Alameda Commuters Championship
May 5, 2014
Jonathan De Los Reyes came back and got his win, while veteran Casey Boyns added yet another Northern California event to his already glittering resume.
De Los Reyes, a redshirt junior at St. Mary’s, shot a final round 5-under 67 Sunday at par-71 Chuck Corica Golf Complex (Earl Fry Course) to wrap up a historic showing at the annual Alameda Commuters Championship.
The 20-year-old didn’t just win the championship by 11 strokes. His four-day total of 18-under 266 (68-67-64-67) tied the tournament record for low score, set by former NorCal amateur great and current PGA Tour member Matt Bettencourt in 2002.
“I was thinking that I had a chance to beat it, especially after Saturday’s third round,” De Los Reyes said. “I think it’s cool to have my name next to Bettencourt. I mean, he’s on the tour. A lot of people told me that winning this championship is a springboard.”
A Northern California native, De Los Reyes was a machine over the event’s two weekends. Over his 72 holes, he had only had three bogeys. Following Saturday’s 64, his lead ballooned to eight strokes.
Just a week prior to opening weekend of the championship, De Los Reyes switched putters. A week before that, he switched his grip, going to an interlock.
Remarkably, neither of the changes affected him a bit.
“I was just doing everything right,” De Los Reyes said. “My consistency and course management fit well with this event.”
Gaels head coach Scott Hardy, who knows De Los Reyes’ game well, said his player’s performance was “unsurprising.” During De Los Reyes’ freshman season, he was the only freshman in the country to make it to the NCAA Division I championship as an individual.
“Jonathan is the real deal,” Hardy simply said. “He’s one of the best amateurs from Northern California who’s out there.”
For De Los Reyes, the championship was a redemption tour. In 2012, he was runner-up to Cal’s Michael Weaver by three strokes. Later that year, Weaver was runner-up at the U.S. Amateur, which earned him a ticket to Augusta National and the Masters in 2013.
“I felt I had a score to settle out there,” De Los Reyes said.
Taking second was Matt Williams at 277 (68-71-68-70). Four players, including recent NCGA Public Links champion Austin Roberts and Cal-bound Sebastian Crampton, finished T-3 at 280. Crampton, currently a senior at Stevenson School in Pebble Beach, shot 66-68 over the final weekend.
While De Los Reyes got his win, so too did Boyns. The California Golf Hall of Famer hung steady with a final round 72 to knock off Gary Vanier by a stroke in the 36-hole Senior Championship.
For Boyns, who finished at 2-under 140, the win was also special. His cousin, Bob Berg, won the Commuters title in 1973.
“It means a lot to me,” said Boyns, who lives in Monterey. “He (Berg) won his title and has his name on the regular championship trophy.I’ll get my name on the other.”
Things didn’t look so good for Boyns nearly midway through Sunday’s finale. Having started on the back-nine, when he reached the par-3 4th he trailed Vanier by one. On No.4, Vanier stuck his tee shot to within seven feet of the flagstick and made birdie. Boyns, on the other hand, watched as his tee shot sailed left of the green, hitting the cart path for extra measure.
But somehow, Boyns flew a perfect 30-yard wedge from a nasty lie to within a few feet of the pin.He’d make his putt for a sensational up and down and walked away from the hole only trailing by two instead of three or more.
“That ended up being huge,” Boyns said. “If I don’t get up and down it’s a two shot swing in Gary’s favor there.”
Still trailing by two, on No.8 Boyns made another par, while Vanier hit his second shot long left into iceplant, leading to a double-bogey. Suddenly all even, on the 9th Boyns made yet another par, while Vanier hit his approach into the greenside bunker leading to a another bogey and a final round 73. A three-time winner of the regular championship, Vanier finished second at 1-under 141.
“Even as a senior, you always learn something out there,” Boyns said. “A lot of big people have won this event. I’m happy to have my name on the list.”