Apr. 6-7, 2015 at Santa Ana CC
The SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship is limited to players with Handicap Indexes of 5.4 and below, and ages 25 and older. Competitors undergo 18 holes of qualifying play in order to reach the final field of 84 players. In the Championship, players compete over 54 holes of stroke play with the top 42 players and ties advancing after 36 holes to the final round.
Wilson wins thrilling Mid-Amateur Championship for second title
Jeff Wilson knew exactly where he stood on the leaderboard. After 53 holes of golf at the 2015 SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship he was dead even with Joe Doody, who had just completed an impressive 3-under-par round of golf. With no leaderboards anywhere near him on the course, Wilson had to ask an official to find out the score. But at least he knew what he had to do.
"I figured I had a small lead, but then I found out I had to make a four on 18 to win," said Wilson. "I didn't hit great shots, but I sank about a 12-foot putt and it worked out for me."
The par 5, 473-yard 18th hole at Santa Ana CC was playing fairly easily on Tuesday, with 15 of the 45 competitors having already recorded birdies and one having eagled it. Wilson would become the 16th to birdie, knocking in the most important putt of the day on an 12-foot bender to seal the deal. With a gallery of about 40 watching, including Doody whose fate was in the hands of the putt, Wilson stopped any talk of a potential playoff to win his second SCGA Mid-Amateur title. The first came in 2008 at Toscana CC.
"I made a lot of mistakes but I hung in there," said Wilson. "It feels really great to win. You make a lot of birdies and then all of a sudden you make a bogey from 90 yards out or something it's an odd thing. Just glad to have done enough."
Beginning the day three shots off the lead and in a tie for second place, Wilson played steady golf out of the gate of Round 3, playing the front nine in even par, exactly how he played his 36 holes on Monday in Rounds 1 and 2. He would pull ahead of Day 1 leader Michael Feuerstein after eight holes, as Feuerstein had a tough day after a spectacular Round 2, shooting 4-over-par on his from nine Tuesday to relinquish his lead. But as Wilson began to pull away from Feuerstein, two holes ahead longtime SCGA Tournament participant Dan Sullivan went on a run, carding birdies on holes 8, 9, 10 and 12 to pull just one shot behind Wilson. Sullivan had begun the day eight strokes off the lead.
But just minutes after closing the gap to 1, Sullivan stumbled to back-to-back bogeys on holes 13 and 14 just as Wilson eagled the par 5 10th hole, extending his lead to four and seemingly taking a hold on the Championship.
However the drama wasn't finished. Doody, a Huntington Beach resident, had shot rounds of 70 and 77 on Monday, ending the day in the Top 10 and six strokes behind the leader. But with much of the field struggling Tuesday, Doody quietly put together a solid round and capitalized on the finishing holes, playing the final four of the day in 3-under-par. He would sink a 10-foot birdie putt on 18 to put the pressure on Wilson, who was playing one group behind him. But with Wilson's birdie on 18, Doody would have to settle for second place.
Finishing in third place is two-time SCGA Public Links Champion Jeff Coburn, who shot the round of the day Tuesday with a 4-under-par 68. Rounding out the top five in a tie for fourth was Sullivan and Feuerstein. The top 5 finishers all earn exemptions into this year's SCGA Amateur Championship, which will take place July 10-12 at Oakmont CC.
|2015||Jeff Wilson||Santa Ana CC|
|2014||Ramie Sprinkling||Valencia CC|
|2013||Robert Funk||Bermuda Dunes CC|
|2012||Tim Hogarth||Rancho Santa Fe GC|
|2011||Scott Almquist||Mesa Verde CC|
|2010||Tim Hogarth||Hillcrest CC|
|2009||Tim Hogarth||Hacienda GC|
|2008||Jeff Wilson||Toscana CC|
|2007||Tim Hogarth||Mission Viejo CC|
|2006||Robert Funk||Bear Creek GC|
|2005||John McClure||North Ranch CC|
|2004||Mantor Hays||Pauma Valley CC|
|2003||Eric Wang||Mesa Verde CC|
|2002||Scott McGihon||Big Canyon CC|
|2001||Craig Steinberg||Lakeside GC|
|2000||John Pate||Virginia CC|
|1999||Tim Hogarth||Victoria Club|
|1998||Pat Duncan||Saticoy CC|
|1997||Brian Ricketts||San Gabriel CC|
|1996||Craig Steinberg||Victoria Club|
|1995||Brad Larsen||De Anza CC|
|1994||Mark Johnson||Indian Ridge CC|
|1993||Mark Johnson||Yorba Linda CC|
|1992||Craig Anderson||Bear Creek GC|
|1991||Sandy Galbraith||Apple Valley CC|
|1990||Mitch Voges||La Purisima GC|
|1989||Mark Johnson||Apple Valley CC|
|1988||Buzz Greene||Santa Ana CC|
|1987||Steve Lass||Apple Valley CC|
|1986||Sandy Galbraith||Wood Ranch GC|
|1985||Bernie LeBeau||Bakersfield CC|
|1984||Jim Myers||Apple Valley CC|