To use a baseball term, the local guys did not get shut out.
Mike Banducci and Kevin O'Malley, from the Haggerty-North Kern Golf Course, made sure there would be a local team to represent our area in the 31st Southern California Golf Association's 4-Ball Net Championship.
The annual tournament finals will take place at Tijeras Creek GC on October 4-5 where 48 teams that had to earn their way into the championship will vie for the coveted SCGA winner's silver plate.
Banducci and O'Malley had to survive a 7-way playoff after shooting a 6-under 66 at Soule Park GC in Fillmore last Wednesday. That placed them equal 12th with six other teams with only two of the 13 spots remaining, but the duo made it count in the sudden death to stamp their ticket to the finals.
Although definitely thrilling to earn one of the last spots up for grabs, it nearly didn't come about. Banducci, a 6-handicapper, birdied the par-4 16th hole for a net eagle that got them to 6-under and into the playoff in the tightly contested tournament. In all, the North Kern guys had six birdies and two net bogeys to go with the net eagle.
Another eight teams finished with 5-under 67's to just miss out on the playoff. Included in that group was the tandem of David Cooper and Pat Kearney of Pine Mountain Club.
Another shot back in equal 28th was the team of Terry Krausgrill and Larry Williams of Seven Oaks CC with our final team of Ken Fuller and Gary Yaeck of the Kern County Fireman's Club one further back at 69 in equal 32nd.
A total of 41 teams competed and the event at Soule Park was one of three qualifying tournaments for the finals.
Balfanz just misses at USGA Mid Am qualifying
John Balfanz may have been kicking himself in the buttisimo after the qualifying tournament for the U.S. Mid Amateur Championship at Cypress Ridge in Arroyo Grande last week.
Balfanz shot an even par 72 at the tough playing golf course and he beat 24 players in the field. Unfortunately, the two he didn't beat - Jeff Johnson from Agoura Hills and John Pate from Santa Barbara, shot 70 and 71, respectively to earn the only two spots up for grabs in the sectional qualifying.
Balfanz will be the first alternate should either of the two aforementioned guys not be able to attend the championship which will be played at the Atlantic CC in Bridgehampton, NY, September 25-30.
Other Bakersfield players that competed included Nick Mears and Mark Pavletich who tied for 7th with tough rounds of 77 and Scott LaBare and Steve Roodzant who each carded 78's to tie for 10th in the 26 player field.
RiverLakes Amateur sign-ups continue
There is still plenty of time to sign-up to compete in the 10th RiverLakes Amateur Championship that will be played September 18-19 on the Links at RiverLakes Ranch golf course.
Entry is $100 and includes two rounds of golf, range balls and prizes. There will be a championship and a net flight and entries will be accepted until Thursday at 5 p.m. on September 16.
The tournament is the fifth of the six 2010 Michelob Ultra/Sports Authority Player of the Year Series events in which players can earn points towards the 2010 Player of the Year title.
Currently, Manav Shah leads with 45 and is followed by Ron Kilmer with 43. Mike Yates has 36, D.J. Fernando has 35 and Chris McCracken is fifth with 30 points. 20 points will to the winner of the RiverLakes tournament.
Last year, Kilmer won his second RiverLakes Amateur title as he beat a small field with rounds of 72 and 77 for a 5-over 149 total, the highest winning score in the brief 9-year history.
Bhavik Patel set the tournament mark in 2008 with a 7-under 137 score on rounds of 67 and 70. The 67 is the first round record while Kilmer owns the final round mark with a 3-under 69 when he won his first RiverLakes title in 2003.
Players can sign-up by calling the RiverLakes pro shop at 587-5465 or in person in the clubhouse.
13-year-old makes hole-in-one for charity
The Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, VA, hosted a charity golf tournament to benefit the Youthquest Foundation, an organization that helps at-risk youths.
On the fourth hole, the tournament offered a BMW for a solo on the 150-yard hole. When 13-year-old Sean Murray came to the hole, he played it from the 135-yard tee marker and promptly sank his tee ball for a perfecto!
Although the hole-in-one didn't earn the teenager a new car, the Youthquest Foundation is going to authorize a $1,000 donation in Murray's name to a charity of his choosing (I bet he gives it back to the foundation?).
Murray's dad just happens to be Kelly Murray, a former golf pro who was a contestant on the Big Break VI: Trump National, one of the series of reality golf events on the The Golf Channel.
Kern County Senior benefit tournament
A golf tournament to benefit the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC) and the Bakersfield Christmas for Seniors 2010 will be played October 7 at the Foss-Kern River golf course with a 10 a.m. start time. Entry is $50 per player and includes fees, cart and lunch.
The ADAKC is an Adult Day care for low-income seniors while the Christmas for Seniors will help adopt homebound, isolated and low-income seniors for the holidays. Call Darnetta Smith at 716-7271 to sign-up, help as a volunteer or become a sponsor.
Deadline is October 1 and the event is being co-sponsored by the Rosewood Senior Living Community and GEMCare.
* September 10 @ North Kern, Kern County Shrine Club Fall Classic. Entry is $80. Call Don at 871-7609.
* September 10 @ BCC, "Tee it Up for the Troops". Entry is $200 ($175 with military ID). Call the BCC pro shop at 871-4121.
* October 30-31 at KR and BV, the Kern County Amateur Championship. Entry is $100. Call the KR pro shop at 872-5128.
* November 1 @ Kern River, The Kern County Women's Senior Amateur Championship. Call Darlene Lundy at 872-5795 to enter or get more information.
* November 1 @ BCC, Roger Gunning Memorial to benefit the "Light Brigade" organization. Entry is $125. Call George Culver at 706-3775 or Teri Graf at 205-3830.
* The Foss-Kern River Ladies/Housewives Clinic will be September 13-17 at FKR from 9-10a.m. each day. Instruction by Jacque Servadio, LPGA and Jim Foss, PGA. Call the pro shop at 872-5128 to sign-up. Cost is $50.
* The Foss-Kern River Primm Valley Golf and Gambling Trip will be September 27-28 at the Primm Valley Resort and Casino. Cost is $200 ($230 single) for two nights lodging and two rounds of tournament golf. Call Jim Foss at 363-3469 or 872-5128 to get information.
* The inaugural Rotary Club Challenge will be November 8 at BCC. Anyone interested in playing should visit the tournament website at RotaryClubChallenge.com.
Tee to Green appears weekly at Bakersfield.com/sports. You can reach Gautney at: firstname.lastname@example.org.