Seaside, CA—The Golf Channel Amateur Tour held the inaugural Northern California this past weekend on the Bayonet and Blackhorse Courses. The courses and area got rave reviews by the players in the 1st of hopefully many Major Championships to be conducted in Northern California! Bayonet and Blackhorse both proved to be quite challenging layouts in spite of the perfect weather all weekend. The top three finishers and ties from each flight successfully qualified for the 2012 Senior National Championship or the 2012 National Championship.
Paxton Song of Los Altos, CA won the inaugural Northern California Championship, coming from behind to claim the Championship. Song, who was in 3rd place entering the final round, was the only player amazingly to break 80 in the final round on the difficult Bayonet Course. Song fired a two day total of 8-over par 152. Coming in second place was 1st-round leader Hank McCusker of Mendocino, CA. McCusker, who recently qualified for the sectionals of U.S Open, faltered a bit in the final round after opening up with a 1-over par 73. He finished in 2nd place at 10-over par 154. Eric Morgan of Rocklin, CA, playing in the final group on Sunday, finished in 3rd place at 14-over par 158.
In the Palmer Flight It was quite the weekend for Shawn Kim of San Jose, Ca. Kim made an ace in his opening round on Bayonet on the par-three 6th hole and that would propel him to a 1-stroke victory in the event! Kim claimed the Palmer Flight thanks in part to his amazing hole-in-one, winning at 19-over par 163. Coming in second place and tying for the low final round was Anacleto Gonzales of Antioch, CA. Gonzales finished in 2nd place just a stroke back at 20-over par 164. Dave Schneider of Walnut Creek, CA and Chris Cagnolatti of Long Beach, CA each tied for 3rd at 23-over par 167.
The Hogan Flight saw some very close and exciting action over the weekend, with three players tying for the lead after 36-holes at 22-over par 166. Kyle Hashimoto of Acampo, CA (80-86—166), John Usilton of La Mesa, CA (80-86—166) and Brandon Spalding of Fontana, CA (79-87—166) needed extra holes to determine the champion. In the end it was the Northern Californian, Kyle Hashimoto, coming thru with a par on the first playoff hole to claim the inaugural Northern California Championship in the Hogan Flight!
In the Sarazen Flight, two players were able to separate themselves from the field which struggled a bit on the difficult courses at Bayonet & Blackhorse. Terry Kimberling of Alta Loma, CA would go on to win the flight at 28-over par 172. Coming in second place was Rafael Rodriguez of San Mateo, CA. Rodriguez was the only other player to break into the 170’s, finishing at 32-over par 176. Tom Nguyen of Tracy, CA earned a qualifying spot in Nationals by virtue of his 3rd place finish at 36-over par 180.
It was a tough battle in the Jones Flight over the weekend, with four players out of the nine that started all in contention coming down the stretch. Brian Huh of Monterey actually held a 1-stroke lead heading into the final hole. With the pressure on, Sanjay Prasanna of Foster City, CA finished the event like the champion he became, hitting two quality shots and then holing a nice 8-foot birdie putt to claim the Northern California Championship outright at 34-over par 178. Huh would go on to bogey the final hole and finish in 2nd place at 35-over par 179. Donovan McCurdy fired the low final round in the flight, a very nice 84, to finish in 3rd place at 36-over par 180.
In the Snead Flight Jennifer Forsythe of Kirkland, WA overcame a pace of play penalty issued to her group in the final round to win the flight. Forsythe shot identical rounds of 96 to win at 48-over par 192. Finishing in 2nd place was Robert Giedt of Belmont, CA. Giedt finished up at 49-over par 193 and along with Forsythe was the only two players in the flight to shoot scores in the double digits both days. Daniel Wu, fresh off his victory in the Western Masters, finished in 3rd place.
The Senior Palmer Flight saw consistency prevail in a very tight battle at the top of the leaderboard. After 36-holes were completed, Kevin Macgillivray of Palm Springs, CA was tied with Craig Armstrong of Folsom, CA at 12-over par 156. Macgillivray posted rounds of 78-78 heading into the playoff, whereas Armstrong went in after a 74-82 performance. Macgillivray, who was the hottest golfer in the flight on Sunday, went on to win in the playoff and claim his 1st Major Championship on Tour. 1st round leader Pamas Bhatti of Orangevale, CA opened up with a beautiful and low round of the entire tournament, an even-par 72, but fell a bit on Sunday to wind up in 3rd place at 15-over par 159.
In the Senior Hogan Flight Phillip May of Leesville, LA would not be denied, claiming top honors in the flight by two strokes after a very good performance of 26-over par 170. Scott Goedecke of El Cajon, CA would fire the low final round in the flight to tie for 2nd place with the 1st round leader, John Lavaroni of San Andreas, CA. Both Goedecke and Lavaroni were two strokes back of May at 28-over par 172.
In the Senior Sarazen Flight David Spalasso of Castro Valley had a dominating performance, catapulting him to an 8-stroke victory at 26-over par 170. Spalasso played very consistently as well, firing rounds of 85 each day. Divakar Krishnareddy of Huntington Beach, CA wrapped up 2nd place with two scores in the 80’s as well. Krishnareddy finished up at 34-over par 178. Greg Ewald of San Jose, CA was able to finish in 3rd place at 37-over par 181.
The Senior Jones Flight saw two players coming down the stretch with a chance for the win. In the end, it would be Michael Grant of Snoqualmie, WA who would win, wire-to-wire, at 39-over par 183. Charles Voss of Cincinnati, OH would put quite a charge on Grant in the final round, and finished in 2nd place just a stroke back at 40-over par 184. Craig King of Southfield, MI finished in 3rd at 48-over par 192.