Isaiah Salinda (left), Devon Bling, and Blake Abercrombie
SACRAMENTO, CA (September 2, 2017) — As the summer comes to a close in The Golden State, many of the region’s top collegiate athletes are already weeks into their curriculum, which means more time in the books, and less on the links. For players attending universities featuring the quarterly academic format, or those who were able to take full advantage of the holiday weekend, the California State Fair Amateur Championship continues to be the important final stop of the NCGA summer circuit.
After one round of play, a trio of California native NCAA golfers leads a strong field of competitors at Sacramento’s Haggin Oaks. Incoming UCLA freshman Devon Bling raced out to shoot 66 on the 7,000-yard Alister Mackenzie layout.
Bling wasn’t the only one heard in the blistering valley heat on Saturday afternoon. Stanford’s Isaiah Salinda matched his future Pac-12 opponent with a 66 of his own.
“First of all, it was really, really hot,” Salinda offered after his round. “…but I hit a lot of good approach shots and birdied three of the par-5’s. The greens were soft and bumpy in the afternoon but I putted well all things considered.”
San Diego State senior Blake Abercrombie, who began his round on the the 10th hole eighteen minutes after Salinda’s 12:07 tee time and rolled in big putts on Nos. 1, 3, 8, 17, and 18 on his way to the final 6-under-par round of the day and a share of the overnight lead, had different opinions of the greens on the Mackenzie course on Saturday.
“The course is in good shape for it being so hot outside. The greens are perfect speed so birdies can be made.”
Regardless of the conditions, one thing is for certain, the level of talent in the field is high. Sixty-one players are at even par or better including a slew of top-class PAC-12 players like Eddie Lai, who was the low qualifier at the California State Amateur at Olympic Club, and Bradley Knox, a teammate of Salinda’s at Stanford. Lai and Knox are in a nine-way tie for 15th at 3-under-par.
Play will resume on Saturday morning at 7 AM PT.
ABOUT THE California State Fair
The State Fair Men's Amateur Championship is
the oldest and most prestigious Amateur
Championships in the West. The Championship
limited to 108 players. Competition commences
54-hole stroke play format with 18 holes played
day. The field is cut after 36 holes to the low 36
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