From left, Charles Richesin, Terry Foreman, and Weston Payne
For many reasons, golf is a beautiful sport. However, one of the top ones is that age is only a number, and anyone can compete if they have the goods.
Weston Payne, 34, and Joshua Wang, 16, battled in the Championship Division, and Terry Foreman, 66, and Charles Richesin, 74, battled in the Senior Division in the 2023 Christmas Classic at Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey, Calif.
In the end, Payne bested Wang by one shot, while Foreman and Richesin needed a playoff to decide their division. After two playoff holes, Foreman won after a Richesin bogey.
Weston Payne of Berkeley, Calif., shot a 6-under 66 in the final round to propel up the leaderboard and finish 7-under, one shot better than first-round leader Joshua Wang of Palo Alto, Calif. Wang shot a final round 1-over 73 after a stellar opening round 7-under 65.
Payne is another familiar face to AmateurGolf.com tournaments, as he finished second in the 2020 Christmas Classic and won the 2021 Silicon Valley Amateur. Funny enough, he also birdied No. 18 in that tournament to win.
He finished runner-up in the 2021 California Amateur and in solo third place at the NCGA Mid-Amateur.
Payne knew he was battling a tight leaderboard, and after he missed a short birdie putt on No. 17, he thought he was out of contention.
"I didn't think that I had a chance, honestly," Payne said. "I missed a short putt for birdie on No. 17, and even though I hit one close on No. 18, I was chasing."
However, after a birdie by Payne on the tough par-4 No. 18, Wang made a double bogey on the par-5 No. 17 after going for the par-5 in two shots, and his approach shot landed out of bounds. The Palo Alto High School junior quickly went from one shot ahead of Payne to one shot back. A par on No. 18 by Wang secured the win for Payne.
"I was very attentive once I saw he doubled (bogey) No. 17, and I knew No. 18 was playing tough with where the pin was, I knew it would be a tough birdie," Payne said. "It was pretty impressive for a kid that age to play like that, especially on day one, as fast as the greens were."
Payne added, "This was the best shape I have ever seen this golf course."
Payne has been working on his short game, and he knew he would have some birdie opportunities with a short par-4 and four reachable par-5 on this layout.
"I have been working really hard on my short game, and there are just a lot of opportunities to get up and down for birdies out here," Payne said.
Richesin and Foreman
Austin Wang of Danville, Calif., finished in solo third place at 3-under.
In the Senior Championship Division, Terry Foreman of Brentwood, Calif., defeated longtime competitor Charles Richesin of Lodi, Calif., on the second playoff hole after they both finished 2-over. Foreman got off to a slow start, playing his first seven holes at 3-over. However, he got the train back on track and finished the last 11 holes at 2-under.
Foreman made a birdie on No. 17 to tie Richesin as he made a par. Both made a par on No. 18 to force the playoff.
Foreman went wire-to-wire for the win, shooting an opening round 1-over 73 and a final round 1-over 73.
"It's a great game," Foreman said. "I played all sports growing up and golf exceeds any other sport that I played, by far."
Foreman is a former European tour member and a staple in California Senior events. Foreman recently finished in solo second place at the NCGA Senior Amateur.
Foreman also had a cheering gallery, as his wife was on hand to watch the win.
"I love having her here," Foreman said. "She's earning the game, and I really wanted to win with her being here so she could see that. She is very happy."
In the Net Division, Sherri Suto of San Francisco, Calif., went wire-to-wire with a five-shot win, finishing even par after a final round 2-over 74.
Reid Buzby of San Francisco, Calif., finished as the Low Mid-Amateur at 2-under. Payne was also a Mid-Amateur, but he was ineligible since he won the Championship Division.
ABOUT THE AGC Christmas Classic
>> TOUR PORTAL | PHOTO GALLERY
The Christmas Classic was
founded by 2-time
California State Amateur Champion Casey
Boyns over 20 years ago and it always
a great field. This is our most popular event,
and year in and year out it sells out. Field
limited to 104 players; Championship, Senior,
and Net divisions.
Your entry fee includes two rounds of
(cart at players expense), $4500 in
Callaway Golf certificate prizes,
$20 lunch certificate,
weekend at one of the Monterey Peninsula's
wonderful classic courses, "Old" Del Monte.
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.
For players 16 and over with handicap between 5.5
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,
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 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. Net players will
play in the Net Division but from a shorter tee.
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