The SCGA conducts both qualifying and championship play for the California Golf Association. The CGA is a joint association of both the Southern California and Northern California Golf Association staffs and Board Members. Players may compete in the California State Amateur or CGA Senior Amateur Championships as determined by their age and current index.
California State Amateur Championship
The California State Amateur Championship is one of the nation’s oldest state amateur golf championships. The championship originated in 1912 and was held at Pebble Beach Golf Links from 1919 until 2006. In 2007 the CGA broadened the scope of this prestigious championship by rotating the weeklong event to selected courses throughout the state. Players must have an index of 4.4 or less and may attempt to qualify at any location in the state. The championship consists of 156 players who will play 36-holes of stroke play to determine the 32 player match play field. The final match is played over 36 holes.
He has a prolific resume, including two SCGA Amateur Championships and a USGA Mid-Am Championship, but when Kevin Marsh claimed the 101st California Amateur Championship Saturday afternoon in his hometown of Santa Barbara, it quickly climbed towards the top of his list of memorable moments.
"I've been lucky enough to win a lot of golf tournaments, but this one is right up there as good as any of them," said Marsh, as he addressed a crowd of more than 100 people during the award ceremony.
Marsh defeated Ben Geyer of Arbuckle, Calif. 4 & 3 in the 36-hole final of the six-day tournament, winning his first state title. Marsh blazed the La Cumbre CC course with eight birdies and one eagle in 33 holes, while putting on a putting clinic for the gallery of almost 200 locals, who were dedicated to cheering on their hometown hero.
In that gallery was past champion John Pate, who while watching Marsh's performance, "I've played with a lot of pros, and the best putters I've ever seen are Loren Roberts, Tiger Woods and Kevin Marsh."
Marsh and Geyer battled it out through the first 18 holes, with Marsh flirting between a one and two stroke advantage for most of the initial round. Marsh extended that lead to 4 up through 25 holes, but Geyer, who had pulled out four come-from-behind victories already this week, cut the lead in half after hole 28. On the 31st hole of the match, however, with the advantage back to 3 up, Marsh made the shot of the tournament, draining a 40-ft breaking putt to basically put the match out of Geyer's reach. Two holes later, it was over.
"Kevin capitalized when he needed to," said Geyer. "It was a great learning experience. Obviously coming into today anything but a win would be disappointing, but Kevin played really well, and it was a great week."
Geyer and Marsh got to know each other pretty well earlier in the week, as the two were in the same pairing during the stroke play portion of the championship. The final match was extremely friendly, with the two competitors congratulating their opponent every chance they got.
Geyer didn't make it easy on himself Friday, going to extra holes in both his quarterfinal and semifinal matches, playing a combined 42 holes on the day. While he admitted his legs "weren't feeling great" today, he also said it didn't affect his game.
Marsh is the third-straight SCGA player to win the state title, and seventh in the past eight years. He is the first mid-amateur to win the California Amateur since 2005.
More coverage at:
Global Golf Post