Robert Gautney

Friday, Apr 04 2014 11:22 PM

Robert Gautney: Amateurs to flock to Myrtle Beach

By Robert Gautney

You think your net game can stack up to the best in the world? Whether you are a scratch golfer, a single digit player or perhaps struggle to break 100, the annual Myrtle Beach World Amateur handicap Championship affords you the opportunity to test your game.

Now in its 31st year, the annual event will be held this year in Myrtle Beach, S.C. from Aug.25-29 where over 3,500 amateur golfers will compete on over 60 golf courses. And, if you act now and make your plans to participate, you can knock $100 off of the entry fee of $575.

So what do you get for your $475 (or $575 if you wait)? That would be four rounds of competitive golf (five if you happen to be one of the flight winners that advance to the Championship Playoff) on courses designed by the likes of Greg Norman, Tom Fazio, Davis Love and pretty much all of the renown course architects.

You also receive nightly admission to the “World’s Largest 19th Hole” at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center where you can eat for free, drink at the open bar, test equipment and listen to live entertainment.

The flights are according to certified USGA indexes and Myrtle Beach Golf Holiday, which is a non-profit trade association of the 79 golf courses and 99 golf package providers in the Myrtle Beach area, puts on the show.

And if you think you can get away with a 15 index when you are a five, think again. The tournament does an extensive research on each competitor to make sure they are legit. The overall champion has be crowned from indexes as low as three (must have shot under par everyday!) to a high of 34 (that’s where the opening remark of “struggle to break a 100” comes into play!).

This event is on my bucket list, just like the World Police and Fire Games in another country someday too. It just sounds like a great golf vacation and perhaps if you play well enough you just might be crowned a World Champion!

Registration is available at www.worldamgolf.com, and they also have lodging recommendations to boot.

Shain makes an ace in Maui

Santa Clara sophomore Meghan Shain might have trouble deciding which accomplishments were her best in the recent Avenue Spring Break Classic in Maui last week.

Shain was the top scoring player for Santa Clara with a 16th place tie in a strong field of 88 that helped the Broncos to a 6th place finish among 15 teams. Her 225 total included rounds of 74-74-77 and she played against a top notch field that included the defending tournament champion and No.10 ranked amateur Grace Na.

But the highlight may have been in the final day (despite a 77) when she knocked in her tee ball on the par-3 176-yard third hole on the Kapalua Bay Course for an ace! It was the first ace by a Santa Clara player since Taylor Camany recorded one in 2010.

The 77 included a bad break and a questionable ruling by and official that basically cost Shain 3-4 strokes. Shain is averaging 77.4 strokes through 22 rounds for the 2013-14 season with a low of 73, two top-10s and three top-20s.

Patel drops further on Web.com list

Things continue to take a turn for the worst for local pro Bhavik Patel on the Web.com Tour and hopefully with a break this week he can figure out his game troubles.

Patel, after a 6th place finish in the second event during the first week in March, was in 13th place on the money list. But after a T-26, T-52 and a missed cut this last week, he has plummeted all the way down to 27th with $33,628.

The top 25 at the end of the regular tour season receive varied degrees of playing status on the 2015 PGA Tour, while the top 25 in the four event playoffs also receive status.

Patel shot 75-69 (+2) in the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in Broussard, LA last week to miss the cut. The cut was at 2-under 140.

After this week off, the tour resumes for the El Bosque Mexico Open in Leon, Guanajuato April 10-13.

The PGA Tour announced this week that the 2015 Web.com Tour Qualifying Finals will be Dec.11-16 at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla after a long run in Palm Springs.

Denesha in top half of NCGA Scratch event

Tony Denesha finished T-47 out of a field of 113 players in the NCGA Public Links Scratch Championship at Spyglass Hill GC and Bayonet GC in Monterey.

Denesha shot tough rounds of 82-81. No players broke par and the winner was Austin Roberts from the E-Club of Sacramento who had a pair of 73s for a 2-over-par 146 total, one shot better than Hayden Shieh from the Yoc South Bay Club who had 74-73.

Woods out of the Masters

There will be no Masters Tournament for Tiger Woods. I’m sure you have heard it by now, but Woods had back surgery on Monday and will miss an extended period of time on the PGA Tour. Best case scenario might be the U.S. Open in June.

Basically, he had a nerve that was being constantly pinched by two discs, so he had to have it fixed so the nerve wouldn’t cause the pain.

Mike Golic, the ex-NFL player and now host of the Mike and Mike radio show on ESPN, said on Tuesday morning that his son Jake had the same surgery and is doing fine, but there is no guarantee that the motions that caused the problem in the first place won’t resurface again.

Woods said earlier this week that he still has two records he wants to break - Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships and Sam Sneed’s record of 82 career wins. He has 14 majors and 79 overall wins.

But as we all know, “Father Time” always wins the race and at 38, Woods is running out of precious time. Let’s hope the surgery went well, the rehab even better and Woods comes back to give those two records a scare!

Chip Shots

The golf pundits mostly agree that scoring average and the all-around ranking is a good indication of how well a player is playing and conversely where they are on the money list.  A quick look at the PGA Tour stats show that six players in the top-10 of the All-Around are in the top-10 on the money list and five are in the top-10 of the scoring average.

The West High Alumni Fundraiser Golf Tournament will be Saturday April 26 at The Links at RiverLakes Ranch golf course. Proceeds will benefit the baseball and golf teams for the Vikings. If you are interested in playing, sponsoring or volunteering, contact Craig at 333-2990 to enter or to get a flier.

The Warden’s Charity golf tournament (Wasco State Prison-RC) will be Friday, April 11 at the Links at RiverLakes Ranch golf course. Proceeds benefit various entities. Call 758-8400 x5013 for more information about playing, sponsoring or volunteering.

This week the PGA Tour is at the Shell Houston Open on the Golf Club of Houston golf course in Humble, TX. The LPGA Tour’s first major of the year – The Kraft Nabisco Championship, is this week in Rancho Mirage while the Senior PGA Tour is off until  April 18-20

Don’t be hesitant to report top individual and team performances, holes-in-one or any other golf related news, both amateur and professional that you think the readers would like to know about and keep Tee to Green posted on results for college players, etc. to the e-mail address below. 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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