Chase Sienkiewicz soaking in the Del Monte sunset
MONTEREY, California (December 1, 2018) — Despite a relatively windy and wet Saturday morning, all 105 players in the field returned scorecards at the AmateurGolf.com Christmas Classic.
University of Arizona commit Chase Sienkiewicz leads the field after overpowering the “Old” Del Monte layout for a 3-under-par 69. The Jesuit High senior -- who towered over 6-foot-tall AG founder Pete Wlodkowski in the post-round interview -- utilized his stature and speed to drive on or close to the short par-4 fifth, 11th and 13th holes, making birdie on all three.
High school seniors Jacob Westberg and Lucas Carper shot 2-under 70s in their opening rounds to stay right on the heels of the leader. The three are friends, having played together in Northern California tournaments. That should make for an interesting final round pairing as they battle it out for bragging rights on a day that is forecast to provide weather more suitable for birdies and eagles.
For Carper, who found himself just a shot off the lead heading to the tee on Sunday in last year’s event, he will undoubtedly be having some déjà vu, this time with the intentions of improving on last years second place finish. The San Jose resident carries a sporty wedge game, so it's no secret he enjoys the small targets at our host course -- the oldest West of the Mississippi.
Worth mentioning is the incredible effort put forth by Connor Golembeski. The University of California freshman was the talk of our scoring table today. And his round provides a lesson for all golfers, tournament players or casual ones alike.
He started his round with a score only a mother could love, making a quadruple-bogey 9 on the relatively straightforward par-5 1st hole. In a situation where many would consider their round a lost cause, Golembeski would not let the day, weather, or course get the best of him. He rattled off three straight pars to settle himself down, then played the remaining 14 holes in 1-under-par, finishing the day with a 3-over 75.
Three players share the lead in the Senior division. Defending champion Glenn Andrade of Napa; and Andy Gabelman and Jeff Britton, both of Carmel.
Andrade had a comeback of his own today. After starting the day with a 3-over 39 on the front, he was able to get some mojo going, making two birdies and only one bogey on the back nine to finish with a 35 for his 74.
Gabelman, a USGA-seasoned competitor originally from the Chicago area, posted consecutive nines of 1-over-par for his 74. Rounding out the three-way tie is Jeff Britton. Britton, has qualified for a USGA Senior Amateur and won his fare share of senior events. It should be a great battle tomorrow, especially if you consider players lurking behind like Steve Donnelly (75) and past overall Christmas Classic winner (and a U.S. Open participant in his younger days) David Nelson (77).
Vancouver, Canada resident Laurence Schmid was invited by his friend Brian McGuire to come play in the 2018 Christmas Classic this year. He is taking advantage of his first AmateurGolf.com showing, taking a 1-shot lead over McGuire into the final round after a net score of 74. We may be sending some trophies through customs!
ABOUT THE AGC Christmas Classic
The Christmas Classic was
founded by 2-time
California State Amateur Champion Casey
Boyns over 20 years ago and it always
a great field. This is our most popular event,
and year in and year out it sells out. Field
limited to 104 players.
Your entry fee includes two rounds of
(cart at players expense), $4500 in
$20 lunch certificate,
weekend at one of the Monterey Peninsula's
wonderful classic courses, "Old" Del Monte.
Players age 25 and over compete in the
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least 10 Mid-
Ams, a separate prize will be awarded.
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