Wine Country Cup Champion Beau Forest (AmateurGolf.com photo)
Only two players in the AmateurGolf.com Wine Country Cup posted under par rounds, and both of them took home titles.
In the Championship Division, recent University of the Pacific graduate and golf team member Beau Forest figured out StoneTree in today's final round, and took home a two stroke victory over Daniel Connolly as a result of it.
Forest, after opening with a 79, caught fire fire in Tuesday's final round, after not making a single birdie on Monday. Three birdies on the front nine led to a 3-under 32 on the par-35 front nine. Forest was in the charge, as first round leader Thomas Tatum shot 41 on the front.
With Connolly hanging tough, a double-bogey by Forest on the watery par-3 10th made things interesting. But how's this for a bounce-back? He went birdie-eagle on Nos. 11 and 12 to put both hands on the beautiful crystal cup offered to the champion, and he wouldn't let go.
"Those two holes and four steady pars through the rough stretch of 13 through 16 really relaxed me," said Forest.
Maybe two relaxed, as he later admitted a bit of a lack of concentration after focusing so hard on StoneTree's "Amen Corner."
After parring through that stretch and taking a big cushion into the closing two holes, Forest gave a potential round in the 60s back by finishing with a bogey on No. 17 and a double on No. 18. Connolly could have made things close with a birdie on No. 18, but that's a tall ask with a tucked-right pin, and when he made bogey the title belonged to Forest, by two.
"I'm really happy with a win," said Forest, who also contended with the tough collegiate crowd at the Silicon Valley Amateur at Baylands in January. The win was Forest's first on the AmateurGolf.com Tour.
"Next Winter I'm playing all of them," he promised.
Daniel Connolly was second at 152 after a second round 74. Tied third were Kane Lack (87-72=159) and Matt Hatter (81-78=159). Hatter was a late substitute who made the trip to StoneTree worthwhile. And Lack also took low Mid-Am honors.
SENIOR AND NET DIVISIONS
Daniel O'Connor, another player that had a brush with the winner's circle at The Silicon Valley Amateur in January, found playing a group in front of the leaders -- instead of with the lead as he was at Silicon Valley -- was to his liking.
Like Forest, he came back from a first round in the upper 70s (a 78) with a 1-under 71 in the final round. And not that the first round was bad -- with tough winds and cold temps the opening round had lots of golfer shooting scores they aren't familiar with.
O'Connor credited his putting both days as the key to his win.
"I just putted really well both days," he said, before adding:
"These greens can be just slightly slanted the opposite of what you first think," he said. "And you've got to putt at die speed."
It sounds obvious, but when you read the green correctly, you can use the slope to slow down the ball on super fast greens like players experienced this week. As a member of the Olympic Club, O'Connor has seen U.S. Open speeds more than a few times.
O'Connor is a past champion of the AmaeturGolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur.
Finishing T2 were Jim Williams (78-75=153) and Michael Murphy, the first round leader (76-77). Williams, not a scoreboard watcher, holed a ten foot putt at the 18th to tie Murphy, hoping it was for a possible playoff. But O'Connor's tournament low final round took that off the table.
In the Net Division, Chris Ladd and Bryan French tied for first place, while Jeremy Higgins took third place money in his first tournament (not just AmateurGolf.com event) ever. Way to go Jeremy, and way to go us -- we've got another golfer hooked on tournament golf for life.
Two players that came back BIG should be recognized. Kane Lack took fourth place in the tournament, and low Mid-Am bonus, with a 15 shot improvement of 87-72. Not to be outdone, Craig Kreeger jumped from the back of the pack to 6th place in the seniors by doing the same thing, 87-72. Nice!
And the low super senior award went to Mike Parnow in a cardoff over Tom Fox.
That's it until Bandon Dunes and Sand Valley; we still have room in the latter. Special thanks to Ryan Burke and Bay Clubs StoneTree for hosting us.
View results for AGC Wine Country Cup
ABOUT THE AGC Wine Country Cup
The Original Wine Country Cup is back! After
a break for three years, we are returning to
the first three courses to host the
Winter Tour. The 2021 edition will be a 36-hole
medal play event on Monday and Tuesday
and 16. We'll offer Scratch, Senior Scratch, and
Net divisions. Mid-Amateur (age 25+) players
Super-Seniors (65+) will be awarded a bonus
separate trophy if there are at least 6 of each.
women are welcome to play.
club, Bay Clubs StoneTree, is one of Northern
California's premier private courses.
View Complete Tournament Information