Wilson leads California Senior Am by one
Jeff Wilson (USGA photo)
Jeff Wilson (USGA photo)

The lead belongs to 2018 U.S. Senior Amateur champ Jeff Wilson, but this one is far from over.

Wilson, who became a USGA champion for the first time in August, took the first-round lead at the California Senior Amateur on Monday, carding a 3-under 69 at par-72 the Preserve Golf Club in Carmel. Wilson, of Fairfield, posted four birdies–including back-to-back on Nos. 7 and 8—to go against a lone bogey on the par-4 10th.

A resident of Fairfield and longtime member at Green Valley CC, Wilson is making his Cal Senior debut, having turned 55 this past June.

While Wilson leads, he has some formidable foes right on his heels. SCGA member John Pate of Santa Barbara, a two-time winner (2014, 2016), is just a shot behind after a 70 that featured five birdies and three bogeys.

Also at 70 is 2018 NCGA Hall of Fame inductee Randy Haag, who would like to add a Cal Senior title to his resume.

Three players–David Oas, Gary Havro and Bruce Hanavan–are T-4 at 71. Another three–Jim Knoll, Gary Vanier and Mike Rowley–are just three behind after opening 72s. Vanier won the championship in 2007, while Knoll, who won this year’s NCGA Senior title, got a Cal Senior win in 2013.

In the annual Senior Cup, which pits three players from the SCGA versus three players from the NCGA (best two scores out of three), the NCGA jumped to a 142-148 lead behind Haag’s 70 and Knoll’s 72. Morgan shot 76.

The SCGA got their scores from Craig Davis (73) and Robert Funk (75). Jeff Burda, winner of the recent NCGA Super Senior Championship, shot 76.

View results for California Senior Amateur
ABOUT THE California Senior Amateur

The California Senior Amateur Championship began in the fall of 1992, and is the state championship for players age 55 and over. The first two tournaments were played at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. In 1994, the event was moved to Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, and in 1995, a simultaneous NCGA vs. SCGA team portion of the championship was added. Starting in 2010 this 54-hole stroke play championship will rotate to selected courses throughout the state. Players must have an index of 7.4 or less and may attempt to qualify at any location in the state.

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