San Diego Amateur: Kento Yamawaki takes first round lead at Aviara
San Diego Amateur leader Kento Yamawaki (AmateurGolf.com photo)
When a rare Southern California thunderstorm made its way through Carlsbad this morning, many players in the field brought stories of their surprise at seeing flashes of light in the sky.
"I thought someone was flashing their high beams at me," said one, as another player said he thought the red light he was waiting at was going haywire. But after a 1/2 hour delay, the worst of the storm had passed, and an hour or two of downpour gave way to a typical British Isles day.
Those that could get through the early holes without too many big mistakes were in good shape to take advantage of the changing conditions, and Kento Yamawaki of Encinitas did just that, firing 3-under 69 to take a one-shot lead into the final round. With a later tee time helping, he birdied the first hole, made five pars, then birdied three holes in a row -- including driving the green on No. 9 -- to finish his first nine in 4-under 32.
Trying to keep the birdies flowing, the former Cal golfer took driver a little too far down the left side of the dogleg par-5 10th hole and found the water. Undaunted, he reteed and hit a safe drive, recording his only real mistake with a double bogey.
Yamawaki righted the ship immediately and got two more birdies coming home before missing a shortish putt on No. 17 and bogeying the very difficult 18th to finish at 3-under 69. He takes a one-shot lead over Hunter Po, a high school senior bound for Columbia next fall. Po also played steady golf most of the day and, like Yamawaki, bogeyed the 18th to shoot 2-under 70.
Two shots back of Po in third place and pacing the Mid-Amateur division is Fidel Rodriguez of Avalon. Rodriguez mudded through the rain the best he could, starting off the back nine. Although he was 4-over after six holes, Rodriguez was smiling at the scoring table. That's because he birdied the 5th hole, then hit 4-iron stiff for eagle on No. 8 before driving the green and two-putt birdieing No. 9. What a finish!
Jim Plotkin of Carlsbad shot 1-under 71 to lead the senior division by two strokes over Kory Frost of Trabuco Canyon and John Haughton of Huntington Beach, while Kristen Lee (Pleasanton) and Shelly Haywood (Huntington Beach) posted 80 to pace the women's division.
ABOUT THE AGC San Diego Amateur
*An SCGA Points Event*
The San Diego Amateur returns to Aviara Golf
Club in Carlsbad. Once again we are going to
treated like pros at one of the best venues in
California, Aviara Golf Club -- as seen on TV
during the LPGA's Kia Classic played in March!
This is a gross competition with Championship and
Senior divisions. There will be no Net division.
Your entry fee includes 2 rounds of golf with
cart, prizes, trophies for division winners, and
opportunity to play a Tour-proven golf course in
competitive setting. Special rates for practice
lodging will be offered.
MID-AM DIVISION: For players age
25-49. 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.
SUPER SENIORS: 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
WOMEN: Will play in the Championship Division but from a shorter
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