Over the last couple of weeks, players from around Southern California have converged upon SoCal golf courses for qualifying in two of the more popular SCGA events: the SCGA Mid-Amateur and the SCGA Amateur Net Championships.
The Amateur Net gives players who don't have the ability to compete with the best scratch-type players, a chance to test their skills against players of similar games, while the Mid-Amateur gives the older scratch-type player a chance to play against a field that is void of top college and high school players as participants must be at least 25 years old and not on a college team.
On the net side of things it looks like Bakersfield will be represented in the finals at The Alisal in Solvang by Patrick Wells of The Links at RiverLakes Ranch and Mike Banducci of Haggerty-North Kern.
Both players qualified in the Jack Nicklaus flight at separate courses. Wells was the medalist at Sunset Hills in Thousand Oaks on March 15 with a nifty 67. There were six spots up fro grabs and it took a 73 to make it.
David Carnell (Sundale CC), John Wells (Seven Oaks CC) and Dean Drury (RiverLakes) also competed but did not qualify in their respective flights.
Banducci was one of two players to shoot a net 71 at River Ridge on March 15 in Oxnard. That placed him equal second and a stroke behind the medalist. Julian Williamson (BCC), Bryan Proffer (RiverLakes) and Calvin Branson (RiverLakes) also competed.
At Recreation Park in Long Beach on March 15, Josh Knight shot an 81 in the Anold Palmer flight but it took a 72 to qualify.
There is one more qualifying event on March 25 with three local players competing before the championship finals.
In the Mid-Amateur qualifying, Mark Delmarter was one of five players to shoot a 74 and make the top 10 at Rustic Canyon in Moorpark. That advances Delmarter to the finals at Bermuda Dunes in Rancho Mirage on April 15-16 for the SCGA Mid-Amateur Championship. Also competing but not qualifying were Ron Killmer, Jason Johnson, Garrett Randolph and Jeff Vaughn.
Joining Delmarter will be Steve Roodzant from Seven Oaks, who carded a 72 at Brookside GC in Pasadena. That put Roodzant equal second as it took a 75 to garner one of the 10 spots. Just missing out was Scott Anderson who shot 76 while D.J. Fernando, Eric Steinbeck, Bryan Lynn and Dave Westerfeld also competed.
At Goose Creek in Mira Loma, locals Jeff Campbell, Jeff Acebedo and Eric D'Amato all came up empty in qualifying.
There is still one event remaining for qualifying.
Sports Authority confirms sponsorship
Sports Authority will once again partner with Michelob Ultra (Advance Beverage) to sponsor the 2013 Amateur Player of the Year Series. The series will begin in May with the Arvin City Amateur (date still not determined) and finish in October with the Kern County Amateur.
The top 10 in points receive gift certificates from Sports Authority while the champion receives the champions trophy and the perpetual trophy resides for the following year at the players home course. Ron Killmer won in 2012 and the trophy is on display at his home course -- Foss-Kern River.
Spring Fling at Furnace Creek
The Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley will host the annual Spring Fling golf tournament April 19-21. Furnace Creek is the lowest golf course in the world relative to sea level at 214 feet below.
The is a two-person team event and you can play one, two or all days and each day is separate. It's $50 per day to play and you can stay at the Ranch for $105 per night or at the Inn for $195 per night.
Each day there is a different format with a Friday scramble, a Saturday best-ball and chapman on Sunday. You can sign-up to plat at 760-786-3354 and to reserve a room call 760-786-2345.
-- Bhavik Patel shot a 69 in the opening round of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open at the Le Triumpe CC in Broussard on Thursday and was equal 34th.
-- Tiger Woods finished the second round at 5-under, four behind leaders Justin Rose and Bill Haas in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. If Woods wins the tournament, he will return to No.1 in the world rankings for the first time in 2-1/2 years! Go Tiger!