Local golfer Bhavik Patel parred the third playoff hole Wednesday to edge Stephen Hale for the Bakersfield Country Club Challenge championship.
Patel won $4,000 for his efforts on the Golden State Tour event. The Golden State Tour is a golf circuit based in state.
Both players, who are Bakersfield natives, shot rounds of even-par 72 in the third round and finished regulation with three-round totals of 210, necessitating a playoff.
Hale, a Garces graduate who also played at Cal and is the top-ranked player on the Golden State Tour, was trailing by two shots before he birdied No. 17 and Patel bogeyed on No. 18.
Patel, a Bakersfield High graduate who also played for Fresno State, is a not a member of the Golden State Tour, but plays on the Tour, which is one level below the PGA.
They both parred the first two playoff holes, holes No. 1 and 12. The difference maker was the third playoff hole, the 226-yard, par-3 No. 13.
Hale's tee shot hit a eucalyptus tree, leaving him only an indirect shot to the green. His second shot landed at the front fringe of the green, and he had to settle for a bogey.
Patel's tee shot on No.13 went into a bunker about 15 yards from the green, but his second shot, with a wedge, landed 10 feet from the cup and he putted out for the par and victory.
Patel said he enjoyed playing in his hometown in the three-round event, especially the playoff battle with Hale. "He's a great competitor and I've known him and played (against) him for years."
Chris Cunningham (211) of San Diego finished third in the tournament following a third-round 71, falling one stroke shy of Patel and Hale.
Former BC golfer Matt Picanso shot a third-round 71 and tied for fourth at 214. Bakersfield's M.J. Morin shot a 71 and finished tied for ninth at 218 and Bakersfield's Rufie Fessler shot a 75 and tied for 11th at 221.