Payne, Foreman, Suto Claim Division Titles in 22nd AGC Christmas Classic

Weston Payne of Berkeley, Terry Foreman of Brentwood and Sherri Suto of San Francisco captured division championships in the 22nd AmateurGolf.Com Christmas Classic at Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey.

The 34-year-old Payne (pictured right), who won the 2021 ACG Silicon Valley Amateur, posted a score of 71-66—137, seven-under-par, making a birdie on the last hole to claim a one-stroke victory in the Championship Division over first-round leader Joshua Wang, 16, of Palo Alto, who finished at 65-73—138.

“I didn’t think that I had a chance, honestly,” said Payne, who took advantage of Wang’s double-bogey 7 on the 17th hole. “I missed a short putt for birdie on No. 17, and even though I hit one close on No. 18, I was chasing.

“I was very attentive once I saw (Wang) doubled No. 17, and I knew No. 18 was playing tough with where the pin was and I knew it would be a tough birdie. It was pretty impressive for a kid that age to play like that, especially on day one, as fast as the greens were.

“This is the best shape in which I have ever seen this golf course.”

Austin Wang of Danville was fourth at 73-68—141, while Reid Buzby of San Francisco shot 70-72—142 to tie for fourth with Hartej Grewal of Pleasanton, who wound up a 68-74—142, while Matthew Lin of Orinda was sixth at 68-75—143.

Itai Cohen of San Jose finished seventh at 76-69—145, followed by Sam Higaki of San Mateo at 75-71—146, while Benjamin Wang of San Ramon totaled 79-68—147 to tie for ninth with Joshua Yeater of Marina, who came in a 75-72—147.

In the Senior Division, the 66-year-old Foreman made a birdie on the second playoff hole to turn back three-time champion Charles Richesin of Lodi, who captured this division title in 2006, 2009 and 2015.

Foreman (pictured middle) posted a score of 73-73—146, two-over-par, while Richesin (pictured left) wound up at 74-72—146, and Russell Humphrey of Lodi shot 75-75—150 to tie for third with Steve Schroeder of Monterey, who also finished at 75-75—150.

“It’s a great game,” said Foreman, whose wife cheered him on from the gallery. “I played all sports growing up and golf exceeds any other sport that I played, by far. I loved having her here. She’s earning the game and I really wanted to win with her being here, so she could see that. She is very happy.”

Bob LeDoux of Anderson was fifth at 78-74—152, while Dan Young of Redwood City carded a score of 80-73—153 to tie for sixth with Barry Soicher of Mill Valley, who wound up at 79-74—153.

Casey Boyns of Monterey, who captured the Championship Division title in 2007 and the Senior Division crown in 2014 and last year, shot 78-76—154 to tie for eighth with Greg Parry of Carmichal, who also finished at 78-76—154, while Andrew Dalhamer of Del Rey Oaks was 10th at 76-79—155.

Suto, who has won six other events this year including the Women’s NorCal Tour Championship, claimed the Net Division title by five strokes with a score of 70-74—144, followed by Ken Heinly of Morgan Hill at 76-73—149, Marc Sanders of Turlock at 77-75—152, Charles Balisha of Turlock at 77-77—154 and Frank Angello of Moraga at 78-80—158.

Matt Brody of Dallas, Texas, was sixth at 76-84—160, while Chris Ladd of Santa Rosa totaled 87-76—163 to tie for seventh with Tyler Casaclang of San Jose, who wound up at 84-79—163, while Barry Skolnick of Chatsworth was ninth at 88-84—172.

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