The SCGA Amateur Championship is the nation's second-oldest, continuously contested amateur golf championship, having been held every year since 1900. Many of the nation's great amateurs -- from Paul Hunter and George von Elm to Craig Steinberg and Tiger Woods -- have won the championship and an even greater number have failed to capture the prestigious title.
1940: Smiley Quick, Cloverfield CC, defeated Ralph Evans, Brentwood CC, on the 38th hole at Lakeside GC. Evans defeated Pat Abbott, who was the heavy favorite to win the tournament, in a first round match. The field included 286 entries, up from 69 in 1939 and 86 in 1938.
1941: Pat Abbott, Flintridge CC, defeated Jim Clark, Lakewood CC, 3 & 2 at Oakmont CC. Clark defeated 1940 champion Smiley Quick, 8 & 7, in semifinals. This was the first SCGA Amateur Championship played at Oakmont
1942: John Dawson, Lakeside GC, defeated Bruce McCormick, Oakmont CC, 10 & 8, at The Los Angeles CC in the most lopsided final since 1925. It was the first of four titles that Dawson would win in a 10-year span.
1943: Smiley Quick defeated Steve Tiberg, Annandale GC, 6-5, at Hillcrest CC. Quick defeated defending champion John Dawson, 5 & 4, in semifinals. Sectional qualifying, introduced by Lakeside GC's Maurie Luxford, allowed a field of 503, largest in tournament history.
1944: Dawson again defeated McCormick, but this time the match went 37 holes. The tournament was played at Lakeside GC, which was each golfer's home course.
1945: For the second consecutive year and third time in four years, Dawson defeated McCormick, this time 4 & 3, at San Gabriel CC. McCormick went on to win the California Amateur Championship later in the year.
1946: Robert Gardner, La Jolla CC, defeated Dawson, 2 & 1, at Virginia CC. Gardner won the California Amateur the next year. Dawson defeated actor Forrest Tucker, 7 & 6, in the semifinals.
1947: Bruce McCormick, Lakeside GC, defeated Mac Hunter, Riviera CC, 1 up after 36 holes at The Los Angeles CC. Hunter, the son of 1923 champion Willie Hunter, went on to win the 1949 California Amateur and eventually become head professional at Riviera CC. His son, also named Mac, won the 1972 California Amateur.
1948: McCormick defeated Ray Sleppy, Palos Verdes GC, 1 up, at Wilshire CC to win his second consecutive SCGA Amateur title.
1949: Jerry Douglas, playing on his home course, prevented a McCormick "three-peat" when he edged the two-time defending champion, 1 up, in the 50th renewal of the SCGA Amateur Championship at The Victoria Club.
1950: Jim Ferrie, Virginia CC, defeated fellow club member, Del Walker, 1 up, at Oakmont CC. Fast play prevailed, as the two took a total of 5 hours and 10 minutes to play 36 holes on final day. Ferrie trailed until 32nd hole before rallying to win. Walker went on to become coach at Cal State Long Beach and a long-time SCGA committeeman.
1951: For the second consecutive year, Ferrie defeated Walker, this time 2 & 1, on their home course.
1952: Dawson became only the second person to win four SCGA Amateur titles when he defeated Bob McCallister, San Gabriel CC, 2 up, at Hillcrest CC. Dawson was the oldest tourney finalist at age 44, while McCallister, who was graduated from Whittier High one week prior to the tournament, was 18.
1953: Fletcher Jones, Bel-Air CC, defeated Robert Morefield, LACC, 5 & 4, at The Los Angeles CC. Jones, who later became a successful automobile dealer, came to California to accept a basketball scholarship from USC, while Morefield was a golfer for UCLA.
1954: Ted Richards Jr., Bel Air CC, defeated Sandy Mosk Jr., Riviera CC, 3 & 2 at San Gabriel CC. Prior to joining Bel-Air, Richards had captured the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship the year before.
1955: Jerry Steelsmith, Oakmont CC, defeated McCormick, San Gabriel CC, 2 & 1, at Annandale GC.
1956: Alan Geiberger, Montecito CC, defeated Dick Foote, Santa Ana CC, 9 & 8, at Santa Ana CC in a matchup of 18-year-old finalists. Two years earlier, Geiberger had lost to Bud Bradley in the finals of the U.S. Junior Amateur at The Los Angeles CC. In 1966, Geiberger won the PGA Championship.
1957: In the last SCGA Amateur to be played at match play, Verne Callison, Sacramento, defeated Geiberger, 1 up at Lakeside GC. Geiberger missed a 30-inch putt on the 35th hole to give Callison a 1-up lead, then had a 20-footer hit the cup and bounce away on the 36th which would have forced a playoff. It was sweet revenge for Callison, who lost to Geiberger in the quarterfinals of the 1953 California Amateur Championship.
1958: Frank Hixon (285), South Hills CC, defeated Bud Taylor (288), Red Hill CC. For the first time, the event was played as 72 holes of stroke play on four courses in four days, with the final round televised at Wilshire CC. The entry fee was raised from $5 to $10. Hixon had won title 19 years before under match-play, the longest gap between titles.
1959: In a battle of former champions, Geiberger (281) defeated Richards Jr. (285) at Oakmont CC in the 60th annual SCGA championship. Geiberger, a senior at USC, claimed this title as his eighth consecutive amateur tournament championship.