California Amateur: Medalist Chen seeks to end 13-year drought
Tony Chen (SCGA photo)
Tony Chen (SCGA photo)

No.1 seed Kuangyu Chen is on to another day of action at this week's California Amateur Championship at Big Canyon Country Club.

Chen (pictured, above), who goes by Tony and is a sophomore at Cal-Berkeley, squeaked into Friday's quarterfinals after edging No.16 Marc Engellenner. Engellenner, the winner of last year's Sacramento City, had taken a 1-up lead with a birdie on the par-4 11th. He'd hold that lead over the next four holes until Chen struck back with a clutch birdie on the par-5 16th to tie the match up.

Following a halve on No.17, Chen again came up big, making par on the 18th while Engellenner made bogey. In Friday's quarterfinals, Chen will next face No.9 Casey Leebrick. Leebrick, a senior at Sacramento State, moved on with a 3 and 2 win over Shea Lague.

Also moving on to the quarterfinals were NorCal players Sam Sommerhauser and Kevin Huff. The two will square off in one of the quarterfinals matches.

Sommerhauser, a junior at the University of Arizona and the No.30 seed, won last year's NCGA Amateur at Spyglass Hill. Huff, the No.6 seed and a former player at Fresno State, has yet to trail in a match.

The other two quarterfinals will be SoCal showdowns. No.31 Alexander Yang will play No.23 Joe Neuheisel and No.29 Charlie Reiter will take on No.21 Tyler Kowack. Reiter, one of the biggest hitters in the field, recently competed in the U.S. Open and was runner-up in 2020.

The last No.1 seed to win the event was Geoff Gonzalez in 2009. Chen, who was born in China, would become only the second 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.

Results: California Amateur
WinCACharlie ReiterPalm Desert, CA600
Runner-upCAKevin HuffEl Dorado Hills, CA400
SemifinalsCAAlexander YangCarlsbad, CA300
SemifinalsChinaKuangyu (Tony) ChenChina300
QuarterfinalsCACasey LeebrickSan Luis Obispo, 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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