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California State Amateur: top seeds upset in first round
Cal sophomore-to-be Kuangyu Chen got off to a nice start when match play got underway at this week's California Amateur Championship at Big Canyon Country Club.

The No.1 seeded Chen, who goes by the name Tony, opened with a solid 4 and 2 win over No.32 Calder Overfelt. Tied through the first nine, Chen took a 1-up lead with a birdie win on the par-4 10th. He'd go on to win holes Nos. 14 through 16 with birdies to put the match out of reach. Through his 16 holes, Chen went an eye-popping 9-under with an eagle and seven birdies.

Should Chen, who was born in China, win he'd join Capt. A. Bullock Webster (1924) and Francis Brown (1930) as the only foreign-born players to win the event. Bullock-Webster was born in England, while Brown was born in Hawaii in 1892 before the islands became a state.

Each of the three other top seeds fell victim to the beast that can be match play.

No.2 Stephen Hale ran into a buzzsaw in Alexander Yang, who won 6 and 4. No.3 seed Ian Gilligan fell, 4 and 3, to Sam Sommerhauser and No.4 Brett Viboch lost, 4 and 3, to Charlie Reiter. Sommerhauser, a junior at the University of Arizona, is the defending NCGA Amateur champion. Reiter, who spent the last two years competing at the University of San Diego, recently competed in the U.S. Open.

The next highest seed left in the brackets is No.5 Youssef Guezzale, who opened with a convincing 5 and 4 victory.

Chen will next face No.16 Marc Engellenner in a NorCal match-up. Sommerhauser and Casey Leebrick are the only other NorCal players left alive.

Thursday is the Round of 16, followed on Friday by the quarterfinals and semis. The 36-hole final will be on Saturday.



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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