began the Amateurgolf.com Winter Invitational with an eagle on the first hole on Saturday and never looked back, as the former University of the Pacific golfer fired rounds of 68 and 71 for a wire-to-wire win at Corica Park's award-winning South Course in Alameda, California.
The opening-round leader by a stroke over a strong group of contenders at 3-under, Forest played bogey-free golf on Sunday until the par-3 16th, building at one point a three-shot lead with just a few holes remaining.
“My ball-striking was really good,” Forest said. “I think that’s the best I’ve hit it in a while, so that helped.
“This is probably the third or fourth year I’ve played in this tournament, so it’s the sixth or eighth time I’ve played the course. Knowing where to hit it helps a lot out here, especially with the greens to know the angles.”
Forest essentially won the tournament on the par-5s, going 6-under in those eight holes including two eagles on Saturday. He even snuck in a little fist pump after a crucial birdie at 15 on Sunday.
“I just tried to get the ball down there as far as I could to leave a shorter club in,” Forest said. “I played aggressively on the par-5s because they’re all fairly open. That was the game plan.”
Rocketing up the leaderboard to tie for second place was Nate Jetter
of Pleasanton, who managed to string together four consecutive birdies at the South Course’s finishing holes to post a tournament-best 66.
For the former San Jose State Spartan, his two at the difficult par-3 16th was particularly redeeming.
“I hit it to two inches on 16 instead of hitting it in the hazard,” Jetter noted when asked about the differences between Saturday and Sunday’s rounds. “And finishing with four birdies in a row is always nice.”
Jetter’s sprint to the finish line earned him the Mid-Amateur Division title by a shot over newly-appointed Pacific men’s golf assistant coach Andy Moren
, who was one of the four players to start the day just a tick behind Forest.
Finishing runner-up alongside Jetter was St. Mary’s College freshman Kristian Bressum
of Denmark, who made a front-nine charge to flirt with the top of the leaderboard but made two unfortunate bogeys coming in at 16 and 18.
The Senior Division crown needed two extra holes to be claimed, and it was Craig Miyamoto
who made par on the second playoff hole to fend off Gomer Pearcy of Aptos.
Miyamoto finished Saturday’s round going 3-over his final five and began Sunday morning with a pair of bogeys at two and five, but kept it together mentally.
“I tried to remain present,” said Miyamoto, who would go on to shoot 1-over 73 in the final round. “I made a couple birdies after that and it gave me a little more confidence.”
The Sacramento resident closed with a bogey at 18 to give new life to Pearcy, who joined Miyamoto on the first tee for sudden death. Unfortunately for Pearcy, he gave that jolt of life right back to Miyamoto with a missed opportunity to birdie the par-5 first from about six feet.
Rounds of 75 and 74 helped Jim Williams
capture the Super Senior Division, who finished fifth overall amongst the Senior contingent behind Daniel O’Connor and 2021 Christmas Classic Senior winner Michael Staskus
O’Connor jumped into the top-5 with birdies at 17 and 18.
And for the second year in a row, it was Tom Natividad
walking away from Corica Park with the hardware in the Net Division. The Walnut Creek resident won a card-off with first-round leader Randall Schwartz
Corica Park is the home course of AmateurGolf.com, and a testimony to the Australian Sandbelt-style layout is the fact that out of 95 players, everyone that played the first round showed up Sunday, regardless of their score. As for the champions, they can be sure we'll be coming back for many years.
by Conner Penfold, special to AmateurGolf.com
ABOUT THE AGC Winter Invitational
PAIRINGS | RESULTS
The Winter Invitational is now open to all
players who satisfy the handicap
Join us at the completely renovated Corica Park
South Course -- it's the home course of
For players age
49. Compete alongside the younger players in the
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least 10 Mid-Ams, a
separate prize and trophy will be awarded.
For players age
65+. Compete alongside the younger players in the
Senior Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and a
separate prize and trophy will be awarded for low
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