Community Sports

Wednesday, Jan 29 2014 11:03 PM

Patel wins Challenge over Hale after 3 playoff holes

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stephen Hale, left, and Bhavik Patel shake hands after playing 3 holes in a tiebreaker during the Golden State golf tournament Wednesday. Patel won the tiebreaker.

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  2. 2 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Bhavik Patel comes out of the sand in the 13th during the 3rd tiebreaker hole with Stephen Hale to win the Golden State golf tournament Wednesday.

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  3. 3 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stephen Hale and Bhavik Patel go into a tiebreaker in the final round of the Golden State golf tournament held at the Bakersfield Country Club Wednesday.

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  4. 4 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stephan Hale makes a putt on the 18 hole to tie the leader, Bhavik Patel, left, and goes into a tiebreaker in the final round of the Golden State golf tournament at the Bakersfield Country Club Wednesday.

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  5. 5 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stephan Hale nails a putt on the 17 hole to inch closer to leader Bhavik Patel in the final round of the Golden State golf tournament at the Bakersfield Country Club Wednesday.

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  6. 6 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    A shot by Bhavik Patel just doesn't want to go in on the 16 green during the Golden State golf tournament Wednesday.

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  7. 7 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stephen Hale looks to the heavens as he misses a putt on the 14 green at the Bakersfield Country Club during the final round of the Golden State golf tournament Wednesday.

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  8. 8 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Bhavik Patel tracks his shot on the 14th during the final round of the Golden State golf tournament at Bakersfield Country Club Wednesday. At right is Stephen Hale, who battles Patel for the lead.

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  9. 9 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Bhavik Patel grimaces as he tracks his shot on the 13th during the final round of the Golden State golf tournament at Bakersfield Country Club Wednesday.

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  10. 10 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Stephen Hale tracks his shot on the 13th during the final round of the Golden State golf tournament at Bakersfield Country Club Wednesday.

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  11. 11 of 11

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Matt Picanso is apparently not pleased with his shot on the 13th at Bakersfield Country Club during the final round of the Golden State Tour golf tournament Wednesday.

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Local golfer Bhavik Patel parred the third playoff hole Wednesday to edge Stephen Hale for the Bakersfield Country Club Challenge championship.

Patel won $4,000 for his efforts on the Golden State Tour event. The Golden State Tour is a golf circuit based in state.

Both players, who are Bakersfield natives, shot rounds of even-par 72 in the third round and finished regulation with three-round totals of 210, necessitating a playoff.

Hale, a Garces graduate who also played at Cal and is the top-ranked player on the Golden State Tour, was trailing by two shots before he birdied No. 17 and Patel bogeyed on No. 18.

Patel, a Bakersfield High graduate who also played for Fresno State, is a not a member of the Golden State Tour, but plays on the Web.com Tour, which is one level below the PGA.

They both parred the first two playoff holes, holes No. 1 and 12. The difference maker was the third playoff hole, the 226-yard, par-3 No. 13.

Hale's tee shot hit a eucalyptus tree, leaving him only an indirect shot to the green. His second shot landed at the front fringe of the green, and he had to settle for a bogey.

Patel's tee shot on No.13 went into a bunker about 15 yards from the green, but his second shot, with a wedge, landed 10 feet from the cup and he putted out for the par and victory.

Patel said he enjoyed playing in his hometown in the three-round event, especially the playoff battle with Hale. "He's a great competitor and I've known him and played (against) him for years."

Chris Cunningham (211) of San Diego finished third in the tournament following a third-round 71, falling one stroke shy of Patel and Hale.

Former BC golfer Matt Picanso shot a third-round 71 and tied for fourth at 214. Bakersfield's M.J. Morin shot a 71 and finished tied for ninth at 218 and Bakersfield's Rufie Fessler shot a 75 and tied for 11th at 221.

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