Defending champion Craig Davis of Chula Vista captured the 41st Southern California Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship by one stroke over Keith McLaughlin of Thousand Oaks at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village.
Davis came from eight strokes behind McLaughlin in the final round, claiming the title with a score of 76-72-71—219, 3-over-par.
“It feels great because I honestly didn’t have any expectations,” said Davis, who played college golf at Arizona. “I used to play here in college against USC and never played well. So, after that tough first day I was just trying to get into the top 10.
“After that disappointing opening round, I just tried to play as well as I could. It’s a tough golf course so I knew other players would have a hard time scoring out there. I just hit it really straight and drained some putts. It all came together when I needed it most.”
Davis became the fifth player in SCGA history to win back-to-back Senior Amateur Championships, joining John Olive (2001-03), Ed Rieu (1993-94), Bud Bradley (1991-92) and Ted Richards Jr. (1980-81).
Davis got up-and-down from par from a greenside bunker on the final hole to edge McLaughlin, who finished at 70-70-80—220, followed by Mark Nickeas of Westlake Village in third at 72-75-74—221, while Mike Rowley of San Luis Obispo was fourth at 74-72-76—222.
McLaughlin could have forced a playoff with a par on the final hole, but three-putted from 40 feet, racing his first attempt six feet past the hole and missing the comebacker to close with a bogey.
John Pate of Santa Barbara shot 74-76-74—224 to tie for fifth with King Wilder of La Quinta, who finished at 76-73-75—224, and Craig Calkins of Manhattan Beach, who wound up at 77-71-76—224.
Craig Steinberg of Agoura Hills carded a score of 75-77-73—225 to tie for eighth with Dun Dubois of Newport Beach, who totaled 76-76-73—225, and Jeff Burda of Modesto, the 2011 and 2014 champion, who came in at 79-70-76—225.
For complete results, visit https://scga-2018scgasenioramateurchampionship.golfgenius.com/pages/1275423.