Golf Beat: Everyone’s a winner at annual Cal Invitational in Graeagle

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014 - 11:12 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014 - 11:24 pm

The 17th Cal Invitational was held over the weekend at Plumas Pines. The winners were … all the boys from the 18 high school golf teams.

The annual tournament in Graeagle gives teenagers and their coaches a chance to bond during an overnighter the week before the postseason starts. In some cases, it gives kids the chance to spend the night away from home or see snow for the first time.

It also gives them a chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the best players the area has produced.

“They get to say, ‘Wow, I played in the same tournament as Nick Watney and Spencer Levin,’ ” said John Davis, the tournament’s founder.

Davis, a longtime history teacher, academic decathlon adviser and golf coach at Del Campo who retired in 2010, runs the event with buddy Larry Dubie, a teacher at Casa Roble. Davis liked teaching and coaching; he loves the Cal Invitational and staying connected to high school golf. He started the event to bring the area’s best high school golfers together – the tournament’s record book reads like a who’s who of local golf. Turns out, he created the perfect mix of serious competition and social interaction.

“I ran a lot of high school tournaments in my life,” Davis said. “This, there’s something really special about it. There are a lot of really fine young men and good golfers.”

The tournament’s name – the Cal Invitational – is indicative of its casual nature. It was derived from an informal fusion of the old Capital Athletic League in which Del Campo used to compete, the university in Berkeley and the state.

The teams that competed this year get first crack at returning next year. There’s little turnover and a waiting list of schools from Nevada, Oregon and California.

For the record, Granite Bay, led by medalist Bryan Baumgarten’s par 72, won for the third straight year.

Et cetera

• Sacramento’s Cameron Champ finished second last week at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, his final round of 4-under 68 the best of the week. He finished one shot behind Scottie Scheffler , the No. 1-ranked junior in the country, in the elite 54-player international field in Graniteville, S.C.

•  Trevor Clayton, a sophomore at Stanislaus State, won the Roseville City Amateur over the weekend, shooting a 9-under 135 over 18 holes each at Diamond Oaks and Woodcreek. Mike Wiechers (141) won the senior division.

• The winners of the City Putting Championship over the weekend at Haggin Oaks: Patrick Niland (junior), Angie Dixon (women; repeat winner) and Michael Angel (men). The run of three-time men’s champion Mark Milligan ended in the opening round of match play.

• Volunteer registration for the 2015 U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso is open at About 1,500 volunteers are needed. An announcement about tickets for the June 25-28 championship is expected next week.

• El Macero hosts local qualifying Monday for this year’s U.S. Open. The field features some of the area’s best amateurs, aspiring young pros and veteran pros. The public is welcome. Tee times run from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

• Consider this your five-weeks-to-prepare warning for the Sacramento SpeedGolf Bash on June 7 at Haggin Oaks. There are team and individual divisions, as well as nine- and 18-hole options. Play begins at 6 p.m. Email for more details and an entry form.

• Registration for the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championships is open at In 2015, the Olympic Club will host the first men’s competition (May 2-6) and Bandon Dunes the first women’s competition (May 9-13).

Call The Bee’s Steve Pajak, (916) 326-5526.

Read more articles by Steve Pajak

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