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Schafer putts his way to AGC San Diego Am title at Aviara
AGC San Diego Amateur winners (AGC photo)
AGC San Diego Amateur winners (AGC photo)

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2018) – After starting the day with a two-shot advantage at Aviara Golf Club, Tyler Schafer managed to hold on for a one-shot win at the AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur presented by Callaway. The Long Beach State freshman followed an opening even-par 72 with a 73. Close as those two numbers were, they were two totally different rounds.

Schafer had only seven pars in his opening round, but also had an eagle, five birdies, four bogeys and a triple-bogey. In Monday’s final round, which featured a shotgun start, he had a single birdie and two bogeys. The rest were pars.

Most players struggled on the slick greens at Aviara, where the LPGA hosts its Kia Classic March 28-31. The key to Schafer’s scoring was in first hitting them, and then being able to manage them.

“I actually putted really well the first round… but I really couldn’t hit the ball of the tee so I made some high numbers,” Schafer said. “Today I hit a lot of greens, I think I only missed one green. I had 15 pars. So it was kind of a really slow round for me today, I couldn’t get anything going. I’ll take that on a golf course like this.”

Schafer managed to hold off a charge from Cullen Plousha, who birdied his second hole (No. 10) on his way to a 3-under 69, the best round of the day. Plousha is a Carlsbad native who plays college golf at Colorado State.

Plousha was T-10 at this event in 2017. Since then, he qualified for the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach but missed the match-play cut.

Another of the day’s best performances came from Forbes Collins II, who used a final-round 71 (for a 4-over total) to climb to third place in the championship division and also win the mid-amateur division. Collins, 26, led the 2015 AGC San Diego Amateur after the first round before finishing an eventual T-10 that year.

For Collins, the start of a quality mid-am career has been about keeping his game sharp.

“Working hard on it – rolling the putts better, hitting the driver a little straighter, giving myself more opportunity for birdie, and more importantly than anything, hitting the greens in regulation.,” Collins said.

Another mid-amateur, Redmond Lyons, was fourth with his 5-over total.

In the senior division, first-round leader Jeff Britton turned a three-shot lead into a six-shot victory even though he followed his opening 71 with a 76 on Monday. That 76 included bogeys on No. 17 and 18 before he rallied at the turn (Britton started on No. 10).

Two men, Nicholas Bock and Michael Harding, tied for second at 9 over after rounds of 79 and 76, respectively.

The round of the day in the senior division, however, belonged to Jim Ream. With the modernized USGA Rules of Golf only days old, Ream embraced the updated Rule 13.2a, which allows for the flagstick to now be left in while putting.

Ream only asked for the flag to come out on short putts. He made three consecutive birdies from Nos. 7-9 with the pin in, but arguably the best part of the day was when Ream poured in a 30-footer for birdie on his final hole (No. 14) that rattled the flagstick as it went down.

Ream drew a pairing with AmateurGolf.com founder Pete Wlodkowski in the final round, and maybe it’s just us, but it seems to be the magic pairing. At last month's AmateurGolf.com Winter Invitational, Michael Wishart logged nine birdies beside Pete in the final round at Corica Park’s South Course on his way to a closing 69.

In the women’s division at the San Diego Amateur, Jamie Jacob had a final-round 1-under 71 to leapfrog first-round leader April Ranches. Jacob won the title by a three-shot margin with her 4-over total.

“I hit 15 greens both days but had a lot of putts the first day, so it was just putting. Just making sure my lags were at a distance that I didn’t have to mark the ball,” said the Cal State San Marcos junior.

In the net division, Dorothy Donnelly maintained the top spot by following an opening 72 with a second-round 69. Donnelly won by five shots over Chris Ladd.

ABOUT THE AGC San Diego Amateur

** The field for the the San Diego Amateur is full BUT players get in off the waiting list every year. Please contact us if you would like to be put on the waiting list.

>> PAIRINGS | RESULTS

The San Diego Amateur will return to Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad. Once again we are going to be treated like pros at one of the best venues in Southern California, Aviara Golf Club -- as seen on TV during the LPGA's Kia Classic played in March!

Your entry fee includes 2 rounds of golf with cart, prizes, trophies for division winners, and the opportunity to play a Tour-proven golf course in a competitive setting. Special rates for practice rounds and lodging will be offered. The San Diego Amateur is part of the SCGA player rankings.

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