First round leader Joshua Lim (AmateurGolf.com photo)
On a day when quick greens and challenging pin positions left many players frustrated with three and four putts, Joshua Lim of San Francisco managed to make eight birdies at Del Monte, taking the early lead at the AmateurGolf.com Christmas Classic.
But he wasn't "the boss of the moss" all day. His score could have been lower had it not been for a missed five footer for par on No. 3 (his 12th hole) that turned into a three putt double bogey.
After birdieing his first two holes of the day and turning in 4-under 32, Lim gave back two strokes there, and another with a bogey on No. 4. But he bounced back with a birdie at the short par-4 5th hole, then birdied Nos. 8 and 9 to get back to 4-under -- good for a three shot lead over four players heading into tomorrow's final round.
Trailing Lim are George McNeely of Carmel (and University of North Carolina); Ben Soicher of Mill Valley (despite taking a month off from golf); Jeremy Yun of Menlo Park, and Curtis Da Silva of Carmel (maybe the youngest player in the tournament, at 15).
In the Mid-Am subdivision, Patrick Cairns and Weston Payne are tied for the lead at 1-over 73.
Lim was the only player to break 70 in the championship division. Del Monte plays just a bit longer than 6500 yards, but it's tight in places, and the greens are small and can be very penal after the wrong miss.
Todd Barsotti of Fresno played a steady round with one birdie against three bogeys, and all the rest pars for the solo lead in the senior division, at 73. With over 30 seniors in the field (including tournament founder Casey Boyns, who posted 78) it's one of our best senior tournaments of the year. And right behind Barsotti are a slew of players that can give chase, including Jeff Britton (Carmel) and Daniel O'Connor (San Francisco), who both posted 2-over 74.
PAR OF THE DAY
Michael Wishart (one of six Super Seniors in the field) was sure his drive was heading out of bounds left on No. 7. Then it kicked off the border wall, safely in bounds but leaving him 210 yards from the hole. From there he pushed his second shot right of the bunker with a tree in right in the way. The only option was to bounce it over the bunker and hope for the best. Wishart pulled off the impossible, hitting just the right spot and hopping over the trap, landing in the rough on the other side, and trickling down to three feet for an easy par.
“That’s how you shoot 81,” quipped Wishart after the round.
Scott Henrikson of Laguna Niguel posted a net 73 to take the first round lead by three over "The Turlock Trio" of Marc Sanders, Charles Balisha, and Tom Silva. Playing off an 8 handicap, Henrikson posted a steady 81 that included a gross birdie on the tricky 13th.
If the guys from Turlock don't gang up on him in the final group, he's going to be tough to beat.
ABOUT THE AGC Christmas Classic
>> TOUR PORTAL
The Christmas Classic was
founded by 2-time
California State Amateur Champion Casey
Boyns over 20 years ago and it always
a great field. This is our most popular event,
and year in and year out it sells out. Field
limited to 104 players; Championship, Senior,
and Net divisions.
Your entry fee includes two rounds of
(cart at players expense), $4500 in
Callaway Golf certificate prizes,
$20 lunch certificate,
weekend at one of the Monterey Peninsula's
wonderful classic courses, "Old" Del Monte.
For players aged 16 and over who have a USGA or
equivalent index of less than 5.5
For players age 50 and over (as of the tournament
date) with a handicap index of less than 8.0. Note:
Must be 55 and over for NCGA Senior Points.
For players 16 and over with handicap between 5.5
MID-AM (subdivision of Championship)
For players age
25-49. Compete alongside the younger players in the
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least six Mid-Ams,
separate prize and trophy will be awarded.
SUPER SENIORS (subdivision of Senior)
For players age
65+. Compete alongside the younger senior players
Senior Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least six players 65
separate prize and trophy will be awarded for low
WOMEN (subdivision of Championship)
Will play in the Championship
Division but from a shorter tee; if there are at least
six women in
the field, a separate prize and trophy will be
awarded. Net players will
play in the Net Division but from a shorter tee.
View Complete Tournament Information