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Amateur Championship

July 8-10, 2016 at Barona Creek GC

This is the longest standing championship conducted by the SCGA. Started in 1900, this event crowns the best amateur player of the Association. Since the inaugural event, the SCGA Amateur has enjoyed an illustrious history of great champions, including Tiger Woods and Al Geiberger to more recent stars including Beau Hossler and Patrick Cantlay. The event is open to members with a Handicap Index of 5.4 and below. Competitors undergo 18 holes of qualifying play in order to reach the final field of 84 players. In the Championship, players compete over 72 holes of stroke play with the top 42 and ties advancing after the first 36 holes. The championship site is traditionally held at the home club of the current SCGA President.

Qualifying Results Player Handbook Pairings

USC's Rico Hoey wins 117th SCGA Amateur Championship

Photos Results

Rico Hoey collected the biggest win of his junior golf career at Torrey Pines GC in 2012 at the Callaway Junior World Championship. Just four years later, and 30 miles inland, Hoey earned what he calls "the biggest win of his career thus far," dominating the 117th SCGA Amateur Championship at Barona Creek GC to add his name to a trophy that already includes the likes of Tiger Woods, Al Geiberger, John Merrick and Beau Hossler.

"I'm speechless," said Hoey. "I honestly don't have the words to describe what winning this event means to me. I'm honored."

Hoey held a share of the lead at the conclusion of all three days of play, beginning with Friday's marathon 36-hole affair in which the eventual champion blazed the course for a combined 13 birdies and one eagle. Red numbers on the scorecard were not hard to come by for Hoey all weekend, as the USC rising senior put together rounds of 66-70-66-67 for a four-round total of 19-under par, setting a scoring record for most strokes under par for the SCGA Amateur that had previously been set by Scott Travers in 2010 at La Cumbre CC at 16-under. Travers had snatched the record away from Tiger Woods, who had previously held it since 1994.

"To know that I've set the scoring record, that's really huge for my confidence," said Hoey. "It shows that I can make some birdies out there and get it done. Hopefully it's able to stand for a long time."

Hoey, a 20 year old from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is coming off an impressive junior season at USC, which culminated with a second-place finish at the NCAA Individual Championship after leading the Trojans with a career-best 70.85 stroke average for the season. He would earn a PING All-American second team honor, and be asked to represent Team USA at the Arnold Palmer Cup, an annual team golf competition between American college golfers and European college/university golfers.

But for Hoey, an individual victory has been a long time coming. He won the 2014 Gifford Collegiate at Cordevalle, but despite a number of impressive performances of late, had yet to win a major amateur title; that is until now. Hoey's victory at the SCGA Amateur Championship comes against an extremely impressive field that featured some of the top amateur golfers in Southern California, including top collegians, high schoolers and mid-ams. But Hoey took advantage of his length off the tee, consistent iron play and a streaky putter to make it look easy, besting the rest of the field by 4 strokes for the victory.

Taking advantage of the Barona Creek GC's par 5s, Hoey, who is currently ranked No. 21 on the World Amateur Golf Rankings, played the longer holes in 9-under par during the four rounds. At one point during the final round of play, Hoey hit a drive on the 471-yard par-4 5th hole that was estimated at 390 yards. Later, on the course's par-4 14th hole, which was playing up at only 275 yards on Sunday, Hoey hit an iron onto the green, giving himself a shot at an eagle putt. He would settle for a birdie, part of a three-hole stretch in which he birdied every hole. In fact, Hoey had four different stretches throughout the tournament in which he collected a birdie or better on three or more consecutive holes.

However what may have been most impressive about Hoey's play at Barona Creek was his ability to bounce back from a blemish, although collecting them far and few between. With just 11 bogeys in four rounds, Hoey was able to come back with an immediate birdie seven times right afterwards, never allowing himself to lose momentum. This would be of importance Sunday, when he entered with a 1-stroke lead, extended it to 3 early, before letting it slip back to 1 after a tough break on the sixth hole, where his ball found a rock behind the green and bounced nearly 100 yards away from the hole and onto the fringe of the 7th green. He would bogey for the first time in the round.

With his playing partner Clay Feagler making birdie on the same hole, Hoey's early lead became instantly minuscule. And after hitting into the front bunker on his next tee shot on No. 7, a par 3, Hoey hit the shot of the day out of the sand, hitting the flag stick with the ball before dunking it in for a birdie. His lead immediately returning to 2, and the Championship never got closer than that.

"I tugged my shot into the bunker and I saw Clay hit it to 15, so I just wanted to get it up and down. Luckily it went in," said Hoey.

Feagler, who will play his college golf at Pepperdine beginning this Fall, would eventually finish in third place, turning in a 1-under par round Sunday to finish at 14-under par 274 overall. Jumping up the leaderboard and claiming second place was 17-year-old 2015 SCGA Match Play Champion Dan Erickson, who matched Hoey's final round of 67, and did so with just one bogey. Rounding out the Top 5 was P.J. Samiere of San Diego State, who finished at 13-under, and recent California Amateur Runner-Up and 2016 State High School Champion Hidetoshi Yoshihara, who had the low round of the day at 7-under 65. The low round of the tournament came Friday morning off the clubs of Pepperdine star Roy Cootes, who shot an opening round 8-under par 64 before finishing the tournament T15.

Other notables in the field included 2004 Champion Tim Hogarth, who finished 10th, and defending champion Nathan Celusta, who finished 21st. Next year's Championship will be held at Mission Hills CC July 6-9, 2017. Due to the expected heat, the tournament format will change to four days of 18-hole play, as opposed to the traditional 36-hole opening day followed by two days of 18 hole stroke play.

