Woolsey Wins 110th Cal Amateur

Noah Woolsey of Pleasanton captured the 110th California Amateur Championship with a 2-and-1 victory over Weston Payne of Menlo Park in the 36-hole final on Saturday at the Preserve Golf Club in Carmel Valley.

Woolsey, who finished second in stroke-play qualifying, rallied from 3 down after making three straight bogeys to open the morning 18.

“My parents and others gave me a lot of encouragement, and I knew there was still a lot of golf left,” said Woolsey, a former member of the Northern California Golf Association Junior Tour. “I reminded myself that I had come back in the semifinals and won. So why couldn’t I do that again?

“The whole week, I was just walking down the fairway telling myself, ‘You can do this,’ over and over and over. It kind of calmed me down. It’s pretty crazy. I had a former California Amateur champ (Bobby Clampett) walking down the fairway with me. Just an incredible week.”

Woolsey, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Washington, was still 3 down after the morning 18 before winning three straight holes through No. 7 in the afternoon 18 and eventually built a 3-up lead through the 33rd hole.

Payne, a 31-year-old real estate agent from San Francisco who played at Cal, rallied by winning two straight holes before Woolsey won the 35th hole with a par to close things out.

In the semifinals, Woolsey needed 21 holes to get past Thomas Hutchison of San Jose after being 2 down through 14 holes before pulling even with a birdie on the final hole of regulation, while Payne slipped past Tommy Stephenson of Carlsbad, 1 up, getting even with a birdie on the 17th hole and winning with a par on the last.

Christian Banke of Danville finished first in stroke-play qualifying by six strokes with a score of shooting 64-63—127, 17-under-par, while Woolsey wound up second at 67-66—133 and Payne tied for third at 68-67—135.

However, the 32nd-seeded Stephenson upset Banke in the first round of match play, 5 and 4. 

Earlier in the week during stroke-play qualifying, the Captain Gary Fox and the Northern California Golf Association won In the North-South Challenge and claimed the Roger Lathan Trophy with a two-stroke victory, 702-704, over the SCGA, with the best five of six scores counting for each team.

Noah Woolsey (66), Finigan Tilly (72), Thomas Hutchison (72), Lucas Carper (71), Drake Mendenhall (70) and Nick Moore  played for the NCGA. Representing the SCGA were Devon Bling, Tommy Stephenson, Charlie Reiter, Steve Sugimoto, Caden Fiorini and Luke Potter.

Previous winners of the Cal Amateur, which dates to 1912, include Gene Littler, Ken Venturi, Johnny Miller, Mark O’Meara, Duffy Waldorf, John Cook, Jack F. Neville, Dr. Paul Hunter, George Von Elm, Charles Seaver, Johnny Dawson, Bobby Clampett, Charlie Wi, Casey Boyns, Gary Vanier, Todd Demsey, Tim Hogarth, Spencer Levin, Eli Bariteau, Mark Johnson, Bob E. Smith, Vern Callison, Bruce McCormick, Dr. Frank Taylor, Ernie Pieper Jr. and Forrest Fezler.

For complete results, visit https://calam-110thcaliforniaamateurchampionship.golfgenius.com/pages/6964004275408098011

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