A birdie on the last lifts Willy Walsh to the Silicon Valley Amateur title
26 Feb 2023
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for AGC Silicon Valley Amateur, Baylands Golf Links, William Walsh Rankings

Willy Walsh
Willy Walsh

In a battle of two of the Bay Area's top high school players, Willy Walsh and Niall Shiels Donegan went head-to-head over the last round of AmateurGolf.com's Silicon Valley Amateur that went down to the wire at Baylands Golf Links in Palo Alto, Calif.

The golf was exquisite, as both players shot 4-under rounds of 68 and it wasn't until Walsh, a senior at Serra High School in nearby San Mateo, made a birdie on the par-5 18th hole that the title was decided.

In what quickly turned into a match-play final, Walsh and Donegan matched scorecards with six birdies and two bogeys. Donegan, a senior at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley who will attend Northwestern next fall, pulled even with Walsh at 9-under with a birdie on the par-3 17th hole but Walsh answered quickly with a deciding birdie on the last.

Senior Division champion Daniel O'Connor
"I didn't hit it as well as yesterday and it was kind of a battle for 18 holes but I stayed in it mentally," said Walsh. "It helped Niall was playing so well because he was forcing me to make every single putt."

With the win, Walsh joins a list of past champions which includes PGA Tour stars Max Homa and Collin Morikawa.

For Donegan, it marks his second consecutive runner-up finish after he finished one back of Edan Cui at the Pacific Grove (Calif.) City Championship last weekend.

Mid-Amateur champion Chris Goin
Chris Goin, a 36-year-old mid-amateur who started the day just one off the pace, shot a final even round 72 to drop into a four-way tie for third with Mitchell Hoey, Brandon Knight and Joshua Kim.

"It was an interesting round," said Goin, who was the low mid-amateur in the field. "The weather finally showed up and the wind was in the opposite direction. It was challenging on the front and the back nine really dug in and showed its teeth at the end."

Daniel O'Connor turned in rounds of 68-74 to earn a three-shot victory over Chris Hyland in the senior division.

"Today was quite a bit tougher than yesterday," said O'Connor. "The wind was quite a bit stiffer than yesterday and it was a lot colder, for sure. I struggled on the first nine with four bogeys and a birdie but managed to make three birdies in a row to start my back nine which settled me down a bit."

Photo gallery from the 2023 Silicon Valley Amateur:
2023 AmateurGolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur

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


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 4 years later, he won the PGA Championship just up the road at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Rising PGA Tour star Max Homa also won the Silicon Valley Amateur in 2011.

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

2021 marked the announcement of Baylands Golf Links as the tournament's new host venue. And wow, did players enjoy it. It's location in Palo Alto is fitting -- as the original garage where Hewlett Packard was founded is located there, and today's biggest tech companies dot the area map like the Canadian Geese on the fairways and wetlands near Baylands in the winter. Like Corica Park in Alameda, Baylands was recently completely redesigned as a new course from the dirt up, under the hand of architect Forrest Richardson, and the results are stunning.

This is a gross competition with Championship, Senior and Women's divisions. There will be no Net division.

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 10 Mid-Ams, a separate prize and trophy will be awarded.

For players age 65+. Compete alongside the younger players in the Senior Division, (same tees, same prize opportunities) and a separate prize and trophy will be awarded for low super senior.

View Complete Tournament Information

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