San Diego Am champ Kento Yamawaki (right) with
Mid-Am champ Fidel Rodriguez (AmateurGolf.com photo)
Kento Yamawaki of Encinitas, Calif. posted rounds of 69-71 (4-under) to win the AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur (North) at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.
It was the second-straight subpar round for Yamawaki, a former Cal Bear golfer who plans to turn professional and try to qualify for the Canadian PGA Tour after a few more winter warm-up amateur events. If he needs a strong finish down the stretch during the qualifier, Yamawaki can draw on today's close for confidence.
With co-defending champ Ben Soicher of Mill Valley getting to 2-over on the tournament by playing nearly flawless golf, and Elliot Bunyaviroch of San Francisco birdieing three of the last four holes, Yamawaki needed at least one birdie coming in to avoid a playoff. He did one better, first by making a birdie on No. 16 for the second-straight day, and then by hitting a driver and hybrid to 15 feet on No. 17 for a two-putt birdie.
But the 18th hole at Aviara has ruined many rounds. Not for Yamawaki, who split the middle with a hybrid off the tee and safely found the left side of the green with his approach. Two putts later, the title stayed in San Diego County rather than heading up North with Soicher or Bunyaviroch.
With Bunyarovich and Soicher sharing second, it was high school senior and Columbia-bound lefty Hunter Po finishing fourth. In fifth, and taking the Mid-Am title, was Avalon (Catalina Island) resident Fidel Rodriguez.
"The course I played growing up didn't have a range," joked Rodriguez after the round. "So I had to go out at dusk and practice on the course."
Jim Plotkin (R) with Brian Smyth (AG photo)
Carlsbad resident Jim Plotkin, playing in his backyard, took three extra holes to defeat Brian Smyth of Tustin after both players finished the 36-hole even at a very respectable even-par. Smyth, who just turned 50 and is trying his hand at senior golf, found the hazard on the par-3 11th hole after both players tied the 18th and 10th holes with par.
Bruce Loman (AG photo)
Finishing third in the senior was Kory Frost of Trabuco Canyon (a single shot out of the playoff), while Geoff Park of Oceanside shot 3-over 147 to take solo fourth place. Taking home the Super-Senior crown was Bruce Loman of Newport Coast. After opening with an 83, Loman matched his age of 73 in the second round. That's no easy feat at Aviara. He finished three shots ahead of Patrick Rohan (who came within two shots of his age with a 74) of San Diego and Ray Kong of San Jose.
Kristen Lee (AG photo)
There were also five women in the tournament, enough for a separate division and trophy, which Kristen Lee of Pleasanton took home. The former Chapman University golfer posted 80-81, three shots lower than Shelly Haywood of Huntington Beach.
The AmateurGolf.com winter tour series continues this weekend with the Winter Invitational at Corica Park in Alameda, Calif.
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,
Senior, and Women's divisions.
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
View Complete Tournament Information