Zachery Pollo put his name alongside the greats in California golf history.
The 18-year-old Pollo, from Rocklin, captured the 112th California Amateur Championship with a 5-and-4 victory over Dylan Oyama of Carlsbad in the scheduled 36-hole final at Lake Merced Golf and Country Club in Daly City.
“Coming into it, I knew it would be a long week,” said Pollo, a sophomore-to-be at the University of Arizona. “There’s a lot of golf. You just try to prepare yourself. Fortunately, I was able to come out on top.
“I didn’t think my putting was all that great on the first 18 (in the final round). On the second 18, my putting was beyond good. When you’re in the moment, you still remain focused. It feels good.”
Pollo, who tied for first in the National Invitational Collegiate earlier this year, took a 1-up lead with a par on the 17th hole of the morning round and never trailed again, as he reeled off three birdies on the first four holes of the back nine to take a 2-up lead.
Then Pollo finishes things off in style by going birdie-par-birdie-birdie-eagle to wrap things up on the 14th hole.
Immediately after his victory, Pollo received a congratulatory text from Arizona Coach Jim Anderson and several others from his Wildcat teammates, including 2021 Northern California champion Sam Sommerhauser, also of Rocklin.
Pollo is one of the younger champions in Cal Amateur history, as Mac Hunter was the youngest at age 16 in 1972.
“There’s a lot of things I will take away from the week,” said Oyama, a sophomore to be at San Diego State who won the 2023 Mountain West Conference Championship. “There are also a lot of things I need to work on, including my stamina.”
In the semifinals, Pollo defeated Davis McDowell of San Rafael on the 19th hole, while Oyama beat Casey Leebrick of San Luis Obispo, 1-up.
The California Amateur has been played since 1912, with Jack F. Neville winning the first two editions and five overall. Other winners include Johnny Miller, John Cook, Mark O’Meara, Ken Venturi, Gene Littler, Duffy Waldorf, Dick Lotz, Spencer Levin, Charlie Wi, Tim Hogarth, Gary Vanier, Bobby Clampett, Forest Fezler, Bob E. Smith, Casey Boyns, Mac Hunter, Charles Seaver, George Von Elm, Johnny Dawson and Eli Beriteau.
For complete results, visit https://calam-112thcaliforniaamateurchampionship.golfgenius.com/pages/9170834521065542509