Spread out among four flights, nearly 180 golfers participated in the 85th Amateur Net Championship, which concluded Apr. 9 at Industry Hills GC. The two-day event, known around the Southland as “The People’s Championship,” is the SCGA’s premier net championship, giving participants the opportunity to play a different course each day – the Babe and the Ike – at Pacific Palms Resort in Industry.
Bunched with a three-way tie atop the leaderboard after the first round, the Arroyo Flight was up for grabs on day two. Christopher Deering (Arroyo Trabuco GC), John Ellis (Wilshire CC) and Mike Chiovare (Santa Anita GC) all slept on the 2-under lead and looked to finish the job.
Chiovare, who is a defending champion from 2006, has been dealing with health-related issues and hadn’t been on the golf course much in the past ten years. But, in the end, his determination and experience carried him to the podium, as his 1-under 71 on the difficult Ike Course was enough for the title.
“The win was overwhelming,” said Chiovare. “I haven’t been playing as well lately due to health reasons. When you’re over 50 years old, you think things are slipping away but I was able to prove to myself that I still have it.”
It seemed like a two-horse race between Fernando Fernandez (Rio Hondo GC) and Lippen Lau, both of whom finished 3-under after the first round. That’s when Raymond Chang (L.A. Royal Vista GC) burst on the scene with a blistering 3-under 69 on Ike to finish tied with Adam Subido (Mission Trails GC). He would eventually win on a card-off, per USGA protocol.
“The best part about this week was coming out and playing with other people who are passionate about the game,” said Chang. “I didn’t have a single birdie today but my consistency led me to the finish line.”
Jason Bader (Temecula Creek GC) jumped out to a two-shot lead after the first round but had a handful of suitors as play began on the final round. Some might say finding yourself atop the leaderboard in the SCGA Amateur Net Championship is the most dangerous lead in the sport. Once again, this proved to be true.
Meanwhile, Henry Alipusan (Intl Alliance GC) found himself lurking two shots off the lead to begin the final day but managed to put together a solidly consistent round of even par 70. Alipusan’s total of 2-under 140 was enough to hold off a duo of Kevin Frink (Anaheim GC) and John Patino (Mountain Meadows GC) at 1-under.
“This has been a lifetime dream of mine,” said Alipusan. “I have now reached the pinnacle of my golfing career.”
San Andreas Flight
The fourth and final flight was correctly named, as an earthquake of low scores came pouring in on day one. Nicholas Martinez (El Segundo GC) fired a 9-under 63 to take a four-shot lead into the final day. Frank Anderson (Caltrans GC) finished 5-under while Broc Glover (Stadium GC) and Chad Olis (Brunswick GC) pulled in at 4-under.
But it was Anderson who proved to be the steadiest under the pressure of the Amateur Net’s final round. He didn’t record a single three-putt in two rounds at Industry Hills GC, a feat in itself.
“I honestly didn’t think I had a chance after qualifying due to the strong field,” said Anderson. “I just wanted to show up and play some golf. It’s a great feeling to come out on top.”
View results for SCGA Amateur Net
ABOUT THE SCGA Amateur Net
This event gives all members an opportunity to
compete in a major association tournament
of his/her handicap index level. Competitors
over 18 holes of qualifying net stroke play to move
to the championship. A total of 180 players will
for the 36-hole Championship. The field is divided
flights of different handicap levels.
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