Celusta captures 116th SCGA Amateur

Nathan Celusta of Newbury Park closed with a 1-under-ar 70 to capture the 116th Southern California Amateur Championship by four strokes over Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale.

The 38-year-old Celusta, who put his name on the trophy alongside the likes of Tiger Woods, Al Geiberger, John Jacobs, John Pate, Charlie Wi, John Merrick and career amateur standout Tim Hogarth, built his lead to six strokes at one time in the final round.

“This is the biggest win of my life,” said Celusta, who played for a short time on what is now the Web.com Tour almost 10 years ago. “I’m extremely proud of myself. To win this event, with this strong field, it certainly means a lot to me.

“I played … on Monday (at Saticoy Country Club in Somas) prior to the tournament and I just seemed to figure something out with my putter toward the end. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay in that mental space and rely on my putter all week.”

Celusta posted a score of 67-68-71-70–276, 8-under-par, while Wise finished at 66-72-70-72–280 and Jonathan Sanders of Chatsworth was third at 71-71-68-71–281.

Corby Segal of Santa Clarita shot 70-69-73-70–282 to tie for fourth with Pete Fernandez of Bakersfield, who totaled 73-74-65-70–282, while Hogarth, from Northridge, carded a score of 72-68-76-69–285 to tie for sixth with Kevin Lee of Cerritos, who came in at 73-74-65-70–282.

Bowen Osborn of Los Angeles posted a score of 69-72-77-69–287 to tie for eighth with Kevin Fitzgerald of Riverside, who finished at 73-72-70-72–287, and Sean Birren of LaVerne, who wound up at 71-73-70-73–287.

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