By The Bakersfield Californian
Stockdale High graduate Pete Fernandez, Jr. is headed to the NCAA Regional in Eugene, Ore., after he was selected as an at-large player this week.
Fernandez, a junior at UC Irvine, will compete at the Eugene Regional at Eugene Country Club, May 15-17. The Eugene event is one of six regional tournaments that will qualify players and teams for the NCAA Championship, May 23-28 in Hutchinson, Kan., at the Prairie Dunes Country Club.
Fernandez was one of 10 individual players selected to compete in Eugene. Each of the six regional tournaments have either 13 or 14 teams and 10 or 14 other individuals, with the low five teams and one other low individual player advancing to the championship from each regional.
Fernandez, who led UC Irvine with a 72.91 average and six top-10 finishes, will need to be the lowest scoring individual outside of the four qualifying teams if he is to advance.
Fernandez was named Big West Golfer of the Month for April and was a first team All-Big West selection after earning second team his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Pitts advances to USGA Sectional
Local pro Justin Pitts was the medalist in local qualifying for the U.S. Open on the Eisenhower Golf Course at Industry Hills.
Pitts shot a 3-under-par 69 to beat three other players who carded 70s. Pros Jamie Estrada of Santa Ana and John Belaikoff from Downey, and amateur Mark Anguiano of Whittier were the other players to shoot 70.
Amateur Joshua Shou from Calabasas earned the fifth and final spot with a playoff over amateurs Jeffrey Kang from Buena Park and Kevin Lee from La Palma after they tied with 71s.
Bakersfield pro Stephen Hale was also in the event, but shot a 78.
At the TPC at Valencia, local pro Ben Briscoe shot a 73 to finish tied for sixth, but it took a 1-under-par 71 to earn one of the five spots up for grabs. Johnathan Sanders, an amateur from Chatsworth, was a medalist with a 5-under-par 67.
Bakersfield pros John Balfanz and Mike Rexroth shot a 75 and 79, respectively.
There are four other local qualifying events next week. Check out this column for results to see any additional local players qualify for the June 2 sectional tournament.
The U.S. Open is June 12-15 at Pinehurst Country Club in North Carolina.
SCGA Senior 4-Ball
The SCGA Senior 4-Ball Championship will be played Monday and Tuesday at the Ojai Valley Inn and Soule Park golf courses in Ojai, and four local teams that will be competing.
There is no qualifying for the championship and this year there are 58 teams registered to participate.
The local teams competing will be Jim Seymour (BCC)/Kent Richardson (Seven Oaks), Bob Gibson/Terry Denesha (Sundale CC), Bob Rensel (Rio Bravo)/Hank Hoss (Haggerty-North Kern) and Greg Hash and Dave Meador (Seven Oaks).
Stockdale, Garces and Frontier advance to section championships
The boys golf teams at Stockdale and Garces High were virtually guaranteed to advance to the Central Section championship. All they needed to do was have five players finish their rounds to get a qualifying score.
As it was, Stockdale won the South Area title at Sundale Country Club on Wednesday with a score of 401, and Garces was second at 462 in Division I. Frontier was the Division II winner and will also advance to the Section event as it scored a 406 to beat Bakersfield Christian by 12 strokes.
Stockdale, Garces and Frontier will play in the Central Section championship next week, while 18 individuals (seven are members of the three qualifying teams), will compete in the individual section tournament.
Centennial High's Tyler Burnes, who led the SWYL with a 75 stroke average, won the South Area title with a 1-under 71, while Jarod Kinoshita of Stockdale was runner-up with a 75. It took an individual score of 82 to qualify.
Bakersfield College golfer Jeremy Choi will compete in the So Cal Regional at the StoneRidge Country Club in Poway on Monday and Tuesday. The top two teams and next lowest six players will advance to the State JC Championship.
Donald Trump dished out a reported $63 million to purchase Turnberry, the picturesque seaside resort and links course in Scotland. Turnberry has hosted four British Opens, the last in 2009 when Stewart Cink won a playoff over then 59-year-old Tom Watson. Trump now owns 17 golf properties.
This week the PGA Tour is playing in Ponte Vedra, Fla., for The Players Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass. The Champions Tour, LPGA Tour and the Web.com Tour are all off until next week.
Don't be hesitant 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.