James Camaione up one at California Senior Amateur
Jim Camaione
Jim Camaione

COSTA MESA, Calif. — James Camaione finally earned that elusive first SCGA victory this summer, battling through a tough field to emerge victorious at the 2015 SCGA Senior Match Play Championship. Now, he's looking to turn that into a winning streak.

Things are starting off well for Camaione at the 24th California Senior Amateur Championship, as the Upland resident leads the field after Round 1 of the three-day tournament. Camaione shot a 3-under-par 68, with four birdies and just one bogey, to take the 1 stroke lead into Tuesday action.

Close behind, however, sits a fivesome of reputable competitors, including NCGA veteran Randy Haag and 2005 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champ John McClure. Also shooting 2-under 69s were Craig Calkins of Manhattan Beach, Mark Morgan of El Dorado Hills and Michael Turner of Sherman Oaks.

A slew of past champions need to turn things around Tuesday, as defending champion John Pate of Santa Barbara currently sits T52 after an opening round 77 and three-time Champ Jeff Burda is in 33rd place after a Monday round of 75. 2013 Champ Jim Knoll is in the Top 10 and just four strokes off the lead.

In the North/South Challenge Cup, a team competition (best three scores out of four) held between the SCGA and NCGA over the first two days of the championship, the SCGA grabbed a three shot lead, 216-219.. The SCGA is being represented by Michael Turner, Pate, 2015 SCGA Senior Amateur Champ Gary Vanier and two-time SCGA Senior Champ Burda. The NCGA is being represented by Dale Bouguennec, Casey Boyns, Terry Foreman and record five-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll.

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ABOUT THE California Senior Amateur

The California Senior Amateur Championship began in the fall of 1992, and is the state championship for players age 55 and over. The first two tournaments were played at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. In 1994, the event was moved to Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, and in 1995, a simultaneous NCGA vs. SCGA team portion of the championship was added. Starting in 2010 this 54-hole stroke play championship will rotate to selected courses throughout the state. Players must have an index of 7.4 or less and may attempt to qualify at any location in the state.

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