Joshua Lim (R) with Weston Payne
Two players ran away from the field during Sunday’s final round at the AmateurGolf.com Christmas Classic, and were on a collision course for a sudden-death playoff.
, a junior at Carnegie Mellon University, and Weston Payne
, a 31-year old from Menlo Park met on the first tee with two-day totals of 137, though under slightly different circumstances. And it was the San Francisco native Lim who secured victory with par at the par-5.
The first-round leader Lim was cruising along after posting 68 on Saturday in a round that featured six birdies, including five of his first eight holes. He got to 7-under with a birdie at 13 but was fully aware of the charge Payne was making just three groups ahead.
“I have a bad habit. I just have to look at the leaderboard whenever I play,” Lim said after his win. “I was expecting to be competing with the players in my group, mostly. But this guy just came out of nowhere and played some crazy golf.”
Payne’s day started with birdies on more than half of his first eleven holes, putting him at 6-under for the tournament. He dropped his only shot at 12 but bounced back with birdies at 13, 15, and 17 to close out a spectacular 64.
“I putted and chipped so badly yesterday so I wanted to do that better today,” Payne said. “I got up-and-down really well on the par-5s and the short par-4s.”
Payne made birdies on three of the four par-5s, as well as three of the four par-4s under 330 yards.
Meanwhile, Lim failed to grind out a par on 16 after missing the green right, which dropped him a shot back of Payne who was sitting in the clubhouse. He looked to rebound on the reachable par-5 17th and bombed a drive into the dirt down the left side.
Then he hit his tournament-saving shot.
“Honestly, that was the shot of the tournament for me there,” Lim admitted. “I pulled off exactly what I wanted to do. I knew if I could put myself in a good position and maybe give myself an eagle putt, it would relieve some pressure off the last hole.”
His approach landed just short of the narrow opening between the front greenside bunkers and skipped up to run past the hole, leaving himself a downhill 15-footer for the eagle he had envisioned.
He missed and settled for his 10th birdie of the weekend, but it was all he needed to get square with Payne.
A par at 18 led him back to the first tee where he would reach the greenside bunker in two, securing the win with a par.
Posting the second best round of the tournament was Jerry Ledzinski II
, who carded a 67 on Sunday which featured a back-nine 31. He tied for third with UCLA commit Anton Ouyang
Sr champ Barsotti with Britton (L) and Boyns (R)
Fresno’s Todd Barsotti
was Saturday’s first-round leader at 73, but was out in four-over par 40 on the back nine of Sunday’s round. He put all that behind him and shot a bogey-free 34 on the front side with birdies at holes seven and nine to narrowly defeat Casey Boyns
for the Senior Division title.
Boyns’s Sunday 71 was the best in the senior flight and included a 30-foot birdie on his final hole to post the clubhouse lead. He settled for a runner-up finish alongside Jeff Britton
and his pair of 74s.
came from three back and won the Net Division by two shots over John Scott Senz
. Scott Henrikson
’s first-round 73 put him in good shape for Sunday before an 82 left him with a three-way tie for the second place spot.
ABOUT THE AGC Christmas Classic
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.
Your entry fee includes two rounds of
(cart at players expense), $4500 in
$20 lunch certificate,
weekend at one of the Monterey Peninsula's
wonderful classic courses, "Old" Del Monte.
Players age 25 and over compete in the
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least 10 Mid-
Ams, a separate prize will be awarded.
View Complete Tournament Information