Blaine Staggs (AmateurGolf.com Photo)
Blaine Staggs of Carlsbad, Calif., saved his best for last, shooting a 4-under 32 on the back nine to propel to a 5-under total and secure the top spot in the Championship Division of the AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur (North) at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, Calif., by five shots.
Staggs shot a first-round even-par 72, recording three birdies and three bogeys, and then shot a second and final round a bogey-free 5-under 67 to pull away from the field and win by a comfortable margin.
"Typically I don't leaderboard watch until after the front nine, and then I will look to see where I am at," Staggs said. "Whether I need to push it or not, push it or play smart. I was playing with (Michael Gaven), so I knew he had made a few bogeys, and I just made sure I didn't make any mistakes."
The back nine at Aviara is tricky, and a mistake can prove costly, but Staggs birdied Nos. 10, 11, 16, and 17 to give himself some cushion on the difficult No. 18.
"The fairways are pretty firm, so I just squeezed a three-wood down there and got it chasing down the fairway," Staggs said about No. 18. "I had 133 yards out, and the pin was up front with a backstop behind it, so I knew I could be aggressive."
Anna Davis of Spring Valley, Calif., finished in solo second place after recording a second-round 3-under 69 after a first-round 3-over 75. Davis was T10 after the opening round.
"I had a lot of fun out there," Davis said. "It was my second time playing the golf course. It was very tricky and not what I was expecting. I played it a few years back but do not remember it being this hard. I had a good time."
Davis is heading to Auburn University for the upcoming Spring semester. Davis won the 2022 Augusta National Women's Amateur at age 16 and was a 2021 U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team member.
"I have known Anna since she was just a little kid," Staggs said. "I used to work at Singing Hills Country Club, and her parents were members there. I saw where she finished, and I did not want her to beat me, so I didn't have to hear from my friends, 'Why did you let Anna beat you?' so it actually gave me some motivation to finish strong."
Staggs is a loan officer who does residential home loans after playing professional golf for nearly a decade. After struggling to get past the second stage of Q-School, Staggs moved to Arizona and regained his Amateur status to play in other tournaments and maintain his love for the game.
Staggs finished in solo fifth place at the 2022 San Diego City Amateur.
Staggs also finished as the low Mid-Amateur, but since he won the Championship Division, Christopher Derr of Spring Valley, Calif., finished as the low Mid-Amateur at 6-over.
Senior Championship Division
Jeffrey Freeman of Carlsbad, Calif., went wire-to-wire to win the Senior Championship Division with rounds of 70-73 to shoot 1-under. Freeman recorded five birdies and six bogeys.
Jim Plotkin of Carlsbad, Calif., finished in solo second place and two shots back of Freeman at 1-over, and Rick Shlemmer of Manhattan Beach, Calif., finished in solo third place at 2-over.
Barry Soicher of Mill Valley, Calif., and Brian Smyth of North Tustin, Calif., finished T4 at 3-over.
In the Super Senior Division, Bruce Loman of Newport Coast, Calif., finished at the top of the leaderboard, finishing at 8-over, two shots better than runner-up Patrick Rohan of San Diego, Calif., who shot 10-over.
Spencer Sherman started off strong, holing out from the lip of the fairway bunker on No. 1 from 78 yards. A shot that can be flown 40 yards over the green or left in the bunker, Sherman put it on the green and it rolled into the hole for an eagle. Sherman finished in solo 30th place.
Bryan Rosen cracked his driver on Friday and borrowed a rental from the Aviara pro shop. He put his own shaft in it, but snap hooked his first two drives out of bounds. He realized he had not tightened the screw enough and that adjustment showed a huge difference. A reminder to make sure you wait for the click when adjusting your driver.
ABOUT THE AGC San Diego Amateur
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*An SCGA Points Event*
The San Diego Amateur returns to Aviara Golf
Club in Carlsbad. Once again we are going to
treated like pros at one of the best venues in
California, Aviara Golf Club -- as seen on TV
during the LPGA's Kia Classic played in March!
This is a gross competition with
Senior and Net divisions.
Your entry fee includes 2 rounds of golf with
cart, prizes, trophies for division winners, and
opportunity to play a Tour-proven golf course
competitive setting. Special rates for practice
lodging will be offered.
For players aged 16 and over who have a
equivalent index of less than 5.5
For players age 50 and over (as of the
date) with a handicap index of less than 8.0.
Must be 55 and over for NCGA Senior Points.
For players 16 and over with handicap
MID-AM (subdivision of Championship)
For players age
49. Compete alongside the younger players in
Championship Division, (same tees, same
opportunities) and if there are at least six Mid-
separate prize and trophy will be awarded.
SUPER SENIORS (subdivision of Senior)
For players age
65+. Compete alongside the younger senior
Senior Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least six
separate prize and trophy will be awarded for
WOMEN (subdivision of Championship)
Will play in the
from a shorter tee. If there are at least six
the field, a separate prize and trophy will be
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