

* * * * *

Final results from the 22nd SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship, at Bear Creek Golf Club; Murrieta, CA -- 7060 yards, Par-72

216 -- Robert Funk, Canyon Lake, 73-71-72.

221 -- Tim Hogarth, Northridge, 78-73-70; Jason Pridmore, Ventura, 73-73-75.

222 -- John Adams, San Clemente, 73-76-73.

223 -- David Bartman, Los Angeles, 77-73-73; Bowen Osborn, Los Angeles, 71-76-76.

224 -- Michael Turner, Sherman Oaks, 74-76-74; John Pate, Santa Barbara, 74-76-74; Adam Marshall, La Quinta, 76-72-76.

226 -- Ed Cuff, Rancho Santa Fe, 73-78-75.

227 -- David Ober, Riverside, 80-76-71; Brad Larsen, Murrieta, 76-77-74; Mark Gardner, Redlands, 73-77-77; Gerry Simoni, Carlsbad, 70-77-80.

228 -- Mark Scheibach, Bermuda Dunes, 78-79-71; Jonathan Petke, Rancho Santa Margarita, 78-75-75; Scott McGihon, Bermuda Dunes, 76-74-78.

229 -- Paul Rice, Redlands, 76-77-76; Steve Nichols, Murrieta, 74-78-77.

231 -- Andy Kitchen, Redlands, 79-77-75; Mark Fernando, San Diego, 78-76-77; Tim Johnson, Murrieta, 73-79-79.

232 -- Scott Almquist, Coto de Caza, 76-78-78; Rick Nolan, Trabuco Canyon, 76-77-79; Brian Bazzel, Carlsbad, 75-77-80.

233 -- Doug Higgins, Oceanside, 80-79-74; Todd Strible, San Marcos, 80-77-76; Kemp Richardson, Laguna Niguel, 80-77-76; Don DuBois, Newport Beach, 77-75-81.

234 -- Gary Havro, Claremont, 79-79-76; David Allen, Riverside, 84-73-77.

235 -- Marc Kearns, Irvine, 77-82-76; Craig Steinberg, Oak Park, 75-82-78; Mark Nickeas, Westlake Village, 79-77-79; Bill Borden, Alpine, 74-79-82.

236 -- Charley Black, Murrieta, 80-75-81; Scott Linklater, Simi Valley, 74-81-81; Jim Ream Jr, Cerritos, 78-78-80; John McClure, West Los Angeles, 78-77-81.

237 -- Patrick Duncan, Rancho Santa Fe, 81-77-79; Patrick Carrigan, Walnut, 75-77-85.

238 -- Johnny Holmes, Riverside, 78-81-79.

239 -- Craig Calkins, Manhattan Beach, 80-78-81.

241 -- Dane Chapin, Carlsbad, 80-79-82.

242 -- Mark Monreal, Moorpark, 85-74-83.

WD -- James Popoff, Whittier.

ABOUT THE Southern California Mid-Amateur

The SCGA Mid-Amateur is a 54-hole medal play championship for members of the Southern California Golf Association, but not necessarily residents of the region. Two 18-hole rounds are played the first day, after which the field is cut to the low 42 scores (and ties) who play 18 holes stroke play the following day.

Players must be at least 25 years old by the first day of the tournament with a current index less than 5.4. Qualifying events are held in March at various SCGA courses.

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