Down to 16 players and 3 days left till the 2010 champion will be crowned after a tough stretch of two matches on Thursday to get down to 4 players, semi finals on Friday and a 36 hole final on Sat. With this schedule I have chosen rest over practice between rounds.

I had a spirited match today with a fine young man E.J. Kahn a collegiate golfer at USF in SF. I got off to a very poor start today and was lucky not to be 4 down after 4 holes. I made an ugly bogey to start on #1 followed by a putt of about 10 feet for a tying bogey on #2, another long putt for par on 3 to halve, and another ugly bogey at #4. At this point I needed to make some changes and tried the ball and hat switch. My son was wearing my Olympic Hat, I had the Whisper Rock hat….the switch seemed to make a huge difference as I birdied the tough 5 hole and played under par golf from that point on. Sometimes when things aren’t going right, make a change and see what happens.

One crazy hole was the par 5 fifth hole which plays about 600 yards long. After a good tee shot I chunk hooked a rescue into the left rough leaving about 120 yards to the pin. The 3rd shot was downwind so I chose a 54 degree sand wedge, which I proceeded to bleed right and onto the steep slope of the bunker 6 inches from going into the bunker. The problem was I had to stand in the bunker about 4 feet below my ball. I dug in and pull hooked a chip shot that was rolling perfectly at the hole, caught the high side of the lip, which accelerated  the ball which slowly rolled off the front of the green. This chip went from going into the hole, or less than a foot away for par, to lipping out low and rolling off the green. It’s amazing how you seem to see more of the crazy golf stuff in match play than you see in stroke play. I enjoyed EJ competitive spirit and wish him the best.

Tomorrow it’s yet another youngster for me to battle with. I’m sure it will be fun, and I look forward to playing this awesome course each and every day. Tomorrow I hope to par the 1st hole for the first time in the tournament, as a good start is going to be key to this match. More later and results below copied off the NCGA website. Stay tuned

June 21-26, 2010
Rancho Santa Fe GC & La Jolla CC


June 23, 2010 — Age was certainly just a number during the Round of 32, as both medalists, as well as 1991 California State Amateur champion Harry Rudolph III, advanced to the Round of 16 at the 99th California State Amateur Championship at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.

In one of the bigger matches of the day, Rudolph, 40 and the No. 5 seed, took down defending champion and 28-seed Geoff Gonzalez of Diablo, a 22-year-old Cal Poly San Luis Obispo golfer, 4 and 2.

Co-medalist Scott Almquist, 45, of Coto de Caza, the No. 1 seed, advanced against Sam Yi, 18, of Northridge, 2 and 1. The No. 2 seed and other co-medalist, Kevin Fitzgerald of Riverside, took out Canyon Lake’s Robert Funk, 45, with a margin of 3 and 2. Both will attempt to follow in Gonzalez’ footsteps of becoming the next California State Amateur medalist-champion.

The field’s oldest player, four-time NCGA Player of the Year Randy Haag of Burlingame, 51 and the No. 11 seed, took out 21-year-old EJ Kahn of Los Angeles, a golfer for the University of San Francisco.

In other matches:

No. 17 seed Spencer Fletcher of Los Altos, 20, defeated No. 16-seed Jason Bittick, 42, of Ladera Ranch in the biggest margin of the day — 5 and 4. On the eighth hole, Fletcher chipped in for birdie-3, what spectators noted seemed to be the turning point of the match.

No. 8 seed Kevin Marsh, 37, of Henderson, Nev., defeated No. 25-seed Dan Jennings, 38, of Los Angeles, 3 and 2. While the match was all square for the first five holes, Marsh, the 2009 Stocker Cup champion, increased his lead after going 1-up on the eighth hole. Marsh is a two-time SCGA Amateur champion and past U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.

No. 9 seed Taylor Travis, 19, of Fremont, defeated No. 24 seed Pete Fernandez, Jr., 18, of Bakersfield, 2 and 1. Travis is a two-time NCGA Four-Ball champion.

No. 29 seed Estanislao Guerrero, 24, of San Diego defeated No. 4 seed and UC Davis golfer Eric Mina, 21, of Fremont, in 20 holes. Guerrero is the 2010 Southwestern Amateur champion. Down for the entire match, Mina made a run and won holes 16-18, thanks to a birdie along with two bogeys from Guerrero to square the match, but bogeyed the 20th hole to give Guerrero the win.

No. 13 seed Justin Warthen, 25, of Arroyo Grande defeated No. 20 seed Jonny Baxter, 19, of Pleasanton, 3 and 2. Warthen had brother and professional golfer Josh Warthen on the bag.

No. 17 seed Anton Arboleda, 17, of La Canada, defeated No. 21 seed John Kollus, 31, of San Diego, in 19 holes. Arboleda is the youngest contestant left in the field, and the 2010 AJGA Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic champion.

No. 15 seed Michael Drake, 22, of Fontana and Long Beach State, defeated No. 18 seed Scott Clayton, 22, of San Bernardino, in 20 holes. Drake, a stand-by alternate who got into the field on Monday morning, won last week’s Long Beach City Match Play Championship.

No. 7 seed Grant Norton, 22, of Rancho Murieta, defeated No. 26 seed Kevin Dougherty, 19, of Murrieta, 4 and 3. Dougherty, a golfer at Oklahoma State, won the 2009 CIF-Southern Regional and State championships.

No. 10 seed Tyler Crawford, 36, of Rancho Mirage, defeated No. 23 seed Josh Dupont, 21, of Poway, 5 and 3. With a 1-up lead on the sixth hole, Crawford built up his lead and was never behind in the match.

No. 30 seed Matt Williams, 19, of San Jose, defeated No. 3 seed Todd Pieri, 34, of Simi Valley, 1 up. Williams was a quarterfinalist at the 2009 NCGA Match Play Championship.

No. 19 seed Scott Travers, 21, of Trabuco Canyon, defeated No. 14 seed Maximilian Greil, 22, of Irvine, 5 and 4.

No. 20 seed Jake Johnson, 20, of Cameron Park, defeated No. 6 seed Patrick Cantlay, 17, of Los Alamitos. Cantlay is the 2010 CIF-State High School Boys champion.

The Round of 16 will commence tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Pairings are as follows:

7:30 a.m.: Almquist (1) vs. Fletcher (17)

7:40 a.m.: Marsh (8) vs. Travis (9)

7:50 a.m.: Guerrero (29) vs. Warthen (13)

8:00 a.m.: Rudolph (5) vs. Arboleda (12)

8:10 a.m.: Fitzgerald (2) vs. Drake (15)

8:20 a.m.: Norton (7) vs. Crawford (10)

8:30 a.m.: Williams (30) vs. Travers (19)

8:40 a.m.: Johnson (27) vs. Haag (11)

The 1st hole at Rancho Sante Fe

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