- Conner Penfold photo
In a field stacked with collegiate talent, it was 31-year-old Weston Payne
of San Francisco who birdied the 18th at Baylands Golf Links to capture the AmateurGolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur title.
Coming off an opening-round 63
, which featured no bogeys and an eagle, Payne set out to accomplish something similar to Saturday’s 9-under birdie fest. He made just one fewer birdie and eagled the 13th for the second consecutive day. So all told, it was a decent attempt.
“I actually had almost the same number, within one or two yards,” Payne said of his approach shots into the par-5 13th hole. “I hit hybrid to four feet the first day and to eight feet today. It’s kind of a lefty hole with the wind off the left so it fits my eye.”
Payne found himself on the wrong side of a sudden-death playoff last month with Carnegie Mellon junior Joshua Lim
at the Christmas Classic, so he was thrilled to avoid extra holes with a two-putt birdie at the 18th to close out a Sunday 68.
“It was a stressful day,” Payne said. “I made the turn and was down by one after making double bogey on eight and then I bogeyed 10. But you know you have a couple holes where you can make birdies coming in, including here at 18 so I was able to do just enough to get it done.”
The man Payne raced to the finish was defending champion Blake Hathcoat
, a St. Mary’s College senior who was off to a torrid start Sunday morning with seven front-nine birdies.
Hathcoat inevitably cooled off after making the turn in 31, but completed a spectacular up-and-down greenside at the 18th to post 65 and force Payne to make a birdie of his own to win outright.
Finishing two and three shots back of Payne were a pair of Hathcoat’s Gael teammates, Ethan Ashbrook
and Dylan VanderVeer
. Ashbrook, a sophomore from Santa Maria, Calif., closed with four birdies in his final seven holes to shoot 67 and take third. VanderVeer, a redshirt junior from El Dorado Hills, Calif., fired 66 on Sunday to follow up 68 and grab fourth place alongside recently graduated University of the Pacific golfer Beau Forest
Jay Weiss (R) with low super senior Jim Knoll
The only senior division player to post consecutive under-par rounds was the eventual winner as Jay Weiss
of San Jose carded 71-70 to win by two over Daniel O'Connor
, who was the only other player to finish 36 holes in red figures.
After making six birdies on Saturday, Weiss played his first 10 holes on Sunday without a circle on the card. But a three at the par-4 2nd, followed by an eagle at the par-5 3rd kick-started his final nine holes en route to victory.
Taking third place at even-par thanks to a final-round 71 was Michael Staskus
L-R: Tom Natividad, Ian Vodopich
- The Net Division was won by Tom Natividad
of Walnut Creek, who held off John Scott Senz
for the second straight event. Natividad won the AmateurGolf.com Winter Invitational at Corica Park three weeks ago.
- There were 20 eagles across all divisions over the course of the two-day event, including two each from the first and third place finishers in the Championship flight and one from the Senior Division champion. But high school freshman Ian Vodopich
of Danville made his a bit more special as he aced the par-3 15th on Sunday.
- Two members of the Gonzaga women's golf team, Quynn Duong
of San Jose and Jessica Mangrobang
of Chula Vista, played in the championship division from the same tees as the men and competed admirably given their relative distance disadvantage.
- Jim Knoll
of Sunnyvale, who won the Senior Division in 2011, finished 4th overall and won the Low Super Senior award by five shots over Michael Wishart
- In addition to winning the overall title, Payne won the Low Mid-Amateur award by an amazing 14 shots!
- In its first year as host of the Silicon Valley Amateur, Baylands Golf Links proved to be a wonderful championship venue, with a fun setup and perfect greens allowing for low scoring. Thanks to Head Professional Joey Faber and General Manager Ed Winiecki for the warm welcome!
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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