Bling Repeats in State Fair Am on Playoff Eagle

Devon Bling of Ridgecrest had to rally and then go overtime to repeat as champion in the 95th California State Fair Amateur.

The 19-year-old Bling, who is about to start his junior year at UCLA, sank a six-foot eagle putt on the first playoff hole to turn back Michael Cliff of Fresno on the Alister MacKenzie Golf Course at Haggin Oaks › alister-mackenzie in Sacramento.

Bling came from four strokes down on the back nine to chase down 36-hole leader Cliff and become the first champion to defend his title since Robert Hamilton achieved the feat in 2000-2001, finishing with a total of 68-66-68—202, 14-under-par, while Cliff wound up at 67-64-71—202.

Berk Harvey of San Jose was third at 71-65-68—204, followed by Jamie Cheatham of San Diego at 69-70-66—205 and Blake Hathcoat of Fresno at 69-68-69—206.

Dylan Vander Veer of El Dorado Hills shot 69-70-68—207 to tie for sixth with Lucas Carper of San Jose, who finished at 67-70-70—207, while Casey Scott of Indio carded a score of 67-71-70—208 to tie for eighth with Kyle Maspat of San Diego, who wound up at 68-70-70—208, Robert Hamilton of Gold River, who totaled 71-69-68—208, and Casey Leebrick of San Luis Obispo, who came in at 69-71-68—208.

Bling, who played in the Masters and U.S. Open this year, started the back nine with three straight birdies to pull into a tie for the lead with Cliff and Harvey.

Cliff and Bling were still tied for the lead when both birdied the par-5 17th hole, and on the last hole, another par 5, Cliff had only a tap-in putt for his birdie and Bling had to sink his seven-foot birdie putt to force the playoff.

Bling, who played the last three holes in 4-under, had to make his eagle putt on the extra hole to win because Cliff had another routine birdie.

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