A birdie on the last lifts Willy Walsh to the Silicon Valley Amateur title
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
Chris Goin Mid-Amateur champion 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."
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:
ABOUT THE AGC Silicon Valley Amateur
The Silicon Valley Amateur is the first
tournament to have, on its past winner's list, a
champion. That would be Collin Morikawa, who won
. Just over four years later, he won
Championship just up the road at TPC Harding Park
in San Francisco. Multiple PGA Tour star and
fellow 2023 USA Ryder Cup team member Max Homa
also won the
For 2024, the tournament is moving to a new venue
Stanford University Golf Course. Tournament players
will relish competing at a course normally reserved
university students and faculty. Please note that
play on Monday and Tuesday, and expect this event
fill very quickly.
Related: The road to PGA stardom for Homa
and Morikawa went through the Silicon Valley
For players aged 16 and over who have a USGA or
equivalent index of less than 5.5
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
49. Compete alongside the younger players in the
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least six Mid-Ams,
separate prize and trophy will be awarded.
SUPER SENIORS (subdivision of Senior)
For players age
65+. Compete alongside the younger senior players
Senior Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least six players 65
separate prize and trophy will be awarded for low
WOMEN (subdivision of Championship)
Will play in the
from a shorter tee. If there are at least six women in
the field, a separate prize and trophy will be
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