BY ROBERT GAUTNEY Contributing golf columnist email@example.com
Titles will be up for grabs this weekend as the Kern County Junior Golf Association will conduct its season-ending Crozier Classic Championship at the Foss-Kern River golf course.
Boys and girls ages 17 and younger have competed in 10 weekly tournaments on local courses starting the first week of June through last Monday, and players who earned the right to compete in the championship were noticed by special invitation after the final event this week at the Bakersfield Country Club.
To be invited to compete in the championship, players must have won one of the 10 season tournaments or finished high throughout the season. This year marks the first time that the Crozier Classic will be 36 holes instead of just 18.
The boys have five age flights and the girls have two. The boys flights are by ages of 16-17, 14-15, 12-13, 10-11 and nine and under and a player age eight or under must have a written approval from a PGA Professional or coach to compete. The girls have flights of 14-17 and 13-and-under.
To be able to play in one of the 10 season events, a player must prove that they can play to a certain level (Class B Scoring Standard) and then maintain that level thru the first three events that he or she competes in. It's not difficult , but it does require players to keep progressing as they get older.
The boys 9-and-under must score 75 or better from the red tees for nine holes while the boys 10-11 (white tees) must score 70. The 12-13 boys (white tees) must be at 110 for 18 holes while the marks for the 14-15 and 16-17 are 105 and 95, respectively and they play from the blue tee markers.
On the girls side, the 13-and-under group must score 75 or better for nine holes while the 14-17 age group must play to 110 or better for 18 holes. Both groups play from the red tees.
Every top player you can think of locally got his or her start playing KCJG. From Bud Ardell to Lisa Kiggens (D'Amore) to today's top amateurs like Bhavik Patel and Manav Shah and Meghan Shain and Kaley In. So, if you get a chance, go out this weekend to watch the future of Kern County golf. The players you see competing are the stars of local high school golf today and for the future.
Taft City Amateur
Sing-ups are underway for the 5th Taft City Amateur Championship which will take place Aug. 25-26 at the Mifflin-Buena Vista golf course in Taft.
Entry is $80 and includes two rounds of golf, range balls and prizes. Deadline for entry is Thursday, Aug. 23. Call the BV pro shop at 398-9720 to sign-up or to get more information. There will be both a championship and a handicapped flight.
Brady Baguio won the inaugural event in 2008 and Bhavik Patel has won the past three years while setting the tournament records of 66 for the first round and 64 for the final round and 14-under 130 for the tournament.
Patel has shot 66 in the opening round in each of the last three years while he shot the final round 64 in 2009. It is not known if he or Baguio, who has regained his amateur status, will be competing this year.
The tournament is the fourth of the seven Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority Player of the Year Series events. Players earn points in championship flight play towards the crowning of the 2012 Player of the Year.
After the City Amateur, Jeff Acevedo has a one point lead over Ron Killmer 37 to 36 with Ruffie Fessler third with 30 points. Brady Baguio and Rich Gilkey each have 27 to round out the top 5.
After the Kern County Amateur in late October, the player with the most points wins the annual bronze champions trophy and the perpetual trophy will reside at the players' home course for the next 12 months. Players finishing in the top 10 in points earn gift certificates from Sports Authority, compliments of title sponsors Michelob Ultra (Advance Beverage) and SA.
Patel/Shah miss out on Western Amateur match-play
The played solid golf and beat most of the field, but neither were able to make it into the "Sweet Sixteen" match-play in the 110th Western Amateur Championship at the Exmoor CC in Highland Park, Ill. Last week.
Bhavik Patel and Manav Shah both made it through the 36 hole cut, but missed out on making the match-play.
A total of 156 players from all over the U.S/ and four other countries were invited to compete in the prestigious event. Competitors played 36 holes to try and make the top 44 and ties cut and then another 36 holes to determine the "Sweet Sixteen" for match-play.
Patel came the closest by shooting a 72-hole score of 280 (8-under), but it took a score of 279 to get into a playoff for the last four spots into match-play. Shah finished at 1-under 287.
Patel has said he will turn pro prior to PGA Tour Qualifying School this fall, while Shah will be a sophomore at UCLA. In case you didn't know, Patel prepped at BHS and played three years at Fresno State and Shah prepped at Centennial.
"American Triumvirate" on The Golf Channel
Back in 1912, three men who changed the world of golf were born three months apart -- Sam Snead, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. Between them, they amassed 198 PGA Tour wins, 39 more than the 159 combined by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player, known as "The Big Three". They also combined for 21 major championships.
The Golf Channel will air "American Triumvirate" this Monday at 6 p.m. PST. The one hour special will be narrated by actor Kurt Russell and will offer and in-depth look at the lives and golf careers of each player and how they dominated the sport at different times.
It's a definite can't-miss and one you will want to record for future viewings!
-- The last of the four major championships on the PGA Tour is this weekend when the PGA Championship will take place on the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Resort in Kiawah Island, SC. TNT will cover the opening two rounds and early third and fourth round coverage while CBS has the final two rounds in prime time. If you have read this column over the past 15+ years then you know I'm rooting for Tiger Woods. I'd like to see him tie Jack Nicklaus for the most major titles at 18 by the time he is done playing competitively! FYI, Nicklaus is my second favorite all-time player along with Lanny Wadkins.
-- The September issue of Golf Digest has the Top 50 Public/Private golf courses (based more on how fun they are to play) and California is well represented. Pebble Beach Golf Links is No.1 on the public list with Pacific Grove Golf Links at No.23 and Coronado Golf Course No.40. On the private side, Cypress Point also came in at No.1 while The Valley Club of Montecito was No.15. The Olympic Club in San Francisco is No.21, The Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula was No.27, Riviera CC in Pacific Palisades was No.36 and Bel-Air CC in Los Angeles is No.43. I'm not sure why, but Augusta National was ranked No.9 on the private list, four spots below the Augusta National Par-3 Course! Of course, as mentioned before, the rankings were primarily based on where you could have "fun" playing so I am sure that had something to do about it. I have had the pleasure of playing Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, The Valley Club, Riviera and Bel-Air and my buddy Jack Hannaman and I once played three holes of "throw golf" at Cypress Point after rain cancelled a round at the old Bing Crosby National Pro-Am before we were told we had to leave! Pebble was my favorite of those, but my wish (like many) is to somehow get to play at Augusta National!
-- Scott Anderson, Jeff Campbell and Steve Roodzant are scheduled to compete in the U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying at Cypress Ridge GC in Arroyo Grande on Aug. 13.
-- Foss-Kern River golf course pro Jacque Servadio, LPGA, is holding a junior clinic every Wednesday at FKR thru August 22 (no clinic on July 4). The clinics are for juniors age 8 and over and run from 10-11 a.m. It's $20 per clinic but if you get four in advance, you get the fifth for free! Call Servadio at 301-5944 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- The Bakersfield College women's golf team is seeking players for the 2012-13 year. Interested ladies should contact Coach Bob Paillet at (661)808-7868 or via e-mail at Rpaillet@bakersfieldcollege.edu
-- Updated information (stats, etc.) on local players that are now competing in college golf (Men and Women) 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 e-mail address listed below and thanks in advance!