AGC Winter Invitational: First round results from Corica Park
Justin Gums (TCU athletics photo)
Less than two years after the unveiling of Corica Park's new South Course, one thing is abundantly clear. The greens are likely the best in California; and may be the best public course greens in the United States.
Leading players today in AmateurGolf.com's second annual Winter Invitational took advantage of those surfaces, and the relatively benign wind conditions. TCU sophomore Justin Gums started his round off with a bang and never looked back -- after making eagle on the par-5 first hole the Lodi resident went 4-under the rest of the way for a 6-under 66.
After firing 4-under 32 on the front, Gums settled down a bit on the more difficult back nine, but put up another eagle on the par-5 17th and closed with a par to take the solo lead. We see pros make multiple eagles in the same round. But amateurs? Not so much.
Gums played in two U.S. Juniors (2016 and 2018) and has multiple wins on the Northern California Junior Tour. He is chased by high school junior Darren Pang -- who matched his competitive career low of 67 -- and three players who shot 69 -- Connor Motherway, Baron Szeto and Nate Jetter. Among the three players another stroke back at 70 are John Jennison (who leads the mid-am subdivision), World No. 58 amateur Joshua McCarthy, and 2016 San Francisco City Champion Daniel Connolly.
Connolly, who brought home his Bay Area "major" at Harding Park in the rain, was crystal clear about his hope for the weather on Sunday.
"I hope it pours," he joked leaving the scoring table.
Of Note: Niall Shiels Donegan, a 14-year-old born in Scotland (but now living in Marin County) fired 71 playing alongside collegiate golfers who outdrove him by 20-30 yards, posted 1-under 71 to stand at T9. Although Shiels Donegan moved to the U.S. at age 3, he regularly returns to visit family with his sticks in tow. His favorite course? The Old, of course.
Chris Hyland of San Francisco posted 5 birdies en route to a 1-under 71 to pace the field. Hyland, a regular in the weekly skins game at Corica Park, couldn't help but wonder how all those birdies would have played out in a skins game. He will be paired in the final group on Sunday with Pete Wlodkowski of San Diego (72) and Tony Ralph of Sunnyvale (73). Bryan Lynn of Bakersfield is another shot back at 74.
ABOUT THE AGC Winter Invitational
The Winter Invitational is now open to all
players who satisfy the handicap
Join us at the completely renovated Corica Park
Course in one of three fields: scratch, senior
scratch, and net.
Players age 25 and over compete in the
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
and if there are at least 10 Mid-Ams, a
prize will be awarded.
View Complete Tournament Information