Preview: Deep Calif. field in place for AGC Silicon Valley Am
Coyote Creek (Coyote Creek/Facebook photo)
MORGAN HILL, Calif. (Jan. 11, 2018) – The Silicon Valley Amateur is annually the strongest event on the AmateurGolf.com Tour, which is no surprise considering the region from which it draws its players. The past champions list is highlighted with top college talent – some of whom have now gone on to professional careers – from Pac-12 powerhouses UCLA and Cal, among others.
For the past two years anyway, Connor Blick – a former St. Mary’s standout – has claimed at least a share of the title (he and teammate Pavan Sagoo were named co-champions a year ago). Dig farther back in the archives, and Cal’s Collin Morikawa, former Cal standout Max Homa (who has won two Web.com Tour events since graduation) and former UCLA player Gregor Main show up on the past champions list. Randy Haag, one of Northern California’s top amateurs (he’s a four-time NCGA Player of the Year), won in 2007.
The next generation of California talent is lined up for this year’s event at Coyote Creek. The list of 103 players includes top collegians to top seniors, almost all from the west coast.
The St. Mary’s golf presence is strong again in 2019, with Ethan Ashbrook, Ethan Farnam (an Illinois native who represents one of just two non-Californians in the field), Ryan Grauman, Ashkaan Hakim, Blake Hathcoat, Jeffrey Inouye-Wong, Kent Kao, Evan Peterson, Mikey Slesinski and Dylan Vanderveer. For those keeping track, that’s every player on the roster.
Arugably the player on the biggest hot streak is UC Davis freshman Thomas Hutchison
, who five days ago won the McClure Cup by 10 shots at Seaside’s Bayonet Blackhorse. Hutchison also won the Windon Memorial in the fall season, had two other top-10 finishes and a top 20 in college competition. He’s the No. 1-ranked player in the AmateurGolf.com California Player of the Year points standings for 2019 after finishing 2018 second only to Joe Fryer.
(No. 9) and Slesinski
(No. 11) also ended the year in the top 20.
San Diego State’s Christian Banke
, runner-up at the Monterey City Amateur in 2018, is also part of the college talent. So is Finigan Tilly
, a Cal junior who was fourth at this event a year ago.
Notable senior Jeff Britton
, 57, will tee it up again this weekend after winning the AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur’s senior division on Jan. 7. He’ll be gunning for a senior title defense in this event.
In the women’s division, Emily Sumner
, a sophomore at Santa Clara University, will also be looking for a title defense. The Tustin, Calif., native led her team in scoring in the fall season and had three top-10 finishes.
The tournament kicks off on Coyote Creek’s Valley Course (pairings and starting times can be found here
). On Sunday, it closes on the Tournament Course, a former PGA Tour Champions venue.