There’s a good chance a Cal player will win the 91st California State Fair Amateur Golf Championship over Labor Day weekend at Haggin Oaks.
All 11 players on the Bears’ roster are in the field. Shotaro Ban, at No. 30 in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking, is the on-paper favorite, and K.K. Limbhasut, who finished third last year, is back.
There’s less chance a former Bear and the only former champion in the field will win. Gold River’s Robert Hamilton, the State Fair winner in 2000 and 2001, is undeterred despite infrequent practice. He tied for 16th with Ban last year in his first appearance since his 2001 win and regaining his amateur status.
“Not bad competing against West Coast college guys who play every day,” Hamilton said.
There’s a good chance a UC Davis player will win.
Long-hitting Luke Vivolo leads a group of seven Aggies that includes Ben Corfee (Davis), Quinn Carlsen (El Dorado Hills) and Jesse Bratz (Sacramento). UCD’s Ryan Han, who tied for ninth last year, returns. Jeremy Sanchez, new to the Aggies after winning the California Community College title last year, also will play.
There’s less chance El Dorado Hills’ Kevin Huff will win, but he will get plenty of respect. Huff earned the last spot in the field, which is reserved for the State Fair Junior champion. Huff shot a 3-under-par 69 at Mather on Saturday, then beat Rocklin’s Brian Sterri in a playoff.
There’s a good chance one of a slew of talented area players will get his name on the trophy. Keep a close eye on high schoolers Josh Sedeno (Roseville) and Bryan Baumgarten (Granite Bay) and Chico State’s Lee Gearhart (Roseville).
Not bad competing against West Coast college guys who play every day.
Two-time State Fair Amateur champion Robert Hamilton, who tied for 16th last year after not playing in the tournament’s previous 12 editions
There’s no chance of victory for last year’s champion Corey Pereira of Cameron Park, 2014 runner-up Jonathan De Los Reyes or Stanford standout Maverick McNealy, who tied for 24th. Pereira and De Los Reyes have college commitments and McNealy is traveling with the U.S. Walker Cup team. He will be part of the closing bell ceremonies Friday at the New York Stock Exchange before heading to England for next week’s matches.
Tee times Saturday and Sunday are 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tee times for Monday’s final round begin at 7 a.m., with the leaders starting about 9 a.m.
The public is welcome. Live scoring is provided at www.statefairgolf.net.
Rocklin Golf Club shake-out
The city of Rocklin produced a lengthy news release detailing its actions “in an effort to effect a positive outcome” after the owners of Rocklin Golf Club decided to close the course a month ago when they failed to receive approval for rezoning that would have allowed for the development of 5 acres and 38 new homes.
Among the release’s highlights:
▪ An offer and counteroffer for the city to purchase the property were rejected. No terms were provided.
▪ The city estimated the cost of infrastructure repair to be between $3 million and $4 million.
▪ The city’s temporary license to provide upkeep on the property has expired.
▪ Rocklin residents remain deeply divided over their vision for the property and the city’s role in making it happen.
Course owner Charlie Gibson felt vindicated that the city’s estimates of the cost of repairs matched his, despite a belief by the council of “an unwillingness to provide the true financial condition of course operations” when rejecting the proposal, according to the release. Gibson said the development was needed to fund improvements.
11 Cal golfers – the entire roster – who will play in the State Fair Amateur
“My opinion?” Gibson asked rhetorically. “If the City Council knew then what it knows now, it would have approved development. I believe that in my heart of hearts. They just didn’t believe me.”
The release also stated early that, “During discussions, all agreed the community was most interested in continuing the golf course operation if possible.”
▪ Angela Bagasbas (San Ramon) won the State Fair Junior Girls title at Mather. Her 69 was one shot better than runners-up Sienna Lyford (Roseville) and Gurman Kaur (Elk Grove).
▪ Mark Morgan (El Dorado Hills) qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur later this month in New Jersey. Morgan won the Sacramento City Senior this summer.
▪ Briana Mao (Folsom) finished third in the Colorado Women’s Open. It was the second pro tournament for the recent Virginia graduate, who earned $4,000. Mao and Chelsea Stelzmiller (Placerville) advanced through the first stage of LPGA Tour qualifying last month.