3 of 4 medalists advance in AZ Amateur
Three of the four stroke-play medalists advance Wednesday in the 86th Arizona Amateur Championship at Pinnacle Peak Country Club in Scottsdale. Surprise’s Kyle Kallan, Chandler’s Jake Golembiewski and Anthem’s Gary Quinn defeated their opponents to win in the first round of match play.
The fourth stroke-play medalist Marc Watkins of Scottsdale, wasn’t so lucky. He played against Arizona Golf Association president Jay Anderson (61) of Scottsdale and lost six and five.
Eight of the top 10 seeds advanced to the second round of match play.
Golembiewski (1) defeated Steve Willis (64) of Scottsdale five and four. “I was pleased with the results of the match,” said Golembiewski. “I got off to a lead early and then I just kept it up for the rest of the way.”
Tomorrow Golembiewski plays his friend of 10 years Blake Brown (33) of Scottsdale, who plays for Boise State University and was a medalist in the stroke play portion of the championship last year. On Tuesday Blake shot a 67 in round two of stroke play. “I’m excited about playing one of my closest friends,” noted Golembiewski. “Obviously I hope to beat him, but we’ll have to go out tomorrow and see what happens.”
Quinn (2) earned a four and two victory over Chad Hossack (63) of Gilbert after getting off to a slow start. “I didn’t hit the ball that well today through the first 11 holes,” he recalled. “I was down one through hole five, and then ended up winning holes six and eight. I had 5 birdies today in 15 holes.”
“I’m looking forward to getting off to a better start tomorrow and trying not to start down,” said Quinn. Tomorrow he plays Ben Crebbs (34) of Oro Valley. “I can have one really bad shot and get away with it in match play because I’d only end up losing one hole instead of several strokes. Anytime I lost a hole today I won the next one which was a big boost. I never gave him much momentum to keep carrying the match.”
Kallan (3), who is fourth in the AGA performance rankings, triumphed six and five over Jimmy Kozikowski (62) of Mesa. “I played really solid today,” he said. “My opponent was strong, but I stayed solid.”
Christopher Shoop (5) of Queen Creek, a 2010 player of the year at the University of Colorado (Colorado Springs), won four and three against Gabby Bobroski (60) of Vail. “I feel match play is my advantage,” said Shoop. “It’s me versus one person, not me versus the whole field.”
Jim Russo (6) of Scottsdale defeated Dylan Kornberg (59) of Tucson two and one. “I didn’t play as well as I did yesterday,” recalled Russo. “I hit quite a few loose shots, but hit a couple of good shots at the end to finish the match.” His good shots included one eagle.
After 20 holes, Scott Berren (58) of Tucson triumphed over Tim Beth (7) of Chandler. “I caught Tim on a day when I could beat him because he wasn’t hitting the ball as well as he could,” said Berren. “I was able to make a couple of putts on him late, which swung the momentum. The first lead I took was actually on the last hole.”
Tomorrow Berren is pitted against Andrew Augustyniak (39) of Tempe, a rising senior at University of Nevada (Reno). “He’s a tremendous player,” noted Berren. “I’ll have to hit the ball much better than I did today to have any chance.”
The 2009 Arizona Amateur runner-up Neal McCarty (52) of Sierra Vista defeated Scott Spiewak (13) of Phoenix one up. “I was hitting more fairways today,” McCarty said. The first two days in stroke play I was missing fairways like crazy. I think the first day I only hit three fairways. Today, instead of hitting my driver all day, I took out my irons just to put it in the fairway.”