Forbes Collins II upset Dan Sullivan today, 5-and-4
CARLSBAD, CA (June 21, 2018) - The match play stage of the 107th California Amateur Championship continued today, with eight matches at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Champions Course.
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and the world’s top pros have played matches here in front of worldwide television audiences, during the World Match Play, now held at Austin Country Club. With a history of pro golf dating back to the 1960s, and having hosted the State Amateur already once, these fairways have stories to tell.
One of those stories was an upset of sorts today. Despite having the power of youth on his side today, Forbes Collins II -- who just turned 26 this month -- was up against a seasoned USGA competitor in Dan Sullivan. When your match play opponent’s resume includes two trips to the USGA Mid-Am semifinals (in both 2016 and 2017) plus SCGA Mid-Am and Public Links titles, you’re going to need your A game.
Collins, of Lake Forest, certainly brought his on Friday, besting the 51-year-old veteran 5-and-4.
Collins started out hot making birdies on the first and second holes of the match. He made two more birdies on the front side, putting him four up through six holes. Sullivan got one back on the tricky 9th hole with a much needed birdie.
Unfortunately it was too little too late.
Sullivan did all he could on the 493-yard par 15th to keep the match going hole with a spectacular hybrid to 15 feet, but he missed his birdie putt to the right giving Collins a spot in the quarterfinals.
“The most important thing I did today was hit the greens and just give myself birdie putts on almost everything single hole today,” said Collins as he shook Sullivan’s hand and stepped off the the 14th green.
Collins will face San Diego State Sophomore Zihao Jin in the next match.
“[I’ll hit] mostly irons off the tee, attack with my wedge, and attack with my putter,” said Collins, of his Friday game plan.
In a classic Southern California battle, USC standout Sam Kim (Irvine) took on long time friend and college rival UCLA Sophomore Hidetoshi Yoshihara also from Irvine).
The USC Trojan vs UCLA Bruin match was all square through No. 11, but a costly double bogey by Kim on the 244-yard par 3 12th followed by a bogey on No. 13 gave Yoshihara all the fuel he needed to take the match home. (Yoshihara had been in this position before, making the round-of-16 in last year’s State Championship at The Olympic Club.)
On the 15th hole of the match, a driveable 317-yard par 4, Yoshihara hit a bomb that found the green, settling just 15 feet from the hole. Feeling a bit of the pressure, Kim pushed his shot right, leaving an impossible up and down. Yoshihara needed just two putts to go 3-up with three to play.
With an easy two putt par on the famous 16th at La Costa, Yoshihara did what he failed to do in 2017. He has a place in the quarterfinals of the 2018 California Amateur Championship against Northern California Mid-Amateur standout Nike Moore (Monterey).
“With the UCLA and USC thing, there is a rivalry, but being friends for so long, we just had to play our games and see what happens,” said Yoshihara as he and Kim walked back to the clubhouse together after their match.
Being the No. 2 seed was not enough for Brad Reeves (Woodbridge, CA) as he lost to high-schooler and SCGA CIF Champion Tyler Guo (Irvine). Reeves made a costly bogey on the par-5 18th to allow Guo to grab a spot in the quarterfinals.
Other notable players advancing to the quarterfinals include former UC Davis player Evan Knight, University of Washington sophomore Noah Woolsey, and Northern California Mid-Am standout Bobby Bucey (Concord). Earlier this month Bucey was involved in a three man playoff for the NCGA Mid-Amateur, which was won by Matt Cohn. (Cohn is not in the field this week.)
Two-time champion Casey Boyns, spotted playing Corica Park in Alameda on opening day Wednesday, wished his best to all competitors.
"Next year for sure," said Pebble Beach caddie Boyns when asked when he was playing again. "It's a home game."
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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