California Amateur: Down to eight
There were a few blowouts and a Cinderella story in the works as the Round of 16 of this week’s California Amateur Championship concluded Thursday at The Preserve GC in Carmel Valley. In the big win department, No. 24 seed Youssef Guezzale knocked out No. 8 Evan Chien via a 7 and 5 victory. A junior at San Diego State, Guezzale rolled to a quick 6-up lead through nine holes thanks in part to a front nine 31. It didnt’ hurt that Guezzale won holes 5-9 in succession. Also making statements were No. 2 seed Noah Woolsey, who defeated Matt Cohn, 5 and 3, and No. 4 seed Wes Payne, who moved on with a 5 and 3 win over Domingo Jojola.

Woolsey, a senior at the University of Washington, went 6-under through the first 10 holes to build a 5-up lead. On the 11th, Cohn, who at age 40 was the oldest player left in the field, made bogey, bumping Woolsey’s lead to 6-up. Payne, the runner-up at last year’s NCGA Amateur Championship, birdied the opening 1st and 8th holes to eventually build a 3-up lead over Jojola. Two more birdies on the 12th and 13th holes, and Payne had taken a commanding 5-up lead.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals was No. 32 seed Tommy Stephenson. Stephenson, a junior at Fresno State who hails from Carlsbad, came back from an early two-hole deficit to eventually tie No. 16 seed Alex Chin. The two eventually went to the 19th hole (par-4 1st), where Stephenson won with a birdie. Chin, who plays at the University of San Francisco, won NCGA Player of the Year honors in 2020.

Two matches that went to the wire were No. 3 Connor Nolan defeating Devon Bling, 1-up and No. 27 Thomas Hutchison knocking out No. 11 Kevin Sze of Saratoga (1-up) and No. 10 Charlie Reiter of Palm Desert (4 and 2). A sophomore at University of San Diego, Reiter will next face Woolsey in Friday morning’s quarterfinals. Other quarterfinals matches will see Stephenson vs. Guezzale, Payne vs. Sze and Nolan vs. Hutchison.

Results: California Amateur
WinCANoah WoolseyPleasanton, CA600
Runner-upCAWeston PayneMenlo Park, CA400
SemifinalsCATommy StephensonCarlsbad, CA300
SemifinalsCAThomas HutchisonSan Jose, CA300
QuarterfinalsCAYoussef GuezzaleSan Diego, CA200

View full results for California Amateur

ABOUT THE California Amateur

The Championship is open to amateur golfers who have established current indexes of 4.4 and are members in good standing of the Southern California Golf Association, the Northern California Golf Association, or the Public Links Golf Association of Southern California. Nonexempt players must qualify. An entrant may play in only one qualifying event, even if the golfer belongs to clubs in both Southern California and Northern California. The 18-hole qualifying rounds will determine the qualifiers.

The championship field will play 36 holes of qualifying at a Northern or Southern California Location, with the low 32 golfers from that combined field moving on to match play (with a playoff, if necessary, to determine the final spots). Two rounds each of 18-hole match play will follow on Thursday and Friday and the 36-hole final match will be on Saturday.

The location will rotate yearly between Northern and Southern California locations.

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