Joshua McCarthy (Conner Penfold photo)
How do you follow up a 66? Typically it isn’t done by setting the competitive course record the next day. But for Pepperdine fifth-year senior Joshua McCarthy
, that was how Sunday afternoon played out at Corica Park Golf Course.
McCarthy entered the final round of the AmateurGolf.com Winter Invitational tied for the lead with Brett Thawley
, but quickly distanced himself from Thawley and the rest of the field with six front-nine birdies en route to a 64 and an impressive six-shot win.
“I really just tried to stay in the present,” McCarthy said. “I honestly lost track of where I was in relation to par. I kind of looked up and realized where I was at the end.”
McCarthy, who grew up on the other side of the East Bay Hills in Danville, was able to play this year’s Winter Invitational because the pandemic granted him an extra year of collegiate eligibility. After a tied-for-fourth place showing in 2019, he returned to Corica Park’s newly-renovated South Course with an ideal combination of ball-striking and putting.
“My iron game was real solid and I felt like I did a good job of converting those opportunities inside 10-15 feet,” McCarthy said. “So when I hit a good shot, I was able to keep the momentum going by making the putt.”
Making 16 birdies over the course of two rounds, McCarthy managed to birdie five of the holes on both occasions, including holes 1,6,8, and 9 on the front side where he combined to shoot 63 between Saturday and Sunday.
Taking second place with rounds of 69 and 67 was 15-year old Leonardo Vieira
of San Leandro, who grew up playing Corica Park regularly as part of their junior program.
Thawley, the first-round co-leader, fired 74 on Sunday to finish in a tie for fourth place with Kurtis Rodriguez
, Nathan Wang
, and Sean Yu
, with Ethan Ashbrook
grabbing third at 6-under.
Thawley won the low mid-amateur prize by two shots over Weston Payne
San Jose State junior Antonia Malate
birdied four of her last six holes to secure a three-shot win over Cal Poly sophomore Elizabeth Scholtes
. The Alameda native Scholtes was going down to the wire with Malate until bogeys at 16 and 17 had her settle for a runner-up finish.
University of Northern Colorado sophomore Abigail Fleiner
, who shared the first-round co-lead with Malate and Scholtes, posted 74 in her final round and took third.
Low SS Frank Pieper, Dave Bunfill
of Plymouth overcame a first-round 76 to edge out a one-stroke victory over a group of talented contestants. Bunfill’s Sunday 72, which featured four birdies, put him one stroke ahead of Randy Haag
, Chris Hyland
, Jim Williams
, and opening-round leader Frank Pieper
Pieper, who won a senior title in this tournament two years ago, won the prize for low super senior.
Playing in his second AmateurGolf.com tournament, Tom Natividad
of Walnut Creek outlasted last year's winner John Scott Senz
by four shots. Michael Wu of Milpitas finished third.
Thanks to Brett Morrison and the entire staff at Corica Park for helping make the event a huge success while keeping everyone safe. And thanks to Alameda Commuters committeeman Bob Blanchard for helping us start players off the first tee both days.
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.
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