AGC San Diego Amateur: Michael Gaven takes large first round lead
18 Dec 2023
by Justin Golba of

see also: View results for AGC San Diego Amateur, Aviara Golf Club

Michael Gaven ( Photo)
Michael Gaven ( Photo)

Michael Gaven of Sherman Oaks, Calif., knew that if he stuck to his process and preparation, he could record a good score in the first round at the 2023 San Diego Amateur (North), presented by Callaway Golf at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif.

He did exactly that and shot a 4-under 68 to lead the Championship Division by four shots.

"I am familiar with the fast greens, and they were rolling amazingly today," Gaven said. "I just wanted to go out and stick to my process. Visualization was a big thing for me. Seeing the ball flying, rolling, and landing."

Gaven added, "I knew if I could go out and keep it consistent and keep my process repetitive, then I would be able to find a groove and stick to it."

Gaven plays his home golf at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif., and related those greens to the ones at Aviara and said that helped him throughout the round.

"I feel like I knew the greens well and had a good feel with them," Gaven said.

CJ Hambrick of San Diego, Calif., Blaine Staggs of Carlsbad, Calif., and Jonathan Lewis of Yorba Linda, Calif., are all tied in second place at even-par. Ryan Hartanto of San Diego, Calif., is in solo fifth place at 1-over. 

Anna Davis of Spring Valley, Calif., is T10 after a round of 3-over 75. Davis is heading to Auburn University in the Spring. Davis won the 2022 Augusta National Women's Amateur at age 16 and was a 2021 U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team member.

Gaven did not play varsity golf in college, as he played on the University of Colorado Boulder club team.

Now, Gaven has 18 more holes in between him and a December championship. 

"I would like to do exactly what I did today," Gaven said about his approach to the final round. "As long as I can stick to my shot process, get consistent, and get into a groove, I think I stand a good chance."

Senior Championship Division

Jeffrey Freeman of Carlsbad, Calif., leads the Senior Championship Division after a 2-under 70 and joins Gaven as the only two golfers to shoot under par in the first round. Freeman was a part of the first group on the course and recorded two birdies and an eagle on the front nine. He bogeyed two holes on the back nine to finish 2-under.

Rick Shlemmer of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Brian Smyth of North Tustin, Calif., are T2 at 1-over and three shots back of Freeman. Jim Plotkin of Carlsbad, Calif., and Kirk Stark of Studio City, Calif., are T4 at 2-over. 


Results: AGC San Diego Amateur
1CABlaine StaggsCarlsbad, CA7572-67=139
2CAAnna DavisSpring Valley, CA5075-69=144
3CAMichael GavenSherman Oaks, CA2568-78=146
4AZTyler GeraceScottsdale, AZ2574-73=147
T5CANathan TsengFullerton, CA2574-74=148

View full results for AGC San Diego Amateur

ABOUT THE AGC San Diego Amateur


*An SCGA Points Event*

The San Diego Amateur returns to Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad. Once again we are going to be treated like pros at one of the best venues in Southern California, Aviara Golf Club -- as seen on TV during the LPGA's Kia Classic played in March!

This is a gross competition with Championship, Senior and Net divisions.

Your entry fee includes 2 rounds of golf with cart, prizes, trophies for division winners, and the opportunity to play a Tour-proven golf course in a competitive setting. Special rates for practice rounds and lodging will be offered.


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 and 18.0.

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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6965 El Camino Real 105-631
Carlsbad, CA 92009

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