Thomas Hutchison posted a bogey-free 64 today
MORGAN HILL, Calif. (Jan. 13, 2018) -- A windless, sunny day and a soft course combined for perfect scoring conditions today in the first round of the Silicon Valley Amateur, and the talented field took advantage of them.
There were eagles, birdies, and even the rarely-sighted Albatross (it's so rare we have to capitalize it) and at least one bogey-free round.
Thomas Hutchison of San Jose paced the field with an 8-under 64, just one off the AmateurGolf.com record score of 63 posted on the same course by Cal's Michael Weaver and Max Homa several years ago.
"I had a putt on the last hole for 63, and as it was rolling I thought I made it," said Hutchison, who is a freshman at UC Davis, one of more than collegiate teams represented here.
Indeed, the UC Davis team is using this tournament as a playing-squad qualifier (as is the St. Mary's team) but in UC Davis' case, scores here will determine who gets to represent the Aggies in Hawaii. We're guessing that Hutchison had Aloha on his mind today, but he said he's looking for a tournament title tomorrow, not just to pace his team.
Also going bogey-free was St. Mary's golfer Dylan Vanderveer, who posted 66 to stand two shots back. Finigan Tilly (Cal Berkeley) shot 67 and is chasing by three.
Another golfer to watch is St. Mary's senior Pavan Sagoo, who picked up a win at the Christmas Classic (Del Monte) in December and capped that with another victory at the McClure Cup (Bayonet Black Horse) last week. Sagoo -- born and raised in London -- walks and talks softly, but carries a big stick on the course. He's readying for a potential pro career and will be a threat tomorrow, playing in the second to last group.
Three players posted 69 -- Isaiah Salinda and Bradley Knox (both Stanford golfers) and Sean Yu (San Jose State).
Hole-outs in the Championship flight:
Maxwell Ferrari eagled his 17th hole (No. 8) from the fairway and his St. Mary's teammate Brandon Jacobs holed out from the bunker for birdie on the same hole.
In the over-25 division, there were more fireworks among 10 golfers than the rest of the collegiate field. Let's start with leader Mickey Mahoney of Carmel Valley. Mahoney, who just turned 25, has never made an ace in his life. Still hasn't.
But today he got something even more rare -- an Albatross on his 11th hole, the par-5 2nd.
"My drive skipped out of the bunker," said Mahoney. "That gave me an uphill lie and I hit a hybrid that went higher than any I've ever hit."
The players knew it was on the green, but it was his playing partner Perry Cohen (another St. Mary's player) that got to the green first, checked the area, and finally found the ball in the hole. Mahoney leads Jerry Ledzinski by two (72) and Jeff Britton by 3.
Britton had a hole-out of his own today -- on No. 15 he dropped his second shot for an eagle. He normally partners with Ledzinski and the two would have shot 9-under best-ball today, since Ledzinski posted 7 birdies and only 4 pars en route to his even par round.
We only have two ladies in the field, Emily Sumner and Marie Dean. Sumner (who plays for Santa Clara) posted 74 against Dean's 82. Dean is a senior in high school heading for Fresno State, where she will play golf.
Tomorrow's final round is on the Tournament Course.
ABOUT THE AGC Silicon Valley Amateur
The Silicon Valley Amateur is the first
tournament to have, on its past winner's list, a
champion. That would be Collin Morikawa, who won
2016 title. Just over 4 years later, he won the PGA
Championship just up the road at TPC Harding Park
2021 marked the announcement of Baylands Golf
Links as the tournament's new host venue. And wow,
did players enjoy it. It's
location in Palo Alto is fitting -- as the original garage
where Hewlett Packard was founded is located there,
and today's biggest tech companies dot the area
like the Canadian Geese on the fairways and
near Baylands in the winter. Like
Corica Park in Alameda, Baylands was recently
completely redesigned as a new course from the dirt
up, under the hand of architect Forrest Richardson,
the results are stunning.
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