Robert Gautney

Friday, Nov 15 2013 05:00 PM

ROBERT GAUTNEY: Killmer, Vallejo make strong run in SCGA's 4-Ball Championship

By Robert Gautney

No cigar, no Tiddlywinks and no horseshoes, but Ron Killmer and Nick Vallejo came close to becoming the fourth local team to win the SCGA's 4-Ball Championship this week at the Mission Viejo CC.

Killmer and Vallejo shot rounds of 67-66 on the par-71 MVCC layout, but unfortunately it was just a single shot short of the winning team, David Bartman from Los Angeles and Robert Funk from Canyon Lake.

The latter's 64-68 effort in the 23rd annual tournament was 10-under-par 132, one better than the Killmer/Vallejo duo and the teams of Jeff Fortson and Rob Foster (Palm Desert) and Peter Roberts (San Marcos) and Joe Ryon (Carlsbad).

For Bartman and Funk, it was their second title together, having won in 2006 at Oakmont CC in Glendale. Chris Heintz from Brea and Scott Paul from Mission Viejo placed fifth at 8-under, earning the last SCGA top-5 award.

One other local team, Blake McPherson and Travis Millwee, shot 73-69 to finish at even-par and equal 22nd.

Local amateurs Dan Hogan and Dale Keene won the title in 1999 at San Diego CC, Tyler Hurst and Bryan Hogan won in 2007 at Industry Hills GC and Manav Shah and Bhavik Patel won in 2011 at the Bakersfield Country Club. Hurst, Bryan Hogan and Patel are now professionals.

A total of 52 teams competed, most of who had to qualify at one of four sites throughout October. Bartman and Funk will receive the 10-year winner's exemption, making them eligible to compete in the championship without having to qualify.

BC's Huser 12th at So Cal Regional

Bakersfield College golfer Kendall Huser shot rounds of 82-81 in the Southern California Community College Regional championships at the Alisal River Golf Course in Solvang this week and finished 12th.

Huser needed to finish in the top 10 to advance to the State Championships in Tracy next week.

Santa Barbara (Western State Conference champions) won the team title and Iris Chung of Mount San Jacinto was the medalist with a 147 total on rounds of 74-73.

High school girls close out season

Six local high school girls competed in the CIF Southern California Regional at the Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta on Thursday. The six had advanced by placing in the top 12 at the CIF Central Section Championships last week.

Stockdale's Jessica Park and Lexi Keene, Julia Stewart of Bakersfield Christian and Centennial's Amy Cooper all shot 81 on the par-72 course, while Liberty's Mallory Wells shot 82 and Highland's Vanessa Watkins shot 87.

It took a score of 73 to crack the top nine for advancement to the state championship next week. Those nine, along with the top three teams will compete for state bragging rights.

Big week for Fessler, Picanso

Ruffie Fessler and Matt Picanso have a chance to play on the Web.com Tour in 2014 and join fellow local pro Bhavik Patel. But first the two will need to navigate their way through Second Stage Qualifying at Bear Creek GC in Murrieta Nov.19-22 to keep that chance alive.

Both players advanced past First Stage Qualifying, Fessler in Georgia and Picanso in Florida, and now must play well enough to advance to the Final Stage. There are six Second Stage tournaments, four next week and two that were played this week that will determine the field for the Final Stage.

It will not be known until just prior to the start of the tournament on Nov.19 as to how many spots will advance from the Bear Creek GC site. The finals will be Dec.12-17 in La Quinta.

Chip shots

-- Ron Miller and Mitch Bronson will be competing in the SCGA's Super Seniors Championship at the Glendora CC on Nov.18-19.

-- Just a reminder that players who finished in the top 10 of the 2013 Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority Player of the Year series and who haven't redeemed their gift cards can do so now at SA. Just in case you don't know who you are by now, here's the list: Blake McPherson, Ron Killmer, Neil Bautista, Manav Shah, Tony Denesha, Ryan Roodzant, D.J Fernando, Jeremy Choi, Jack Mulroy and Dan Hogan.

-- The PGA Tour's Humana Challenge will be played Jan.16-19 in La Quinta, but you can take advantage of the "Special Holiday Ticket Package" by going to www.HumanaChallenge.com. The special includes two one-day grounds tickets (any day) and a golf cap for $60 ($90 value). The special is good through Dec.13. There are many more ticket deals online, so if you are planning on attending next year, get your ticket package in advance!

-- The Golf Channel has announced that the 21st season of "Big Break" will be from Amelia Island, Fla. The competitors will be a cast of 12 women with the winner receiving an exemption into the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in June and exempt status on the 2015 Symetra Tour. The competition was filmed in October and local pro Meggan Bunker was a finalist for the show.

-- Updated information (stats, etc.) on local players that are now competing in professional and college golf is always encouraged by Tee to Green as are golf related stories and information you believe that the readers would want to know about. Send the info to the email address listed below and don't forget about those holes-in-one! And thanks in advance!

Tee to Green appears weekly at Bakersfield.com/sports. You can reach Gautney at gautney@att.net

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