Cui, 15, Captures Pacific Grove City Title With 20-Foot Birdie on First Playoff Hole

Edan Cui of Atherton made three straight birdies on his back nine and capture the Pacific Grove City Championship by one stroke over Niall Shiels Donegan of Mill Valley at Pacific Grove Golf Links.

The 15-year-old Cui, who attends Crystal Springs Uplands School in Hillsborough, posted a score of 69-68—137, three-under-par, while Donegan finished at 72-66—138, and Joshua Wang of Palo Alto was third at 70-70—140.

“Yesterday, I struggled a bit, but my short game saved me,” said Cui, who also won the 2022 AJGA Junior at Dupont, the 2021 UHY New York Junior and numerous other junior events. “Today, my driver was awesome, and that helped me out a lot. The course is beautiful. You get to play a tree-lined course on the front nine, and you have the awesome ocean views on the back nine.”

Austin Wang of Danville carded a score of 74-67—141 to finish in a big tie for fourth with Ben Friedman of Mill Valley, who shot 72-69—141, Ryan Calcagno of Carmichael, who finished at 71-70—141, Justin Polk of Santa Clara, who wound up at 70-71—141, and first-round leader Scotland Schmidt of San Diego, who won the AGC-San Diego Amateur in January, and came in at 69-72—141.

Michael Perchak of Alamo finished ninth at 74-68—142, followed by Charlie Berridge of Scarsdale, N.Y., at 73-70—143.

Craig Calkins of Manhattan Beach sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to turn back Northern California Golf Association Hall of Famer Randy Haag of Orinda and Russell Humphrey of Lodi.

“I was on the back of the green with a fast 20-foot, downhill putt, that I was just trying to two putt,” said Calkins, who also won the 2019 Morrison Cup, the 2016 Southern California Match Play Championship and the SCGA Tournament of Club Champions. “About three feet from the hole, it just dove left and went in.”

Calkins finished with a score of 70-72—142 to tie for first after Haag seemed to be headed for the title before playing the last three holes of regulation in four-over-par to wind up and 69-73—142, and Humphrey earned  a spot in the playoff at 72-70—142.

Charles Richesin of Lodi was fourth at 74-71—145, while Daniel O’Connor of San Francisco shot 73-73—146 to tie for fifth with Greg Galasso of San Jose, who wound up at 74-72—146.

Butch Pirrone of Modesto won the Net Division with a score of 66-74—140, while Ron Fernandez of Thousand Oaks totaled 76-69—145 to tie for second with Jimmy Roam of Phoenix, who finished at 72-73—145, and Stephen Mort of Modesto was fourth at 75-72—147.

The scenic Pacific Grove Course is known as “The Poor Man’s Pebble Beach,” but some golfers enjoy it even more than the famed course virtually next door.

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