Blake Hathcoat (AGC photo)
Blake Hathcoat (Fresno, Calif.) shot a final-round 70 on the Tournament Course at Coyote Creek Golf Club to win the AmateurGolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur in Morgan Hill, Calif.
Hathcoat, a senior at Saint Mary's College, entered the day one shot behind the first round leader and SMC teammate Ethan Farnam (Crystal Lake, Ill.). Farnam and Hathcoat had rounds of 64 and 65 respectively on the Valley Course.
Related: Ethan Farnam fires 64 to lead Silicon Valley Amateur
On Sunday, the two SMC teammates had a wild, roller coaster ride of a round that featured lead changes and multiple two- and three-shot swings. Only three of the 18 holes were tied.
It started on the first hole when Farnam doubled to give Hathcoat the lead. After a Farnam birdie tied it up, he tripled the par-5 3rd to fall behind again by three shots.
Again Farnam responded with a birdie to pull closer, but a double at the 5th -- while Hathcoat was making birdie -- resulted in another three-shot swing and put Hathcoat five ahead.
Give Farnam credit -- every time he suffered a blow-up hole he bounced back with a birdie, and he did again on the sixth as the comeback was on. Over a five-hole stretch starting at the 8th, Farnam would have three two-shot swings with Hathcoat, the final one generated by an eagle on the par-5 12th that drew him even with six holes to go.
That's when Hathcoat responded with two birdies that he would later describe as "huge", and the turning point of the round. The final one was at the par-3 14th, and it was the third birdie-2 of the round and the sixth of the two days (a reflection of how good his iron game was this weekend).
Farnam was not able to get any closer and the final margin was two shots. Hathcoat finished at 9-under 135, with Farnam at 7-under after a closing 73.
Hathcoat came into the tournament in good form. At last week's Saguaro Amateur in the Arizona desert, he led after the first round and recorded a top-5 finish.
For Farnam, the reigning Illinois State Amateur champion, it was another close call in an AmateurGolf.com event, with his third runner-up finish.
Saint Mary's head coach Scott Hardy must be wishing this had been a college tournament, because five of his players finished in the top six.
Ethan Ashbrook (Santa Maria, Calif.) and Evan Peterson (Clovis, Calif.), took third place along with Grant Fairbairn (Orinda, Calif.) of Harvard. All three players shot identical rounds of 69-70, 5 under par.
Ashkaan Hakim (San Ramon, Calif.) finished tied sixth with Alex Chin (Pleasanton, Calif.) of the University of San Francisco, who was the winner of last week's McClure Cup
at Bayonet Blackhorse in Seaside.
Kyle Gentry of Palo Alto was the low mid-amateur, shooting rounds of 69-73 to edge out Chris Goin and Kyle Rector by four shots. Gentry finished 9th overall in the tournament.
Daniel O'Connor of San Francisco hung on for a one-shot win over Glenn Andrade of Napa, who was gunning for his second AGC win of the winter to go along with the Christmas Classic in December.
O'Connor was four shots ahead of Andrade with eight holes to go but did just enough to escape with the win.
Stotz Thoda (Portland, Or.) rode a 69 on day one to a one-shot win over Just Chua (San Jose, Calif.), who made a big comeback on the final six holes but fell just short.
ABOUT THE AGC Silicon Valley Amateur
The Silicon Valley Amateur is the first
tournament to have, on its past winner's list, a
champion. That would be Collin Morikawa, who won
2016 title. Just over 4 years later, he won the PGA
Championship just up the road at TPC Harding Park
2021 marked the announcement of Baylands Golf
Links as the tournament's new host venue. And wow,
did players enjoy it. It's
location in Palo Alto is fitting -- as the original garage
where Hewlett Packard was founded is located there,
and today's biggest tech companies dot the area
like the Canadian Geese on the fairways and
near Baylands in the winter. Like
Corica Park in Alameda, Baylands was recently
completely redesigned as a new course from the dirt
up, under the hand of architect Forrest Richardson,
the results are stunning.
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