AGC San Diego Am: Neale wins it
04 Jan 2014
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for AGC San Diego Amateur, Aviara Golf Club, Gordon Neale Rankings

- Special thanks to Callaway Golf for sponsoring
- Special thanks to Callaway Golf for sponsoring

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Jan 4, 2014) -- Being the last player to get a spot in the San Diego County Amateur this year worked out perfectly for Gordon Neale.

Just a day before Friday’s first round, Neale, of Trabuco Canyon, was moved from the wait-list to the tournament field. The Tesoro High School junior took advantage of the opportunity, posting a first round of 71 to tie for the early lead, then surging past the pack with a 3-under 69 on the challenging Arnold Palmer layout, good for a 7 stroke victory in the 50 player championship field.

Neale may be young, but he’s no stranger to competitive golf – achieving a high level of success in high school and junior tournaments like the Callaway Junior World. He also qualified for the 2013 U.S. Amateur and competed at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. That experience paid off in the way Neale attacked the 7007 yard layout in the final round, where he posted a 2-under 34 on the front nine and followed that with birdies on the 10th and 12th holes, the latter an uphill dogleg par-4 that is certainly no pushover.

With a substantial lead he took only one bogey on the way in, at the 15th, which is one of the two really tough par fours on the back nine. At the 18th, which many consider the most challenging closer in Southern California, Neale closed out his round with a par for 69 and a 7 shot victory over Niles Wright of Long Beach.

Four players tied for 3rd at 148; Adam Schenk (Indiana), Blake Barens (Irvine), Tyler Gulliksen (Encinitas), and John Kollus (San Diego).


First round leader Don Eklund made things “more interesting than they needed to be” in the words of his fellow competitor Jim Ream, but he brought home a two stroke victory at 152 largely thanks to the fabulous 2-under 70 he posted in the first round. In fairness to Eklund, and the rest of the senior and net fields, the blue tees were set up in more difficult locations on Saturday for the final round.

Jim Ream and Warren Leary, playing with Eklund, got to within one stroke of his lead after he suffered a double bogey on the par-5 8th hole, the group's 17th. But Eklund, who plays out of San Diego Country Club, bounced back with a birdie on the downhill 9th, closing out the victory and leaving no doubt that he could get the job done.


Women's winner Haley Moore with Pete Wlodkowski of amateurgolf.com

Haley Moore of Escondido owns several course records, and she’s no stranger to shooting in the 60s. Still, the high school sophomore left some of the players in the field shaking their heads when they saw her gross 68 posted in the first round, including a double-eagle, birdie finish. Moore followed up with a 73 to post 3-under 141, good for a 10- stroke victory over Amy Alston of Mission Viejo. Alston shot the round of the day on Saturday with a slightly more difficult set of tees – an even par 72. All seven women who played the tournament (along with the rest of the field) will enjoy watching the LPGA Tour play Aviara for the second straight year when the Kia Classic visits Carlsbad in March. Rest assured that Moore’s double-eagle/birdie finish on 17 and 18 (which Aviara officials think may be a first) will go untouched, even by the world’s best. She went home with an engraved bag tag, courtesy of Aviara professional Johnny Walker, which reads “Haley Double- Eagle Moore.”

Dorothy Donnelly of Salinas (70-78=147) won the Net title by a single shot over Greg Austin of San Marcos (72-77=148) while amateurgolf.com regular Chris Ladd (who made the trip down from San Francisco) and newcomer Rich McDaniel of San Diego tied for third at 151.


The San Diego County Amateur marks the first 2014 amateurgolf.com Tour event presented by Callaway Golf. Players really enjoyed receiving a $25 Callaway gift card that can be used for equipment, balls, or accessories on Callaway’s new website. The Carlsbad-based company recently signed world No. 3 Henrik Stenson as a new member of Team Callaway for 2014.


We couldn’t be more pleased with the conditions, staff, and customer service at one of our favorite venues, The Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club. The venue rounded out the “big three” items of a successful tournament: course, weather, and field. The weather spoke for itself, as those on the opposite side of the country suffered through a brutally cold and snowy weekend we only worried about three putting the lightening fast greens. As for the field, it was our best ever and we recommend registering early next year as it’s bound to be a sellout.

View results for AGC San Diego Amateur
ABOUT THE AGC San Diego Amateur

*An SCGA Points Event*

The San Diego Amateur returns to Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad. Once again we are going to be treated like pros at one of the best venues in Southern California, Aviara Golf Club -- as seen on TV during the LPGA's Kia Classic played in March!

This is a gross competition with Championship, Senior, and Women's divisions.

Your entry fee includes 2 rounds of golf with cart, prizes, trophies for division winners, and the opportunity to play a Tour-proven golf course in a competitive setting. Special rates for practice rounds and lodging will be offered.

MID-AM DIVISION: For players age 25-49. Compete alongside the younger players in the Championship Division, (same tees, same prize opportunities) and if there are at least 10 Mid- Ams, a separate prize and trophy will be awarded.

SUPER SENIORS: For players age 65+. Compete alongside the younger players in the Senior Division, (same tees, same prize opportunities) and a separate prize and trophy will be awarded for low super senior.

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