96th California State Amateur Championship
Monterey Peninsula CC June 18 – 23
June 20, 2007
PEBBLE BEACH – For the top two seeds of the California State Amateur, the hard truth of match play reared its ugly head at the Monterey Peninsula CC Shore Course.
Eddie Olson will play Cody Slover in the second round.
Cody Slover defeated Eric Mina 3 and 1 in the first round
Medalist Blake Trimble succumbed to John McClure 4 and 3, perpetuating the “medalist jinx” that has held true for more than 12 years at the Amateur (Steve Woods being the last medalist to capture the championship in 1994). Second-seed Brett Kanda also fell to Josh Anderson 4 and 2.
The three and four seeds both advanced, but not without early struggles. Eddie Olson took out James Erkenbeck, but had to win the last four holes to overcome a two-hole deficit. “I hung in there, but I was never able to build momentum,” the 2005 NCGA Amateur champion said. “It was a great feeling to come back after not playing that well.” After a par on 15, the UNLV sophomore birdied his last three holes to win 2-up.
Tim Honeycutt, the four seed, also had to come from behind. After beginning his match four-down to Robert Funk, the rising high school senior went on a tear, going six-under-par over the last 12 holes of the match to win 3 and 2. “I focused on my posture, and then I started giving myself opportunities for birdies,” the club champion at Cold Springs GCC said regarding his turnaround. Honeycutt faces one of the most experienced players in the field in the second round, Jeff Wilson of Suisun. Wilson has played in numerous USGA championships, and is a former NCGA Four-Ball champion. Wilson’s 8 and 7 trouncing of Todd Strible of San Marcos featured four birdies from the winner before the match ended on the 11th hole.
The match of the day was a hard-fought battle between cagey veterans Casey Boyns and Jon Dechambeau. The match extended to 19 holes before Boyns came out on top. “This is the best state am match I’ve ever had,” the two-time State Am champion said. “It just came down to who made the last putt. I told Jon it was a game of touché. It was one of the best sword fights ever.” Indeed, the match featured 12 halved holes and neither competitor was able to establish a lead larger than 1-up.
Other Northern Californians advancing include Cody Slover of Visalia, Justin Estrada of Yuba City and Gregor Main of Danville. One round of match play is scheduled for Thursday, the quarter and semifinals are set for Friday, and the scheduled 36-hole final will take place Saturday.