California State Amateur: Four players share first round lead
Jonathan de los Reyes
Jonathan de los Reyes

The last time Sacramento resident Jonathan De Los Reyes played competitively at Lake Merced Golf Club was at the NCGA Junior Championship when he was 13 years old.

Almost a decade later, and despite the stakes being a bit higher now, De Los Reyes appeared right at home at the club in Monday’s first round of stroke play qualifying at this week’s California Amateur Championship.

The St Mary’s senior was one of five players grabbing a share of the lead, posting a solid 4- under 68 in the wind and cold of Daly City. All five were part of the morning wave of tee times.

“I had a slow start but got comfortable pretty fast,” De Los Reyes said. “After that, it was smooth sailing.”

Starting on the back-nine, the2014 Alameda Commuters champion began his day with a bogey on No.11. He’d quickly get to red figures with back- to- back birdies on holes No.13 and No.14, and later dipped deeper into red after posting a 33 on the front-nine that featured four birdies and a bogey. De Los Reyes has had the hot hand before.

In winning last year’s Alameda Commuters, he’d tie the tournament record for low score (18-under 266), set by former NorCal amateur great and current PGA Tour member Matt Bettencourt in 2002. At Lake Merced, he’s on another course that fits his eyes.

“I really like the look of the tree-lined fairways,” said De Los Reyes, who sank a 30-footer for birdie on No.2. “It helps me visualize the shot better.” The four others opening with 68 were Jake Knapp of Costa Mesa, KK Limbhasut of Berkeley, Lorens Chan of Honolulu and former Penn golfer Max Marsico. Knapp, a senior at UCLA who missed the cut at last week’s U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, shot a 3- under 33 on the front-nine that included an eagle on the par-5 6th hole.

“I was being tentative early then I made the eagle and got going,” Knapp said.

Limbhasut, a sophomore at Cal originally from Loma Linda, was the epitome of steady, posting 14 pars and four birdies.

Three players, including San Jose State senior Cody Blick, are one behind after opening with matching 69’s. Blick was co-medalist in a U.S. Open local qualifier in May at Silverado Resort in Napa. A group of six players, including Cal’s Shotaro Ban and Fresno City Amateur runner-up Michael Tolladay are two back after shooting 70.

San Francisco City champion Justin Suh, former S.F. City champ Will Brueckner and Ryan Han of UC Davis were among a pack of nine players shooting 71.

Playing Lake Merced for only the second time, Suh missed seven putts under 5 feet. In a role reversal, Brueckner had Cal senior and recent NCGA Women’s Amateur champion Carli Childs on his bag as caddie. Brueckner caddied for Childs in the NCGA Women’s Amateur.

In the North/South Challenge, which takes the best five of six scores from each squad, the South squad leads, 357-368. Suh had the low score for the North while Knapp led the South.

Tuesday’s second round of stroke play qualifying begins at 7 a.m. Following play, a cut will be made with the low 32 advancing.

story courtesy NCGA

Results: California Amateur
WinCAShotaro BanSan Jose, CA600
Runner-upCAJosh SedenoRoseville, CA400
SemifinalsCAFranklin HuangPoway, CA300
SemifinalsCARamie SprinklingCamarillo, CA300
QuarterfinalsCAPete FernandezCosta Mesa, CA200

View full results for California Amateur

ABOUT THE California Amateur

The Championship is open to amateur golfers who have established current indexes of 4.4 and are members in good standing of the Southern California Golf Association, the Northern California Golf Association, or the Public Links Golf Association of Southern California. Nonexempt players must qualify. An entrant may play in only one qualifying event, even if the golfer belongs to clubs in both Southern California and Northern California. The 18-hole qualifying rounds will determine the qualifiers.

The championship field will play 36 holes of qualifying at a Northern or Southern California Location, with the low 32 golfers from that combined field moving on to match play (with a playoff, if necessary, to determine the final spots). Two rounds each of 18-hole match play will follow on Thursday and Friday and the 36-hole final match will be on Saturday.

The location will rotate yearly between Northern and Southern California locations.

View Complete Tournament Information

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