Community Sports

Wednesday, Mar 26 2014 05:50 PM

ROBERT GAUTNEY: Three locals making headway in prestigious SoCal events

BY ROBERT GAUTNEY Contributing golf columnist gautney@att.net

After qualifying over the last few weeks, three players have made it to the finals of either the SCGA Amateur Net or Mid-Amateur Championships.

Ron Kilmer of Foss-Kern River, the 2012 Kern County Amateur champion, was the medalist in qualifying for the Mid-Amateur at Avondale GC in Palm Desert with a 3-under-par 69. It took a score of 74 to earn one of the nine spots up for grabs and a spot into the championship at Valencia CC April 14-15.

Seven other players at three sites were not as fortunate as Kilmer. At Empire Lakes GC in Rancho Cucamonga, Bob Rensel shot 77, Jeff Acebedo had a 78, Jeff Campbell a 79 and Bob Gibson an 82. It took a score of 73 to earn one of the 13 spots.

At Shadowridge CC in Vista, Dave Westerfeld shot a 77 but it took a score of 75 to get into a playoff for the last of the 14 berths, while at Rustic Canyon GC in Moorpark, Nick Mears narrowly missed out on a playoff as he shot 76. It took a score of 75 to be a part of a 3-way playoff for the last two spots.

In the Amateur Net qualifying, Patrick Wells and Calvin Branson both of The Links at RiverLakes Ranch, will be playing in the championship at Industry Hills GC April 7-8.

Wells qualified in the Jack Nicklaus flight at Sunset Hills CC in Thousand Oaks when he shot a 74. That was good for a T-4 finish as it took a score of 75 to make it. James Scott from Oak Tree GC shot 82.

In the Arnold Palmer flight, Dave Carnell of Sundale tied for 9th with a 76 but it took a 74 to qualify. Tim Traynham of Oak Tree (80) and John Wells of Seven Oaks CC (82) also competed in the flight.

Branson qualified in the Ben Hogan flight at River Ridge GC in Oxnard when he shot a 71 to tie with another player for the last two spots.

Bryan Proffer, also from The Links, was close with a 76 to tie for 8th, while in the Bobby Jones flight, Mike Banducci had an 81 but it took a 72 for one of the five spots available.

At the Golf Club at Rancho California, Jay Irwin of BV shot 79 to finish T-9 in the Bobby Jones flight but it took a playoff at 75 and Mason Crist shot a fine net 73 in the Jack Nicklaus flight, just one shot from being in a playoff at 72 for the last two spots.

At Twin Oaks GC in San Marcos, John Bartelmie of Oak Tree GC shot a 77 but it took a 71 to garner one of the three spots in the Ben Hogan flight.

And finally at San Juan Hills GC in San Juan Capistrano, Kal Shenoy from The Links had an 84, well back from the 75 it took to qualify.

Austin wins flight in Tulare County Amateur

John Austin shot net rounds of 68-70 for a 6-under 138 total to win the First Flight in the Tulare County Amateur at Valley Oaks GC in Visalia this past weekend.

Austin won by a single stroke over Manuel Herrera as he shot gross rounds of 73 and 75 with his five handicap.

Patel fades in Web.com event in Panama

Just when it looked like local pro Bhavik Patel was going to make a run at winning on the Web.com Tour, the bottom fell out.

Patel shot rounds of 70-65 on the Panama GC course in Panama City, Panama, and found himself in a tie for fourth going into the weekend.

After two early bogeys, Patel rebounded with three straight birdies on holes 11-13 to get to 6-under for the tournament. That put him into a tie (briefly) with Carlos Ortiz of Dallas for the lead.

But it was short lived. Ortiz, who went on to win the tournament, made a birdie moments later and Patel proceeded to play the last five holes with three bogies and a triple-bogey! He finished with a 75, shot 73 in the final round and plummeted to 51st.

Patel earned $1,744 and is 51st on the money list at $33,628. He started the tournament 18th.

This week the tour returns to the U.S. with the Chitimacha Louisiana Open at the Le Triomphe CC in Broussard. Let's hope that Patel has a short memory and has a top 20 or better finish this week so he can creep back up on the money list!

RiverLakes sets date for Amateur

The Links at RiverLakes Ranch has set Sept.20-21 for the annual RiverLakes Amateur golf tournament. The date completes the schedule for the Kern County Amateur Player-of-the-Year series.

Haggerty-North Kern will host the NOR Championship June 28-29, the Bakersfield City Amateur will be July 26-27 at Sundale CC and the Taft City Amateur will be at Mifflin-Buena Vista Aug. 30-31.

Rounding out the schedule will be the Kern County Amateur at North kern and Foss-Kern River Oct. 25-26. Players earn points for top 10 finishes in championship flight play only with the winner crowned after the KC Amateur.

Chip shots

-- Tony Denesha has qualified to play in the NCGA Public Links Scratch Championship in Monterey this Monday and Tuesday. Denesha will play the Spyglass Hill GC in the first round and Bayonet GC in the final round. Look for his results in next week's column.

-- Blake McPherson, the Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority Player of the Year for 2013, is now a sophomore at Santa Barbara City College and doing quite well. McPherson, who prepped at Taft High, shot a 69 on Tuesday at the Antelope Valley CC in Lancaster to tie for medalist honors with Sidney Wolf of Canyons in the Western State Conference mini-tournament. McPherson helped his team beat Canyons by eight strokes, with BC third. For BC, Jeremy Choi shot 72 and Paul Cooper 75 with Suraj Patel and Carlos Fernandez shooting 76s. Jack Gilkey shot 79 and Robert Chavez had an 83 to round out BC's scoring.

-- If you have been to Jose's Driving Range and Pro Shop lately then you must have noticed the changes taking place at the facility. Mike Blanco has taken over as the general manager/head professional and he says that there are many big things in store for the facility (more on that in a future column) including a name change. The emphasis will be on getting whole families out together, including clinics for juniors, mothers/daughters and fathers/sons. Right now, juniors can get a bucket of balls, a hot dog and a drink for three bucks!

-- The West High Alumni Fundraiser Golf Tournament will be 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 (661) 333-2990 to get a flyer.

-- The Warden's Charity golf tournament (Wasco State Prison-RC) will be April 11 at the Links at RiverLakes Ranch golf course. Proceeds benefit various entities. Call (661) 758-8400 x5013 for more information about playing, sponsoring or volunteering.

-- Tiger Woods may not play in the Masters, it was announced this week. That's not good news for the Masters tournament, the PGA Tour and Tiger apologists like me! Hopefully his reoccurring back problems can be fixed and he can get back to playing!

-- Don't hesitate 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.

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