Pepperdine's McCarthy takes top seed at NCGA Match Play
Josh McCarthy (NCGA photo)
Josh McCarthy (NCGA photo)

Pepperdine University senior Josh McCarthy will be the No.1 seed for the match play at this week’s 116th NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship at Spyglass Hill.

McCarthy, a former Player of the Year on the Junior Tour of Northern California, shot his second consecutive round under par – a 1-under 70 – to earn medalist honors with a two-day, 36-hole total of 5-under 137. Spyglass Hill is playing as a par-71 for the championship due to ongoing renovations of the normally par-4 17th. The hole is playing as a par-3 for the championship to a temporary green.

Playing out of Youth on Course Alameda Junior GC, McCarthy was the lone player to break par each of the two stroke play qualifying rounds. Last year, McCarthy reached the Round of 32 at the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

The No.2 seed will be recent NCGA Public Links champ Matt Cohn. Cohn, who was tied with McCarthy entering the day, followed up an opening 67 with a 73 that included a two-stroke penalty for missing his tee time. The San Francisco resident would arrive at the tee 40 seconds past his designated time.

Nonetheless, Cohn, who reached the finals in 2015, still carded four birdies including three in a row on Spyglass’ scenic holes Nos. 3 through 5.

Four players–Toby Briggs, Daniel Kim, Brian Ma and Jason Anthony–finished T-3 at 142. Ma, who won the 2017 San Francisco City at age 16 and now plays at Harvard, made the biggest move with a 69.


Matt Cohn and Josh McCarthy set the early tone as the 116th annual NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship got underway on a sunny Monday at par-71 Spyglass Hill.

Cohn, winner of the recent NCGA Public Links, and McCarthy, a senior at Pepperdine University, both opened stroke play qualifying with matching rounds of 4-under par 67.

The runner-up to Maverick McNealy in 2015 and a semifinalist last year, Cohn posted six birdies overall to go against just two bogeys.

“It was smooth, pretty straightforward,” Cohn said. “I was maybe in trouble twice all day and made a few putts. There was nothing too crazy.”

McCarthy, a former Junior Tour of Northern Califonia Player of the Year who competed in last year’s U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links, also had six birdies and two bogeys. The left-hander would card three straight birdies on holes Nos. 2 through 4.

Berk Harvey, a junior at Santa Clara, is alone in third place at 68. Bryce Kvick, a sophomore at Long Beach State, is in a tie for fourth with Domingo Jojola after the pair opened with scores of 69.

The course is playing as a par-71 due to the 17th (normally a par-4) playing as a par-3 due to the construction of a new green. The hole is playing as a par-3 to a temporary green, which didn’t seem to affect Cohn, who chipped in on the hole.

Following Tuesday’s second round, a cut will be made with the low 32 advancing to match play.

Jason Anthony, who entered the event leading in the standings for NCGA Player of the Year honors (he led Cohn by 455 points), opened with a 71 and is T-9.

The last medalist to win the title was McNealy in 2015.

Results: NCGA Match Play
WinCAJoshua McCarthyDanville, CA400
Runner-upEnglandToby BriggsEngland260
SemifinalsCAChase SienkiewiczCarmichael, CA160
SemifinalsCANicholas CaputoHollister, CA160
QuarterfinalsCAIan DahlCarmel, CA120

View full results for NCGA Match Play


The oldest of the NCGA’s major events, the Amateur Match Play Championship, dates back to 1903 when it was first played at San Rafael GC. Varying formats have been used over the 100+ years of competition but today the tournament is 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying, followed by a 32-person seeded match play bracket. Pre-qualifying required for non-exempt players. Players must have a handicap index of 5.4 or less.

View Complete Tournament Information

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