Gearhart wins Northern California Public Links
Atascadero resident Jeremy Gearhart may want to play at Poppy Hills a little more often.

On Tuesday, Gearhart, who plays out of Chalk Mountain GC, captured the NCGA Public Links Championship after defeating runner-up Jason Herrera on the first hole (No.1) of a sudden-death playoff.

The event marked the first time that Gearhart, a 39-year-old project manager for MGE Underground, had played Poppy Hills since the course was re-modeled in 2014.

"It feels awesome, I was super stoked to play in my first Public Links," said Gearhart, who placed second back at the 2007 NCGA Amateur. "Today everything was firing on all cylinders and I was able to putt well, which is what you need to play well here."

Gearhart's final round was one for the books. He posted a tourney-low 4-under 67 despite rain and at times strong winds to finish regulation at 1-over 143. Herrera, a 34-year-old accountant from Sacramento, was the first-round leader following a 70.

In the playoff, Herrera's drive faded a bit too far, nearly entering the penalty area. He was able to hit but had a horrible lie. His second shot would fly right deeper into the woods. leading to a double bogey. Gearhart, meanwhile, got on in two, eventually two-putting for a par and the win.

"I hit a bad drive. At least he (the tournament official) was able to find it," Herrera said. "Jeremy's 67 in that weather though...that was pretty good."

The tall, 6-foot-5 Gearhart was a machine in the finale, hitting 17 of 18 greens in regulation while missing only one fairway.

His big push came with a string of three straight birdies from holes No.9 through No.11.

"These are the events you want to win as an NCGA player," Gearhart said. "I have to say a big thank you to the Chalk Mountain men's club for all of their support over the years."

Third place went to Jordan Hashimoto at 145 after a 69.

Results: NCGA PubLinks
1CAJeremy GearhartAtascadero, CA15076-67=143
2CAJason HerreraRio Linda, CA10070-73=143
3CAJordan HashimotoDanville, CA5076-69=145
4CARyan SloaneCampbell, CA5072-74=146
5CAGarett WagnerBrentwood, CA5071-76=147

View full results for NCGA PubLinks


The NCGA Public Links Championship began in 1966 at Spyglass Hill and is the premier event for the public-course player. The tournament has always included a championship flight for players with handicap indexes of 5.4 or less and two handicap divisions for players with no handicap limit. Contestants must be bona fide public course players who do not hold playing privileges in any course from which the general public is excluded.

View Complete Tournament Information

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