Big Names Eliminated as SCGA Match Play Championships Reach Round of 16
August 20, 2017
Returning to Sandpiper GC for the first time since 2012, the SCGA Match Play and Senior Match Play Championships began Sunday under cloudy skies on the coast of Goleta, Calif., just outside of Santa Barbara. By days end, adjacent to a perfectly blue Pacific Ocean and ideal conditions, both fields had shrunk from 32 to 16 golfers as the Championships celebrate their tenth anniversaries.
In the Championship division, upsets were the story of the day, as six of the top-10 seeded golfers all fell in the opening Round of 32 on Sunday. In a matchup between two past SCGA champions, Robbie Foster of Indio took out defending champion Tim Hogarth of Northridge 4 and 2, with Foster winning holes 14 and 16 to close the match early. Foster, who has teamed up with Jeff Fortson in the past to win both the SCGA Foursomes and SCGA Stableford Championships, grabbed an early 2 up lead that he would never relinquish. Leading by as many as 4 up on three separate occasions, Foster took advantage of a tough day for Hogarth, who played his 16 holes in 6-over par. Hogarth, who is fresh off a runner-up finish at the SCGA Public Links Championship, collected his first win in the SCGA Match Play Championship last year at Coto de Caza GC, which capped off at least one win for the 51-year-old veteran in all SCGA majors, including the SCGA Amateur, SCGA Mid-Amateur and California Amateur Championships.
With Foster's win, the 32-seed advances to face Tyler Gulliksen of San Diego in the first match of the day Monday at 8:50 a.m. Gulliksen, who made quick work of his opponent Sunday in a 5 and 4 victory, last year advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Hogarth.
Along with Hogarth, top seeds Cody Hall (No. 3), Adam Navigato (No. 6), Mark Warman (No. 7), former SCGA Amateur Champion Nathan Celusta (No. 8) and Satch Herrmann (No. 10) all fell in the opening round. Navigato played in the match of the day, as his battle against Arcadia's Kevin Chen went a lengthy 23 holes, before a birdie on the fifth extra hole by Chen sealed the victory. He will face Tavit Garabedian in the Round of 16 Monday.
Also advancing to Day 2 is a trio of SCGA Mid-Amateur Champions; Dan Sullivan, who won his match 2 and 1 against Ken Cruz of Fullerton, Jeff Wilson, who beat Mark Miller 2 and 1, and Ramie Sprinkling, who defeated Genki Tamashiro 3 and 2. Round of 16 action begins at 8:50 a.m., with the quarterfinals beginning immediately after at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday will feature both the semifinal and final matches.
Over in the Senior Division, top seed John Pate made quick work of Gary Crabtree, winning 4 and 3 after taking a 5 up lead through five holes. Defending Champion Craig Calkins of Hacienda GC also advanced, beating Guy Ewen 3 and 1.
Other notables to advance include four-time SCGA Amateur Champion Craig Steinberg, former SCGA Senior Player of the Year Michael Turner and former California Amateur Champion Mark Harding. Senior division matches begin Monday morning at 7:30 a.m., with quarterfinal action starting at 12:30. Stay tuned to scga.org for live, hole-by-hole scoring of all matches.