Past Winners

Year Winner Site
2016 Rico Hoey Barona Creek GC
2015 Nathan Celusta
Oakmont CC
2014 Beau Hossler
Rancho Santa Fe GC
2013 Beau Hossler San Diego CC
2012 Bhavik Patel
Big Canyon CC
2011 Patrick Cantlay San Gabriel CC
2010 Scott Travers La Cumbre CC
2009 Austin Graham
Wilshire CC
2008 Kevin Marsh
Saticoy CC
2007 Brett Kanda
Victoria Club
2006 Scott McGihon Bakersfield CC
2005 Scott McGihon
Tijeras Creek GC
2004 Tim Hogarth
Hillcrest CC
2003 Roy Moon Torrey Pines GC
2002 Nico Bollini
El Caballero CC
2001 John Merrick
La Jolla CC
2000 Scott McGihon Rancho Santa Fe GC
1999 John Pate Industry Hills GC
1998 Greg Padilla
1997 Craig Steinberg
Lakeside GC
1996 Kevin Marsh Santa Maria CC
1995 Charlie Wi
Santa Ana CC
1994 Tiger Woods
Hacienda GC
1993 Todd Demsey
Brentwood CC
1992 Craig Steinberg
Fairbanks Ranch CC
1991 Craig Steinberg
Bel-Air CC
1990 Pat Duncan
Wilshire CC
1989 Paul Stankowski
Glendora CC
1988 Craig Steinberg
Annandale GC
1987 Greg Starkman
Braemar CC
1986 Dave Sheff
Hillcrest CC
1985 Brad Greer
Virginia CC
1984 Brad Greer
San Gabriel CC
1983 David Hobby
Santa Maria CC
1982 Mark Blakely
Stockdale CC
1981 Greg Twiggs
Stardust CC
1980 Jon (Bud) Ardell
Oakmont CC
1979 Jeff Hart
Hacienda GC
1978 Brian Gaddy
Bel-Air C
1977 Doug Clarke
La Jolla CC
1976 Tony Sills
California CC
1975 Lee Davis
Wilshire CC
1974 Jim Porter
Brentwood CC
1973 John Richardson El Niguel CC
1972 Mark Pfeil
Hillcrest CC
1971 John Beetham
Virginia CC
1970 Gary Sanders Oakmont CC
1969 U.T. Thompson III
Hacienda GC
1968 Barry Jaeckel Lakeside GC
1967 Greg Pitzer Riviera CC
1966 John A. Jacobs Victoria Club
1965 Richard Davies Annandale GC
1964 Larry O. Brown San Gabriel GC
1963 Bruce McCormick Hillcrest CC
1962 Larry Bouchey Virginia CC
1961 Ted Richards Jr. Los Angeles CC
1960 Ben Alyea Brentwood CC
1959 Alan Geiberger Oakmont CC
1958 Frank Hixon Wilshire CC
1957 Verne Callison Lakeside GC
1956 Alan Geiberger Santa Ana CC
1955 Jerry Steelsmith Annandale GC
1954 Ted Richards Jr. San Gabriel CC
1953 Fletcher Jones Los Angeles CC
1952 John W. Dawson Hillcrest CC
1951 Jim Ferrie Virginia CC
1950 Jim Ferrie Oakmont CC
1949 Jerry Douglas Victoria Club
1948 Bruce McCormick Wilshire CC
1947 Bruce McCormick Los Angeles CC
1946 Bobby Gardner Virginia CC
1945 John Dawson San Gabriel CC
1944 John Dawson Lakeside GC
1943 Smiley Quick Hillcrest CC
1942 John Dawson Los Angeles CC
1941 Pat Abbott Oakmont CC
1940 Smiley Quick Lakeside GC
1939 Frank Hixon Annandale GC
1938 Pat Abbott California CC
1937 Jack Gaines Riviera CC
1936 Roger Kelly San Diego CC
1935 Harry Wesbrook Los Angeles CC
1934 Charles Seaver Bel-Air CC
1933 Harold Thompson Brentwood CC
1932 Jack Gaines San Gabriel CC
1931 David Martin Los Angeles CC
1930 Fay Coleman Midwick CC
1929 Gibson Dunlap Bel-Air CC
1928 Fay Coleman Midwick CC
1927 George Von Elm Lakeside GC
1926 Paul Hunter California CC/Brentwood CC
1925 George Von Elm Los Angeles CC
1924 Paul Hunter Annandale GC
1923 Willie Hunter Midwick CC
1922 George Von Elm Flintridge CC/Pasadena GC
1921 Paul Hunter Los Angeles CC
1920 E.H. Seaver Los Angeles CC
1919 Douglas Grant Los Angeles CC
1918 R.J. Cash, Jr. Los Angeles CC
1917 Windsor B. Walton Midwick CC
1916 Harold B. Lamb Los Angeles CC
1915 E.S. Armstrong Midwick CC
1914 Carleton Wright San Gabriel CC
1913 Norman Macbeth Los Angeles CC
1912 E.S. Armstrong Los Angeles CC
1911 Norman Macbeth Los Angeles CC
1910 Wm. Frederickson Annandale GC
1909 Paul Hunter Annandale GC
1908 Paul Hunter Los Angeles CC
1907 Sterling Liness Los Angeles CC
1906 Wm. Frederickson Los Angeles CC
1905 Walter Fairbanks Los Angeles CC
1904 W.K. Jewett Los Angeles CC
1903 Walter Fairbanks Los Angeles CC
1902 H.M. Sears Pasadena CC
1901 Walter Fairbanks Los Angeles CC
1900 Charles E. Orr Los Angeles CC
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