Community Sports

Tuesday, Dec 25 2012 07:07 PM

Robert Gautney: 2012 featured many impressive local golf accomplishments

BY ROBERTGAUTNEY Contributing golf columnist

As we wind down the 2012 year, it's time to take a look back at some of the best performances by local golfers. In the past, Tee to Green has handed out an award (plaque) for the "Performance of the Year" in conjunction with a $100 certificate from a title sponsor.

But unfortunately, there is no sponsor for 2012, so this year we will just give a yahoo! to those who had outstanding performances. And just as in the past, my apologies in advance if you think that Tee to Green missed someone who should be mentioned but wasn't.

So, here is a quick list of the best of the best:

-- Ron Killmer finally won a local amateur "major" when he won the Kern County Amateur in a playoff over Brady Baguio. In the process, Killmer also won the Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority "Player of the Year" title. Killmer had been the runner-up in both the City and County amateur championships and the Player of the Year in the past.

-- Other winners of the Player of the Year series events included Ruffie Fessler winning the City Amateur, Jeff Acebedo won the Arvin City Amateur, D.J. Fernando won the inaugural N.O.R. Championship, Chase Goodvin the Taft City Amateur and Nick Mears the RiverLakes Amateur.

-- There were a lot of record rounds at various courses. Bhavik Patel shot a 61 at Bakersfield Country Club and a 63 on the refurbished Stockdale CC and Grant Doverspike shot a 61 for the new mark at Sundale CC. Not to be outdone, Stockdale High senior Kaley In set a new mark at Seven Oaks CC with a 66 and Dee Ray shot a 67 at Sundale CC. In also won a So Cal PGA Collegiate Recruiting tournament at Oak Valley. In will play for UC Irvine next year.

-- Patel also won the prestigious SCGA Amateur, was medalist in qualifying for the California State Amateur and then won two matches in match-play before getting ousted in the round of 8 as he tried to defend his 2011 state title. To top his year off, Patel turned professional and made it all the way to the PGA Tour Final Stage Qualifying where he secured a spot on the 2013 Web.com Tour as he tries to play his way to a spot on the PGA Tour!

-- Meghan Shain, now competing at Santa Clara, won the 2012 Catalina Junior Championship by 13 shots, a record for the longtime event.

-- On the national scene, Manav Shah qualified for the U.S. Amateur Public Links and made it to match-play before losing in the opening round.

-- Jim Seymour qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur and took a nice trip back to Chicago. Seymour didn't make the match-play field after 36 holes of qualifying but still a great accomplishment to make it there!

-- Other state event accomplishments included Seymour and Kent Richardson qualifying for the California Senior Amateur and Scott LaBare qualified for the SCGA Amateur championship.

-- In SCGA Amateur Net Play, John Austin and Doug Denesha qualified for the finals with Austin finishing ninth and Denesha 22nd from a field of 45 players, while Jeff Campbell and Nick Mears qualified for the SCGA Mid-Amateur championship with Mears making the 36 hole cut and finishing 36th.

-- A couple of teams also did pretty well as Mark Pavletich/Scott Anderson and Martin Adkins/Bryan Lynn qualified for the NCGA 4-Ball Championship and the Sundale CC Saturday Team Play team won their group and then won three matches to reach the finals before a 26-22 defeat to Red Hill GC in the finals! In the SCGA 4-Ball, Ron Killmer/Nick Vallejo and Scott LaBare/Kevin Anderson qualified for the finals and then Killmer and Vallejo finished 6th in the championship, missing out on a top five plate by a single shot!

If you think someone has been overlooked then shoot Tee to Green and email at the address below and it will be mentioned next week.

Big Break Crowns a Champion

Don't know if you are a follower of the Big Break Series, but there was a thrilling finish to the latest edition last week when Mark Silvers from Savannah, Ga., went 5-under on the final five holes to overtake James Lepp from British Columbia and win 1-up.

For his win, Silvers receives and exemption into the 2013 Greenbriar Classic and $50,000 in cash. Silvers also receives an Adams Golf endorsement which includes another $10k, a $10k shopping spree from Dick's Sporting Goods and $10k in car rental credit from Avis Car Rental!

The Big Break Season 18 was contested on the The Old White TPC Course at The Greenbriar Resort in West Virginia and this season was the most watched ever! Silvers finished 95th in the final stage at PGA Tour Qualifying and will be competing on the 2013 Web.com Tour along with local pro Bhavik Patel who was 49th.

Chip Shots

-- 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 again in advance!

Tee to Green appears weekly at Bakersfield.com/sports. You can reach Gautney at gautney@att.net

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