96th California State Amateur Championship
Monterey Peninsula CC June 18 – 23
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Match Play Scorecards – Semifinals
Match Play Scorecards – Quarterfinals
Match Play Scorecards – Thursday
Match Play Bracket
Thursday’s Match Play Coverage
Wednesday’s Match Play Coverage
First and Second Round Coverage
California State Amateur website
June 22, 2007
PEBBLE BEACH – Josh Anderson and Joseph Greiner provided fireworks at the State Amateur championship all week and fittingly are the last two standing.
CGA State Amateur finalist Joseph Greiner
Anderson holed a miraculous shot from 110 yards on No. 18 in his semifinal match Friday against Sihwan Kim to keep his chances alive at Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Shore Course, while Greiner challenged the course record and turned heads with his birdie barrages.
Clutch play in playoffs and extra holes have propelled Anderson since the start of the championship. Birdies on two of his last three holes in stroke-play qualifying placed him in a 10-player playoff for match play. Earning the 31st seed did not derail him from easily reaching the quarterfinals. His Friday morning match proved to be more difficult as he was pitted against two-time State Amateur champion and local favorite Casey Boyns.
Down by three after the 11th hole, Boyns was able to square the match by winning three straight holes. On the first extra hole, the Pebble Beach caddie had a clear advantage, reaching the Shore Course’s first in two shots while Anderson was in the tall grass short and left of the green. Anderson chopped out to two feet for a conceded birdie while Boyns was unable to two putt, giving the match to Anderson.
It seemed as if the tables would turn on Anderson in his semifinal match when Kim grabbed an advantage (his first of the day) on No. 17 with a birdie. The short-lived lead set up one of the best shots in the State Amateur’s glorified history. Sitting in the fairway a little more than 100 yards away with Kim’s approach safely on the green, Anderson knew he needed a birdie to survive. The putter stayed in the bag as Anderson’s wedge hit seven feet past the hole and rolled back into the cup for an eagle-two.
“I executed the shot perfectly,” explained Anderson. “I saw in the morning round that anything right of the hole with good distance would end up very close. I was aiming right of the flagstick and hit it exactly where I wanted to.”
Anderson headed to the playoff with all of the momentum. Respective pars and ensuing drives down the middle of the fairway of No. 2 set up another opportunity for the Murrieta resident to showcase his spectacular wedge game. The 18-year-old hit a smooth wedge to two feet to raise the stakes. Kim’s two-putt par was not enough to extend the match.
“Kim is a great player,” explained the rising freshman at Pepperdine. “I know his game and I understand how to play well against him.”
Kim is no stranger to the big stage in Northern California. The SCGA member won the U.S. Junior at The Olympic Club in 2004 and will take his talents to the national champion Stanford University Cardinal golf team in the fall. Kim advanced to the semifinals by upending UNLV’s Eddie Olson on No. 17 Friday morning. Olson, 2005 NCGA Amateur champion, enjoyed his best showing in the event but wasn’t able to hole enough putts to advance.
Rounding out the finals is Greiner who has holed more putts than anyone in the field this week. The 20-year old has enjoyed a torrid birdie run on the Shore course since the start of match play. The College of Canyons student posted a near perfect front-nine 28 in his second round match against Gregor Main. Having never played the course before Sunday’s practice round or a match play event, Greiner remarkably notched 17 birdies while advancing past the opening two rounds of match play.
“I am feeling really good,” said Greiner. “I am putting extremely well and when I give myself birdie opportunities I believe I can make them. The greens are perfect out here – there are no bumps and that has allowed me to make a lot of putts this week,”
Semifinalist John McClure
Semifinalist Sihwan Kim
Even with a hot putter, Greiner was all square at the turn in his semifinal match with John McClure. Both players posted front nine 32s, including near holes-in-one on No. 9 in an impressive battle of who could hit the ball closer to the hole. The par-4 second was the only hole not birdied by one of the two on the front nine.”I made a handful of birdies (Nos. 3,4,5,7 and 9) and I was only even,” explained Greiner. “John didn’t make any mistakes and I had to raise my level of play.”
The Saugus resident needed a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-5 sixteenth from the fringe to match McClure’s 4. It looked as if McClure would win the hole after a two-putt birdie but Greiner calmly stroked the uphill putt into the back of the cup. Closing pars on Nos. 17 and 18 lead to a Greiner birdie on the 19th hole and date with Anderson in the finals.
The 36-hole finals start tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. Live scoring will be provided throughout the finals at ncga.org.