With a 1:45 pm shotgun start, the first AAA event of the 2016 series kicked off at Eagle Glen Golf Club. Pushed up against the foothills of Corona, just off the I-15 freeway, Eagle Glen’s dramatic elevation changes makes selecting the right club a challenge. Coupled with its firm and fast greens, winning the first AAA Series event of the year would take absolute precision!
The new look AAA with its reduced entry fees and new tournament sponsors had a nice turn out on Thursday March 17th. 40 players teed off in hopes of bringing home the first AAA title of the year. A mix of familiar faces and eager new comers battled some windy conditions to go along with the difficult setup.
Thomas Chu, PGA showed some good form, getting off to a hot start by birdieing two of his first three holes. He would rack up 7 total birdies on the day to card an impressive 1-under par 71. However, reigning AAA Player-of-the-Year, Kenny Pigman, PGA put an end to Thomas’ hopes of a victory by shooting 2-under over his last 6 holes to edge out Chu by a single stroke shooting a two-under par 70. It seems not even a red-eye from Hawaii that morning could slow down the AAA’s most decorated member.
Also coming out a big winner on the day was PGA apprentice Jayme Backos, out of Rustic Canyon Golf Club. With 37 of the 40 contestants buying into the standard skins game, a sizeable pot of $740 was up for grabs…and it all went to Jayme Backos with his birdie on the difficult 172 yard par 3 8th. Averaging a half stroke over par on the day, Jayme managed the lone birdie, making for one sweet prize!
After the round players hung out for some complimentary sliders and fries and then took part in the AAA’s first ever, Glow Ball Closest-to-the-Hole competition. With a little Bob Marley playing over the Bluetooth speaker, players tested their wedge skills on a difficult 83 yard shot. When it was all said and done, PGA apprentice Josh Bustos of Industry Hills Golf Club rose to the top with a shot measuring just less than 3 feet to the pin, earning him a custom PGA stamped wedge courtesy of Hopkins Golf.
The SCPGA would like to thank all participants for taking part in the first AAA event of year. Thank you to Jimmy Palmieri, Tournament Director, and the Eagle Glen staff for their hospitality and hard work in executing a successful kickoff event. Thank you to event sponsors, Fore-Fitness and PGA Tour for their monetary contributions for the tournament purse, and to Eagles-2-Birdies for donating $1,500 in new signage for 2016 AAA Series.
Don’t forget, registration is open for the second event of the year at Industry Hills Golf Club on Thursday, April 21st. Hope to see you there!