On August 29th, 61 Assistant Golf Professionals from all over the Southern California Section took the trip to Orange County, to test their skills at the gorgeous El Niguel Country Club for the playing of the 2016 Southern California National Car Rental Assistant Championship. Each participant had their sights set on having their name engraved in the perpetual trophy and punching their ticket to the 40th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida later this year.
The first round of the Championship began promptly at 8:30 A.M., and many of the “young guns” in the field came out of the gates quickly. Names such as reigning AAA Champion, Michael Nimtz of The Crosby, and nearby PGA apprentice, Lyon Lazare of Aliso Viejo Country Club, were shooting up the leaderboard as they hunted down birdies, and the occasional eagle, that was available on the course. When the dust settled after the first round, 14 players posted a score of even par or better to set up an exciting finish to the Championship.
The second round saw much different results, as the coastal winds began to pick up in the afternoon. These conditions didn’t bode well for the “young guns” in the field as they started to slip down the leaderboard. However, the more experienced players found the breeze a perfect complement to their golf game. Players such as Bobby Nickell of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club and Ross Marcano, PGA, of Barona Creek Golf Club began to post some solid numbers in their afternoon rounds. However, it was one of the oldest players in the field that was able to light it up the scoreboard in round two.
At age 51, Jerry Crowell, PGA, of Goose Creek Golf Club, went on a rampage posting an impressive bogey-free final round of five-under par 67. This score, along with his first round score of 72, gave him a total of 139, which was enough to be crowned the 2016 National Car Rental Southern California Assistant Champion. Congratulations, and well played Jerry!
Congratulations also go to the following PGA Apprentices, who will join Crowell in representing themselves, their clubs, and the Southern California Section at the 40th National Car Rental PGA Assistant Championship: Michael Nimtz of The Crosby, Lyon Lazare of Aliso Viejo Country Club and Bobby Nickell of Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club.
Thank you to the partners of the 2016 Assistant Championship: National Car Rental, Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO, and Section partners Sterling Cut Glass, and Pepsi.
A special thank you to host PGA Professional Craig Plumley and the entire staff at El Niguel Country Club. The golf course was in magnificent condition and the hospitality provided was tremendous.
Last, but certainly not least, thank you to the following SCPGA rules officials who donated their time and expertise to the Championship – Gary Albin, Lance Wrobel, and Ron O’Connor, PGA.