Update 3/22: Epson shot a final-round 76 on Thursday to fall into a tie for 4th place at 7-under 208, two shots behind the winner, professional Christopher Evans of Bermuda Dunes who shot a 66 for the win. Epson shared low amateur honors with Christian Rajcic, while WooYoung Choi was the only other amateur in the top 20, finishing 11th at 4-under 211.
Hunter Epson (SCPGA photo)
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA (March 21, 2018) - Hunter Epson
(a) of Long Beach has separated the bunched leaderboard and has taken the solo lead in the 2018 Southern California Open after posting the low round of the tournament with a second round 6-under par 65 on the Zaharias Course at Industry Hills Golf Club.
Epson continued his strong play following an opening round of a 67 which now has him at a two day total of 132, eleven-under par. Corey McElyea of Santa Cruz is in second place at eight-under par (67-68), three shots behind the leader Epson.
Epson took advantage of his early morning start time, carding an impressive round two 65 before the afternoon rain showers hit the rest of the field. Espon, who is an alumnus of the SCPGA Junior Tour said, "I was hitting the ball off great off the tee’s both rounds and it gave me a lot of good looks on the greens. I made some putts and I’m happy to be in position for tomorrow’s final round."
Kenny Pigman, PGA of Goose Creek Golf Club came back with an impressive second round of 65, matching Epson’s low round, and to be tied for third at six-under and currently the Low PGA Professional.
Christian Rajcic of Ramona is the second-low amateur in the field, currently tied for third after rounds of 70-67. Two other amateurs--WooYoung Choi of Anaheim and Jake Williams of Temecula--are in the top 20, both tied for 16th at 3-under 140.
The cut falls at +2 and the final round of play will be held tomorrow on the Eisenhower course. It has been modified to a 7:00AM shotgun start in an effort to beat out the heavy forecasted afternoon rains.
ROUND ONE RECAP
The first round of the 2018 Southern California Open began today at Industry Hills Golf Club, the home of the Southern California PGA. This marks the 91st Southern California Open Championship, which was first held in 1900.
Contested across both the Eisenhower and Zaharias courses, this years player field consists of 165 golfers from 8 different states.
After 18-holes, there is a four-player tie atop the leaderboard at five-under par: Andrew Levitt of Ladera Ranch, Matthew Liringis of Chandler, AZ, Hunter Epson (a) of Long Beach, and Cory McElyea of Santa Cruz.
Play will resume tomorrow morning at 7 am with a split tee start off of both the Ike and Babe courses. With an impending winter storm warning on the horizon, the players will need to prepare accordingly to have a chance at claiming the title!
--Thanks to the Southern California PGA
ABOUT THE Southern California Open
The Championship will be a 54 hole stroke play
tournament contested over three days. Following the
conclusion of 36 holes, the field will be cut to the
54 players for the final round. Championship is open
both Professionals and Amateurs. To enter the
Championship field, participants must either qualify
meet one of exemptions.
View Complete Tournament Information