The 21st edition of the SCGA Four-Ball Championship makes its first venture into Kern County as Bakersfield CC prepares to host some of the SCGA’s top amateur players. A field of 104 players will be competing in 36 holes of four-ball stroke play this coming Monday and Tuesday.
For the first time in years, the field is wide open, as the defending champs will not be returning to the competition.
The last SCGA event to be held at Bakersfield CC was the 2006 SCGA Amateur Championship, won by Scott McGihon. That year, McGihon was victorious by one-stroke over Brian Edick and then 15-year old and Bakersfield native Bhavik Patel (pictured). Patel, now 21 and a senior at Fresno State, captured the 2011 California Amateur Championship earlier this year and will be partnering with fellow Bakersfield native Manav Shah for next week's event. Shah, who recently transferred from USD to UCLA, finished runner-up at this year’s SCGA Amateur Championship to teammate and 2011 SCGA Player of the Year Patrick Cantlay. Given their local knowledge and track records, Patel and Shah have to be considered as strong favorites to capture the title.
A sleeper pick could be the team of Ryan Heisey of Orange and Justin Poyser of Rancho Santa Margarita. Heisey and Poyser recently shot a -11 under 60 at one of four qualifiers at Dove Canyon CC. Heisey, a standout at UNC-Greensboro, won the 2010 North Carolina Amateur Championship.
Some former champions in the field include Jeffrey Payne/Scott Crawshaw (2003), David Bartman/Robert Funk (2006) and Kevin Marsh (2008 & 2009).
Tee 1 – 8:40 a.m.
Manav Shah (UCLA)/Bhavik Patel (Fresno St., 2010 California Amateur Champion)
D.J. Fernando/Greg Lopez (Former Teammates at Cal State Bakersfield)
Tee 1 – 8:50 a.m.
John Pate/Kevin Marsh (Numerous SCGA titles between them)
Tim Hogarth/Scott Almquist (former SCGA Mid-Amateur Champions)
Tee 10 – 8:50 a.m.
John Adams (2008 SCGA Foursomes Champion)/Jason Pridmore (2011 U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifier)
Mark Miller/Dan Sullivan (2011 SCGA Foursomes Champions)
Tee 10 – 9:00 a.m.
David Bartman/Robert Funk (2006 SCGA Four-Ball Champions)
Dick Engel/Brent Brockermeyer
Designed by William Bell in 1949, Bakersfield CC has been host to events on the PGA, LPGA and Nationwide Tours. Set in the sun washed hills of northeast Bakersfield, the club offers views of the Tehachapi Mountains and yet challenges every aspect of a player’s overall game. Although the landing areas seem generous, the true test of Bakersfield CC is the challenging greens that offer subtle but challenging contours.
Key holes include the 2nd hole, a reachable par 5 that has an uphill approach to a challenging green, the 4th hole, a long par 4 with an approach to a small green and the 12th hole, a short but challenging par 4 that brings water into play off the tee and near the green provides players with an opportunity to make birdie. Hole 13 is the most challenging par 3 on the course. Usually playing downwind, this 226 yard monster requires a high soft shot into a large green, making par an impressive score. The finishing hole is a straightforward par 4 and will provide players an opportunity for a final birdie.