BY ROBERT GAUTNEY Contributing golf columnist email@example.com
Qualifying is over for both the 2013 California State Amateur and 2013 U.S. Open and the results for our local players were unfortunately not good.
Rich Gilkey is the lone qualifier for the State Amateur finals in Monterey June 17-22. Gilkey played his way to medalist honors at the Rancho Murietta CC North Course with a 5-under-par 67. Gilkey beat the field by two shots where it took a 7-way playoff at 71 for the last two of five qualifying berths.
In U.S. Open local qualifying, pro Stephen Hale (Garces/Cal) shot a 3-under-par 69 at Indian Ridge CC in Palm Desert to advance into Sectional Qualifying on June 3. It is not known at this time where Hale will be participating for his sectional.
The medalist was Dan Buchner from Seal Beach, who carded a 66 and it took a 9-way playoff at 71 for the last of the five qualifying berths up for grabs.
Two players just missed advancing at Valencia CC when Chris McCracken and Manav Shah both shot 72s to tie for 6th. Five players advanced with rounds of 71 or better. John Balfanz also competed and shot 75.
At Ironwood CC in Palm Desert, local player D.J. Reeves shot a 72 and was equal 9th but it took a score of 70 to get into a playoff for the last spot.
Other local players who competed at various sites were Burt Miranda, Hunter Robinson and Neil Bautista. The Sectional tournaments are all on June 3 and the U.S. Open will be June 13-16 at Merion CC in Philadelphia.
Stockdale High, five others in So Cal Regional
It's a good thing the Central Section boys team championship had already been decided last week. Stockdale High won the title with a 381 score when five of its players shot 79 or better at River Island CC in Porterville.
This week, none of those same players were able to break 80 in the Central Section Individual tournament at the Madera CC.
Stockdale's 6-player team (along with section runner-up Clovis West) will compete in the So Cal Regional May 30 in Pasadena. Making the trip with Stockdale will be five other local players (not on Stockdale or CW) who finished in the top 12 of the individual tournament.
Those five are Frontier's Konner Baker (76), BHS' Anthony Starbuck (77), Christian Sanders of Garces (78), Centennial's Tyler Burns (79) and Christian Chavez of Liberty (80).
The top two teams and the top six players not on those teams will advance to the CIF State Championship the first week in June.
Fessler 23rd at NCAA Western Regional
Fresno State's Ruffie Fessler (Liberty, BC) shot rounds of 68-71-71 (210) to place equal 23rd in the NCAA Division I Western Regional on the Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. A total of 75 players competed and Fessler was given an at-large individual berth into the tournament.
UCLA won the team title and along with Georgia, UCF, Texas A&M and Arizona State, advance to the NCAA Division I Championship in Atlanta May 28-June 2.
The top individual not on one of those five teams also advanced and that went to Dustin Korte of Austin Peay, who shot 64-71-69 for a 204 total. That placed him 8th overall but stamped his ticket to Atlanta.
Fessler averaged 72.64 strokes per round this year which ranked 11th in the Mountain West Conference.
Patel makes another cut
While it wasn't the finish he was looking for, local pro Bhavik Patel made his fourth straight cut on the Web.com Tour in Greenville, S.C., this past weekend.
Patel shot 73-65-68-71 in the BMW Charity Classic on three courses. He just made the cut line of 9-under-par after his third round 68 and after an even-par 71 in the final round, the former BHS and Fresno State star finished 56th and earned $1,869.
Mark Anderson won the tournament by five shots with rounds of 63-67-64-65 and earned the $117,000 champions prize.
Patel now is 26th on the money list with $58,789 as the tour moves out of the country this week with an event in Mexico, where Patel is in the field and will attempt to make his fifth straight cut. The top 25 at the end of the 2013 Web.com Tour season will earn playing status on the 2014 PGA Tour.
Roger Gunning Memorial
The 4th Roger Gunning Memorial golf tournament will be June 20 at the Bakersfield CC. Entry is $150 per player (4-player scramble) and proceeds benefit local youth baseball and scholarships for BC baseball players. There will be plenty of on-course competitions including two chances to win $10,000 for a hole-in-one!
The tournament was completely filled last year so early entry is a must if you want to play. LA Dodger legend Maury Wills will be the guest speaker at the awards dinner following play. Contact Bob French at 428-6843, Teri Graf at 205-3830 or George Culver at 706-3775 to get more information on playing, sponsoring or volunteering.
Rule 14-1b effective 2016
If you are going to play by USGA or R&A rules of golf and you now use an anchored putter, you will need to stop doing so on Jan.1, 2016. That's when Rule 14-1b banning the "anchoring of the putter" will take effect.
The USGA and the R&A proposed the ban in November last year and Tuesday that new rule was adapted. So, for all you amateurs out there who now anchor your putter, better start practicing the old way!
The PGA Tour hasn't stated whether it will conform to the rule, but for all USGA competitions, including the U.S. Open, the rule will govern. Additionally, the ban will be in effect at the British Open and Augusta National has hinted that it will conform for the Masters. The LPGA tour has stated it will conform. Stay tuned.
Links to Life Pro-Am
The annual Links to Life Pro-Am was another huge success again this year and while teams were competing for amateur awards on Monday at Seven Oaks CC, professionals were playing for prize money.
Nick Klassen was the overall winner with a 69 and he pocketed $2,000 for his efforts in the Sharyn Woods Flight. Wes Gleason won the Maryann Walz Flight with a 72 and also earned $2,000 while Justin Pitts, Bob May and Stephen Hale all shot 70 in the Carol Barraza Flight and earned $1,500 apiece.
-- Entries are now being accepted for the North of the River Championship to be played June 22-23 at the Haggerty-North Kern golf course. The event is the first of the Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority Player of the Year Series and with only five events this year, points will be at a premium. Ron Killmer is the defending series winner and the perpetual trophy is on display at his home course -- Foss-Kern River. Contact the NK pro shop at 399-0347 to enter or to get further information. Deadline is June 20.
-- May is "Free 10 minute Lesson Month" at the Foss-Kern River golf course courtesy of Jacque Servadio, LPGA. Each Wednesday (only the 29th remains) from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Servadio will offer quick tips, but space is limited so call to reserve a spot now at 301-5944.
-- The first Footwork Elite Hoop Dreams golf tournament will be June 15 at BV. Entry is $300 for a team of 4 or $80 for an individual. Entry includes fees, cart rental, lunch, prizes and other stuff. Call Ron at 817-4325 for more information.
-- Updated information (stats, etc.) on local players now competing in 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!