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Willy Walsh takes first round lead at AmateurGolf.com's Silicon Valley Amateur
Baylands Golf Links in Palo Alto yields its fair share of birdies under normal conditions and recent rains in the Bay Area left the friendly course virtually defenseless on Saturday in the first round of AmateurGolf.com's Silicon Valley Amateur presented by Callaway Golf.

Three Bay Area high school standouts along with a 36-year-old mid-amateur hold down the top four spots on the leaderboard after taking advantage of the driver-friendly, soft golf course in the shadows of Stanford University on Saturday.

After carding a first-round 66, Willy Walsh, a senior at Serra High School in San Mateo, holds a one-stroke lead over Tamalpais High School senior Niall Shield Donegan and Bay Area mid-am veteran Chris Goin, who matched 5-under rounds of 65. Donegan's Tam teammate, Ben Friedman, is just two back after opening with a 4-under 68.

Walsh, the son of longtime Serra football coach Patrick Walsh, had seven birdies and just one bogey on his Saturday card for an easy 66.

RELATED:
The road to PGA stardom for Homa and Morikawa went through the Silicon Valley Amateur


"The greens were amazing and if you hit a good putt, chances are it was going to go in," said Walsh. "The course was a little soft due to the weather but in really good shape."

Donegan birdied two of his first three holes but was stalled at 1-under through 12. However, the Northwestern commit finished like a ball of fire with birdies on four of his last six holes for an inward nine of 31 and a round of 67.

Goin, of Alameda, reached the semifinals of last year's San Francisco City Championship. Today he used six birdies to offset his only bogey of the day on the 17th hole en route to a 67. Goin has had success at Baylands, where he won last year's Palo Alto City Championship.

Defending champ Dan O'Connor leads seniors with a 4-under 68. Sean Crowley of Littleton, Colorado is two shots back after posting 70.

The field may have to deal with Mother Nature in tomorrow's final round, as rain is expected in the Palo Alto area in the late morning. The tournament committee changed the start from tee times to an 8:30 am shotgun to give everyone the best chance of getting in before the rain.

Results: AGC Silicon Valley Amateur
1CAWilliam WalshSan Mateo, CA15066-68=134
2CANiall Shiels DoneganMill Valley, CA10067-68=135
T3CAMitchell HoeyAlamo, CA5072-67=139
T3CABrandon KnightPleasanton, CA5072-67=139
T3CAJoshua KimLa Palma, CA5070-69=139

View full results for AGC Silicon Valley Amateur

ABOUT THE AGC Silicon Valley Amateur

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The Silicon Valley Amateur is the first AmateurGolf.com tournament to have, on its past winner's list, a MAJOR champion. That would be Collin Morikawa, who won the 2016 title. Just over four years later, he won the PGA Championship just up the road at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Multiple PGA Tour star and Morikawa's fellow 2023 USA Ryder Cup team member Max Homa also won the Silicon Valley Amateur in 2011.

For 2024, the tournament is moving to a new venue -- Stanford University Golf Course. Tournament players will relish competing at a course normally reserved for university students and faculty. Please note that we will play on Monday and Tuesday, and expect this event will fill very quickly.

Related: The road to PGA stardom for Homa and Morikawa went through the Silicon Valley Amateur

DIVISIONS

CHAMPIONSHIP
For players aged 16 and over who have a USGA or equivalent index of less than 5.5

SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
For players age 50 and over (as of the tournament date) with a handicap index of less than 8.0. Note: Must be 55 and over for NCGA Senior Points.

MID-AM (subdivision of Championship)
For players age 25- 49. Compete alongside the younger players in the Championship Division, (same tees, same prize opportunities) and if there are at least six Mid-Ams, a separate prize and trophy will be awarded.

SUPER SENIORS (subdivision of Senior)
For players age 65+. Compete alongside the younger senior players in the Senior Division, (same tees, same prize opportunities) and if there are at least six players 65 or over, a separate prize and trophy will be awarded for low super senior.

WOMEN (subdivision of Championship)
Will play in the Championship Division but from a shorter tee. If there are at least six women in the field, a separate prize and trophy will be awarded.

View Complete Tournament Information

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