36-year-old Brett Viboch is one of 6 co-leaders (SF Chronicle photo)
Round one of the California State Fair Amateur is done, but the tournament is far from decided.
Six players fired off opening rounds of 5-under 67 at the Alister MacKenzie Course at Haggin Oaks in Sacramento, California.
Julian Monas, Brett Viboch, Juan P. Gonzalez. Sam Harned, Youssef Guezzale, and Finigan Tilly all paraded through the course in a six-way tie for the lead with 36 holes remaining to decide a champion.
Monas started on the right foot with six front-nine birdies. Cooling off until the par-4 15th for his seventh birdie on the day, he finally tripped himself up with his lone bogey of the day on the par-4 16th.
The 40-year-old Gonzalez comes into the tournament in good form, having won his second straight Sacramento County Championship at nearby Ancil Hoffman Golf Course. After starting his round with 12 straight pars, Gonzalez caught fire with five birdies on the final six holes.
Tilly, a senior at Cal-Berkeley, mixed 8 birdies with 3 bogeys. Watch out for him if he stays hot; earlier this year he won the Grapevine Amateur by 11 shots.
Three golfers sit just one off the leaders at 4 under. The most popular score under par on Saturday was 3 under as nine players posted 69s. Two-time defending champion Devon Bling could not gain momentum like so many others in the field. Bling begins Sunday 5 shots off the lead after a Saturday 72.
Following the conclusion of Sunday’s round, the cut will be made. At the time of publication, the current cut line is set at 1 over par as there are 61 players at or under par.
The second round is set to begin at 7:00 am local time.
STATE FAIR WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP
Sacramento State sophomore Tess Blair leads the way for the women at Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course.
Carding a 7-under 65, Blair got off to a hot start with three birdies on the opening three holes at BCGC. The Big Sky Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year is keeping her game sharp despite the Big Sky Conference postponing all fall competitions to the spring of 2021.
Holding a 5-shot lead over her nearest competition, Blair just needs to keep the ball in front of her on Sunday to claim the title.
STATE FAIR SENIOR AND SUPER SENIOR
After 18 holes, Chris Miller and Charles Richesin are in prime position to claim their first California State Fair titles.
Miller, holding a two-shot lead over David Bills, posted a bogey-free 65 at Mather Golf Course. Miller cruised through Mather out in 32, in with 33 for a bogey-free start.
David Bills took a methodical approach after starting the day with an even-par front side. Tallying birdies on Nos. 10, 13, 15, 17, and 18, Bills built plenty of momentum towards Sunday’s final round.
Defending (and three-time) champion Mark Morgan sits in solo third following a 3-under 69. Five players are tied for fourth place at 2 under and three at one under.
In the Super Senior division, Charles Richesin commands a three-shot lead over a trio of players at one over par.
Richesin leads the final group off the No. 1 tee at 9:10 am local time.
ABOUT THE California State Fair
The State Fair Men's Amateur Championship is one of
the oldest and most prestigious Amateur
Championships in the West. The Championship is
limited to 108 players. Competition commences over a
54-hole stroke play format with 18 holes played each
day. The field is cut after 36 holes to the low 36
players & ties.
View Complete Tournament Information