California Bear Finigan Tilly (photo courtesy of Scot Scoop News)
PEBBLE BEACH, California (August 14, 2017) — Round one scores are in at the qualifying portion of the Northern California Golf Associations’s Match Play Championship, and Finigan Tilly is the lone leader at Spyglass Hill.
Tilly’s scorecard was filled with red numbers, making eight birdies and two bogeys on his way to an incredible six under par opening effort.
“I felt really good about my game.” said The Cal Bear golfer after his round, “I noticed the greens were a little slower and softer so it sort-of gave me the ability to get aggressive with some wedge shots. They made more difficult pins because the greens were softer than they usually are, but I was able to hit 16-out-of-18 greens.”
Tilly didn’t hesitate to catch fire in his morning round, flying the green with his second shot on the 591-yard par-five first hole, and getting up and down for his first birdie of the day. After a par on the second, Tilly found the bottom of the cup with his birdie putt on the third to get himself to two under par.
The San Carlos native who is coming off a victory at the Bayonet & Black Horse Amateur earlier this month made three more birdies and a bogey on the front-nine to go out in 32. We saw more of the same brilliance on the back nine, as Tilly opened the side with birdies on 10, 11, and 12. He would make his second bogey on the final hole to card 66.
“I hit my driver well but being consistent with the wedges and irons were key. It gave me a lot of birdie looks and they kept falling,” Tilly explained. “From tee to green, Spyglass is a really tough course and to shoot six-under with a two shot lead, it’s one of my better rounds in a tournament in a while.”
Nineteen players are currently under-par for the qualifying portion, with Tilly’s closest chaser, Bradley Knox at four under par. Isaiah Salinda, who plays with Knox at Stanford is a shot back of his teammate at three under, along with Evan Peterson of St. Mary's and recent Northern California Valley Am runner-up and 2017 NCGA Stroke Play Champion Daniel Connolly.
Connolly, who is looking to finish his NCGA summer season strong with a win this week, noted Spyglass to be “an all-around tough test,” articulating, “You need to do everything well because the course is very demanding in all aspects.”
Play resume Tuesday morning with tee times beginning at 7:30 AM PT.
ABOUT THE NCGA Match Play
The oldest of the NCGA’s major events, the Amateur
Match Play Championship, dates back to 1903 when
was first played at San Rafael GC. Varying formats
been used over the 100+ years of competition but
the tournament is 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying,
followed by a 32-person seeded match play bracket.
Pre-qualifying required for non-exempt players.
must have a handicap index of 5.4 or less.
View Complete Tournament Information