SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 21, 2017) - No.1 seed Eddy Lai
of San Jose got through his first obstacle in the match play portion of this week’s California Amateur at the prestigious Olympic Club. It’s a good thing too, because he’s one of just five Northern California players left in the brackets.
Lai, a former standout at Bellarmine Preparatory who’s headed to UCLA in the fall, took a 1-up lead after the first hole and never looked back, knocking out No. 32 seed Jason Anthony, 3 and 2, in Wednesday’s opening Round of 32. Anthony had entered the event leading the points standings for NCGA Player of the Year honors.
Following Lai’s opening victory, however, the Lake Course became a haven for players hailing from Southern California. Nine of the 16 matches in the Round of 32 saw a Northern California player taking on a player from the Southland. The Southern California players went 9-0 in those matches.
Between the NorCal/SoCal match-ups, there were also five opening matches that saw a NorCal player taking on a fellow NorCal player. As a result, Lai will be joined by only four other Northern California players–Ben Corfee, Noah Norton, Bradley Knox and Joshua McCarthy–come Thursday’s Round of 16 matches.
Along with the Southland tidal wave, it was also a day of upsets, as the No.2, No.3 and No.4 seeds all were sent packing. No.2 seed Justin Suh, a former two-time Junior Tour of Northern California Player of the Year (2013, 2015) who’s now at USC, fell to Norton, an incoming freshman at Georgia Tech, 4 and 3.
No.3 Isaiah Salinda, another JTNC product from nearby South San Francisco, fell 1-up to No.30 Brian Song of Beverly Hills. The No.4 seed, Robert Hamilton of Gold River, who won the 2001 NCGA Four-Ball title and was the oldest player left in the brackets, lost 4 and 3 to Temecula’s Jake Williams.
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,
belongs to clubs in both Southern California
and Northern California. The 18-hole
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
playoff, if necessary, to determine the final
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.
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