Jeremy Gearhart of Atascadero had to go overtime, but he wound up on top.
The 39-year-old Gearhart (pictured, right)made a par on the first playoff hole and captured the 58th Northern California Golf Association Public Links Championship when Jason Herrera (left) of Rio Linda struggled to a double bogey in rainy and windy weather at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.
“It feels awesome because I was super stoked to play in my first Public Links,” said Gearhart, who captured the 2008 AGC Silicon Valley Amateur and finished second in the 2007 NCGA Amateur.
“Today, everything was firing on all cylinders and I was able to putt well, which is what you need to play well here. These are the events you want to win as an NCGA player. I have to say a big thank you to the Chalk Mountain Men’s Club for all of their support over the years.”
In the playoff, Herrera, 34, hit his drive to the edge of the woods and then from a terrible lie, he hit his second shot deeper into the trees on his way to the double bogey.
The 6-foot 5 Gearhart hit the green in two shots and two-putted for a routine par to win.
“I hit a bad drive, but at least (the tournament official) was able to find it,” said Herrera, who won the 2021 Davis City Championship. “Jeremy’s 67 in that weather though … that was pretty good.”
Gearhart, who missed only one fairway and one green in the final round, posted a score of 76-67—143, one-over-par, making three straight birdies from holes No. 9 through 11, while first-round leader Herrera wound up a 70-73—143.
Jordan Hashimoto of Danville was third at 76-69—145, followed by Ryan Sloane of Campbell at 72-74—146, and Garret Wagner of Brentwood at 71-76—147.
Jeffrey Perry of San Luis Obispo shot 78-70—148 to tie for sixth with Taylor Bromley of Dublin, who finished a5 72-76—148, and Damon Bartells of Sacramento, who wound up at 71-77—148.
Christian Quint of Loomis carded a score of 74-75—149 tie for ninth with Logan Goettsch of Monterey, who totaled 76-73—149, Eli Poppers of San Diego, who finished at 73-76—149, and Scott Stevens of Garden City, who also came in a 73-76—149.
Defending champion and three-time NCPGA Public Links Championship winner Matt Cohn of San Francisco tied for 14th at 75-78—153.
The NCGA Public Links Championship was first played in 1966, when Robert Heaton claimed the title and other winners through the years include Forest Fezler, Jim McMurtrey, Jeff Burda, Casey Boyns, Jim Knoll, Arron Oberholser, Aly Trompas, Scott Hardy, Mitch Thomas and Nick Moore.
For complete results, visithttps://ncga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/ncga23/event/ncga2326/contest/13/leaderboard.htm