Lake Merced GC
June 22-27, 2009
June 22, 2009
DALY CITY – Scott Clayton and Sam Smith are tied for the lead after round one of the CGA California State Amateur Championship at Lake Merced.
Clayton, of Arrowhead GCC carded a five-under-par 67. The 21-year-old posted five birdies and two eagles on the 6,812-yard layout. “I had a ton of fun,” Clayton said.
The two-time San Bernadino County Amateur Champion holed an 80-yard lob-wedge on the par-4 17th for eagle but kept a level head as the birdies kept dropping: “It’s nice knowing that it’s 36-hole qualifying for 32 spots. I know once I’m into match play anything can happen.” The UC Riverside senior had never played Lake Merced before Sunday’s practice round and qualified for the championship through a 67 at the Oak Valley qualifying site.
Turlock GCC’s Sam Smith’s 67 was a roller-coaster round. The soon-to-be USC freshman made a hole-in-one on the 184-yard par-3 8th hole with a 6-iron. The 18-year-old dunked it straight in the hole and commented after the round, “I hit the perfect shot.” Smith hit a few other great shots too. He made six birdies during the round, although managed a four-putt for double-bogey on No. 3 and then bogey No. 4.
The 2008 San Francisco City Champion Martin Trainer is tied in third place with past champion Tim Hogarth of Brookside GC at three-under-par 68. Trainer is no stranger to the course having been medalist at U.S. Amateur Sectional Qualifying at Lake Merced two years ago.
It was a good day for former champions. Last year’s champion Nick Delio of Valencia is tied for fifth at three-under-par 69. Two-time winner Casey Boyns (1989 and 1993) fired a two-under-par 70, while 2001 champion Darryl Donovan is at even-par.
Other players of note include Al Geiberger Jr., son of PGA Tour and Ryder Cup veteran Al Geiberger, who carded a two-over-par 74; and Monte Mahan, the father of 2009 U.S. Open sixth place finisher Hunter Mahan, posted an 82.
In the Roger-Lapham Challenge Cup, a North vs. South team competition, the SCGA leads by nine strokes over the NCGA. Aided by five scores under par, the Southern California team carded Delio’s 69 and a three-under-par 69 by Tyler Crawford. The defending champion Northern California team managed two under-par rounds but had to count a three-over-par 75 in the format that takes the best five of six scores.
Last year’s cut after two rounds of stroke play qualifying was four-over-par 140, however, this year, with a stronger field of players and a spell of calm weather in Daly City, players will most likely have to finish under par to advance to match play.
The top 32 players after tomorrow’s final round of qualifying will comprise the match play bracket to compete for the championship.