Top three seeds fall on day one of Southern California Match Play
Tim Hogarth
Tim Hogarth

VALENCIA, Calif. — Expect the unexpected should be the slogan for all match play competitions, and it certainly rang true Monday at Valencia CC for the first day of the 8th Southern California Match Play Championships. Seeds 1, 2 and 3 all fell victim to their opponents in the opening round of the event, with great golf being played off the clubs of some surprisingly players.

Falling first was SCGA Veteran Tim Hogarth, who pushed things to the 18th hole before being defeated by Justin De Los Santos. After Hogarth, a five-time winner of the SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship, took a 1up lead after a birdie on the first hole, De Los Santos would tie things back up on hole No. 2 and never trail again, going up by as many as 2 before collecting a par on the 18th hole to close out the match. De Los Santos advances to play Carter Pool of San Diego in the Round of 16 Tuesday morning.

But perhaps the most surprising upset of the day came from high schooler Dan Erickson of Whittier, who defeated Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Sean Crocker 2 and 1. Erickson, who had never played in a match play competition before, dominated with his short game, hitting four or five chip shots to within feet of the hole.

"My short game, both my chipping and putting, really did it for me today," said Erickson. "Chipping isn't usually my strength, but I've been working on it a lot so it's nice to see results. Sean is such a great player; moving on definitely gives me confidence going into the rest of the week."

USC's Crocker had found himself with a 1up lead through hole 11, before Erickson tied things up on No. 12. The youngster would then birdie holes 15 and 16 to take a lead he would never relinquish, including an impressive up and down on the par 3 16th hole. He now advances to play former SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion Robert Funk in the Round of 16. Funk advanced with a 4 and 3 victory over Daniel Ragsdale of Oak Park.

Also of note was a 2up victory by SCGA Amateur Champion Nathan Celusta, and a dominant 5 and 4 win by mid-am Corby Segal.

Results: Southern California Match Play
WinCODan EricksonLoveland, CO250
Runner-upCAJustin De Los SantosChatsworth, CA160
SemifinalsCACorby SegalSanta Clarita, CA90
SemifinalsCAJames HolleyChatsworth, CA90
QuarterfinalsCAKevin LeeCerritos, CA50

View full results for Southern California Match Play

ABOUT THE Southern California Match Play

**Cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Match Play and Senior Match Play championships began in 2008 as a means of bringing new credence and incentive to the SCGA points program. The SCGA points program awards points to golfers who give strong performances in SCGA, USGA, CGA and other selected outside tournaments. The championship fields consist of 32 players in single elimination match play. The top 24 players on the Match Play Points List earn automatic invitations to compete. The remaining 8 spots into the field are filled through a one day qualifying event. Match Play qualifying is open to members with a Handicap index of 5.4 and below at the time of registration.

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