Match Play/Senior Match Play
Aug. 10-12, 2015 at Valencia CC
The SCGA Match Play and Senior Match Play championships began in 2008 as a means of bringing new credence and incentive to the SCGA points program. The SCGA points program awards points to golfers who give strong performances in SCGA, USGA, CGA and other selected outside tournaments. In 2008, specially created Match Play and Senior Match Play Points Lists were developed. The top 32 players on the Match Play Points List plus the top 32 players on the Senior Match Play Points List earn invitations to compete in this elite SCGA championship.
Dan Erickson, James Camaione win first SCGA titles
It took 40 holes, a couple of lucky breaks and a hell've a lot of great golf but Dan Erickson was able to defeat James Holley and Justin De Los Santos on Wednesday to become the youngest ever winner of the SCGA Match Play Championship. At just 16 years old, Erickson becomes the first non-collegian golfer to win the Championship, which is in its eighth year.
Needing 20 holes to beat San Diego State alum Holley in the semifinals at Valencia CC, Erickson would find himself in a tough spot in the finals, falling down 2 early to De Los Santos, a Cal Poly golfer who recently won the individual title for the Big West Conference.
"It was mentally challenging," said Erickson of the 40-hole day. "I was down in both matches early and had to battle back. I caught a couple good breaks, and ended up capitalizing on them."
De Los Santos had his foot on the gas from the start, playing the first seven holes in 3-under par and jumping out to a 2-hole advantage.
But Erickson would birdie holes 12 and 13 to square the match, before a timely birdie by De Los Santos put him back in the driver's seat. Heading into No. 18 down 1, Erickson hit a great drive and solid approach shot to put the pressure on De Los Santos, who struggled to a bogey, sending Erickson into his second extra-hole match of the day.
And after the emotional rollar coaster on the 18th hole, which did give De Los Santos the opportunity to win the match with a 10-foot putt, Erickson again had to leave things in his opponent's hands, as the eventual runner-up had about a five-foot birdie putt for the victory. The putt would come just short, and Erickson would this time take advantage, winning the 20th hole of the match with a par.
For Erickson, this was his first time playing in the SCGA Match Play Championship, and first time competing within the match play format at all. Erickson, however, came into the Championship hot, recently having won his first AJGA title with a three-day total of 8-under-par 205 at Hillcrest CC.
"I'm playing really solidly right now, I'm on a good run," said Erickson. "Hopefully I can keep it going."
Erickson's Match Play victory did not come cheap, as the youngster had to defeat a number of proven golfers along the way, beginning with a surprising opening round upset over Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Sean Crocker of USC. Erickson would follow that up with a win over 2013 SCGA Mid-Amateur Champion Robert Funk, before taking out Sean Birren, Holley and De Los Santos.
With the win, Erickson secures himself an exemption into next year's SCGA Amateur Championship, which will be held in July at Barona Creek GC.
SCGA Senior Match Play Championship
The 8th SCGA Senior Match Play Championship was a story of resiliency and redemption, as James Camaione exercised demons with a 3&2 victory over Steve Bogan.
At this same event at Red Hill CC last year, Camaione faced a two-footer for the Championship, only to miss the putt and eventually fall in extra holes to David Delich.
Camaione, an SCGA veteran and known chatterbox, has eagerly awaited this moment.
“Well, I’ve waited almost 32 years to win an SCGA event and I don’t know what to say,” said Camaione. “I’m finally speechless.”
The match was all Camaione early, as he jumped out to a 2up lead after two holes. Bogan bounced back on No. 3, striking his tee shot on the par 3 to within five feet, and knocking in the birdie to climb within 1. The next four holes were a stalemate, as both players continued to play impressive golf. At the turn, Camaione remained 1up.
The eventual champion caught fire on the back 9, going 2up after No. 10 and 3up after No. 14. The match was conceded on No. 16 after Bogan’s lengthy birdie putt narrowly slide by the hole.
For the 16 holes of play, Camaione was a blistering 5-under par, yet Bogan was able to keep the match interesting.
“Steve played excellent himself,” said Camaione. “He was a couple under par as well, so we had a great championship match.”
It’s a storybook ending for Camaione to secure his first SCGA victory here at Valencia CC, a place where there’s some personal history.
“I started to play here when it was public back in 1981,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite places and I just love to play here. I don’t know why but I love the golf course, it truly fits my eye.”
En route to the finals, Camaione beat Mark Rossi, 2013 Champion Dan Pouliot, Dan Carroll and Mark Monreal.
|2015||Dan Erickson, James Camaione (Senior Division)||Valencia CC|
Brett Silvernail, David Delich (Senior Division)
Red Hill CC
|2013||Niall Platt, Dan Pouliot (Senior Division)||Annandale CC|
|2012||Niall Platt, Greg Hetzer (Senior Division)||Sandpiper GC|
|2011||Anton Arboleda, Howie Knodt (Senior Division)||Sandpiper GC|
|2010||Nick Delio, Brad Larsen (Senior Division)||Sandpiper GC|
|2009||Nick Delio, Howie Knodt (Senior Division)||Sandpiper GC|
|2008||Matt Hoffenberg, Boyd Martin (Senior Division)||Sandpiper GC|