By Robert Gautney
It was a good day but not a great one for local long-driving competitor Nic DeAngelis. Despite hitting three of his six balls in the grid at 359, 361 and 363 yards, it wasn't enough to advance the 24-year-old rookie to the ReMAX World Long Driving Championships in October in Mesquite, Nev.
But it was enough for him to be invited to the last-chance qualifier in September, where the 5-foot-8, 195-pound righty will let it rip one last time for a spot with the big boys at the main event.
"I beat of a lot of pros and a lot of big name guys," said DeAngelis of his showing at the same Mesquite driving range where he hopes to qualify for in September.
The last chance qualifier is by invitation only, so DeAngelis walked away knowing he has another shot.
DeAngelis was also offered a sponsorship to hit using a driver from a major manufacturer, but he hasn't decided if he will accept.
Fessler, Bautista miss out on match-play in US Am
Ruffie Fessler and Neil Bautista had hoped to play well enough for 36 holes at The Country Club of Brookline to secure one of 64 spots in the match-play field for the 2013 U.S. Amateur in Brookline, Mass., last week, but each fell short.
Fessler was the closest, shooting 73-76 for a 9-over 149 on the par-70 course, finishing tied for 146th. Bautista shot 78 and 73 for a 151, and wound up 182nd.
Now, 146th and 182nd seems like a long way back, but when it is consider that 312 players competed and there was a 15-way playoff at 4-over 144 for the last 13 spots, then you know how tough the course was playing and how many other players they each beat.
They may have mssed out on match-play, but the experience of making it to and then playing in the U.S. Amateur Championship is priceless!
Seymour misses out on U.S. Senior Amateur
Jim Seymour was trying to make it two in a row last week when he competed in U.S. Senior Amateur qualifying at South Hills Country Club in West Covina, but he missed out on a playoff by a single stroke.
Seymour shot 75 on the difficult layout (no player broke par) and there was a 4-way playoff at 74 for three of the five spots up for grabs and a ticket to Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C., in late next month.
Last year, Seymour qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur and made a nice trip to Chicago.
Patel out again this week
Local pro Bhavik Patel is nursing a slight injury and will not compete again this week on the Web.com Tour. The tour heads to Farragut, Tenn., this week for the The News Sentinel Open.
Next week, the Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb., will be the final event to determine the 25 players who will secure spots for the 2014 PGA Tour season.
Patel has dropped to 48th this week and will probably fall out of the top 50 after this week's tournament, so he would probably need a top 3 finish in the Cox Classic to make the top 25. Patel is comfortably positioned to compete in the 4-tourament playoff, along with players from the PGA Tour, to determine the final 25 players who will get cards PGA Tour cards for 2014.
Let's hope Patel is healed enough and makes a nice run in these last 4-5 events.
Taft City Amateur
Entries will be accepted through August 22 for the Taft City Amateur that will be played next weekend, August 24-25 at the Mifflin-Buena Vista golf course in Taft.
Entry is $100 and there will be a championship flight and a handicapped flight. Call the BV pro shop at (661)398-9720 to sign-up or to get more information.
The tournament is part of the Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority Player of the Year Series where players in the championship flight earn points for finishing in the top 10. Currently, Tony Denesha leads the point standings with 32, followed by Manav Shah with 30, Neil Bautista with 28 and Jack Mulroy with 24.
After the Taft City Amateur, the final two events will be the RiverLakes Amateur in September and the Kern County Amateur in October.
Tee to Green appears weekly at bakersfield.com/sports.You can reach Gautney @email@example.com