Kyle Kinnane (Loyola Marymount photo)
When AmateurGolf.com added a "South" version of our popular San Diego Amateur this year, players from not just Southern California, but around the U.S. found it on the calendar.
Early January is still vacation time for most college students, and when Loyola Marymount senior Kyle Kinanne swiped around our popular website, this one stood out to him.
His web skills were rewarded with the first-round lead, after a fine round of 2-under 70 at San Diego's most historic layout. San Diego Country Club is known as the home course of golf legends like Billy Casper and Mickey Wright, the latter owning 82 LPGA victories, 13 of them majors. Casper, Wright, and modern-day players like Xander Schauffele -- a frequent visitor during his amateur days -- honed their short games on the grasses of the Chula Vista course, especially the undulating and fast greens -- which "stimped" around 13 today for the tournament.
"I kept it under the hole today," said Kinnane in describing what worked for him. "And I made a few putts."
Kinnane started today on the 10th tee, and played a flawless first nine holes with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 and all the rest pars. He birdied his first two holes on the front after making the turn, but gave those back with bogeys on the next two holes, then played the rest of the way in at even par.
Although he entered the tournament as a warmup for the upcoming spring season, Kinnane acknowledged that he hasn't been in the final group in a while, and seemed to relish the challenge. Tomorrow the leader will be paired with UC San Diego golfer Elliot Bunyarovich, and recent St. Mary's University graduate Evan Peterson, who won the San Francisco City Championship in 2019. Both challengers posted rounds of 1-under 71 today.
In the Mid-Amateur sub-division of the championship flight, Chris Hunter of Billings, MT and Matt Peterson of La Jolla are tied for the lead at 1-over 73, while Marc Engellener of Rocklin is two back at 75.
SENIOR AND NET DIVISIONS The timeless beauty
of San Diego CC
San Diego Country Club member Don Eklund fired even-par 72, putting on a San Diego Country Club "how-to" clinic for playing partner Jeff Lane of Arizona.
"Everything I did wrong today, he did right," said Lane.
He was describing the 18th hole, where Eklund found trouble in the right rough, and smartly laid up in front of the green so he could get up-and-down from under the hole while his own wedge hit pin high and bounded over the green, leaving him no chance for par.
Eklund will try to keep the senior trophy at his home club tomorrow while facing challenges from Jim Ream of Cerritos and Thomas Renli of Scottsdale, who will round out the final pairing. Both Ream and Renli fired 75, while Steven McPherson of Hemet and Brad Keays of Manhattan Beach are another shot back at 76.
In the Net Division, Matt Brody of Dallas shot 73 and takes a 3-shot lead over Kyle McBeath of Portland, Oregon and Baley Castro of Chula Vista into the final round.
ABOUT THE AGC San Diego Amateur
The San Diego Amateur now has a second
the historic San Diego Country Club. Players
treated to a very walkable private club that has
hosted USGA and major collegiate events, and
legends like Billy Casper and Mickey Wright
Your entry fee includes 2 rounds of golf (carts
extra on this very walkable layout), prizes,
trophies for division winners, and
to play two days at an exclusive private club in
setting. The San Diego Amateur is expected to
become part of the
SCGA player rankings.
This is a gross competition with Championship, Senior and Women's divisions. There will be no Net division.
49. Compete alongside the younger players in
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least 10 Mid-
separate prize and trophy will be awarded.
For players age
65+. Compete alongside the younger players in
Senior Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and a
separate prize and trophy will be awarded for
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