Matt Wilson Tames the Bear!Bear Creek Golf Club | June 28-July 1
FIINAL ROUND RECAP
It was all fireworks for Matt Wilson of Cypress as he chipped in on the ninth playoff hole to claim the 121st California State Open with a four-day total 14-under par 274.
Starting the day three-shots back of co-leaders Josh Anderson of Murrieta and Christian Rajcic of Ramona, Wilson made up ground with a final round 67, getting to 14-under par for the tournament and the clubhouse lead. As the final groups finished, there were five players tied for the lead, but that slowly changed with three of those players carding a bogey on their 72nd hole.
Christopher Evans, who was in the final group, carded a closing round five-under par 67 to join Wilson at 14-under par and set the stage for an exciting playoff finish.
In the sudden death playoff, Wilson and Evans traded shot-for-shot with neither able to pull away and claim the Championship. Drama ensued with missed opportunities on the eighth playoff hole as both competitors three-putted to force another playoff hole.
It was on the ninth playoff hole that Wilson was finally able to pull away with the Championship as he chipped in from 15 feet on the 18th hole. Evans’s subsequent birdie putt from off the green was unable to find the bottom of the cup which ended his bid to win his first California State Open.
“Today I tried to run my own race . . . the chip on the final hole checked and I was shocked it went in to seal the deal . . . I can’t wait to come back next year to defend my title” said Wilson.
Co-low amateur honors went to Lingkun Kong of Arcadia and Eric Doyle of San Diego at nine-under par 279.
“After the hiatus to last year’s State Open, it was great to be back with an elite field at Bear Creek Golf Club. Congratulations to Matt on the exciting victory” said SCPGA Director of Competitions Max DeSpain.
Special thanks go out to our great tournament partners Titleist and California Canopy. Also thank you to the Rules Committee for volunteering their time – Ron O’Connor, PGA, Gary Albin, Lee Wortman, Bill Demint, Harrison Heublein, Jim Anders and starter Steve Frank. Finally, the SCPGA greatly appreciates host facility Bear Creek Golf Club and PGA Director of Golf Tim Gardner, PGA Head Professional Kim Schilling, Golf Course Superintendent Earl Kennel along with the Bear Creek membership for their continued support of the State Open.
ROUND 3 RECAP
The stage is set for the final round of the 121st California State Open at Bear Creek Golf Club as locals Josh Anderson of Murrieta and Christian Rajcic of Ramona are tied at the top at 12-under par 204.
Starting the day one-stroke off the lead, Anderson and Rajcic both fired third round three-under par 69’s to leapfrog the leader. They had similar rounds as Anderson carded six birdies and three bogeys to Rajcic’s five-birdies and two-bogeys.
Sitting in solo third is the 2018 & 2020 SoCal Open Champion Christopher Evans of Bermuda Dunes who posted a stellar six-under par 66 to propel himself into the hunt. Evans’s three day-total of 11-under par 205 puts him one-stroke back heading into the final round.
Amatuer Eric Doyle of San Diego continues his steady play of the week carding his third consecutive under par round to finish at 9-under par thru 54-holes and remains the low amatuer. A total of 8 amateurs made the cut.
The 2021 Champion will take home $10,000 and a lifetime exemption into the California State Open.
The final round begins tomorrow, July 1st at 7AM. Follow final round coverage on social media @scpga to see who will hoist the Champion’s trophy.
ROUND 2 RECAP
Henry Chung of Cerritos held the line during round two of the 121st California State Open with a two-under par 70 and a one-stroke lead heading into round three.
Chung, who entered the day with a two-stroke lead, got off to a rocky start with a double-bogey on the opening par-4. He quickly righted the ship after finding his groove with three consecutive birdies on holes 2-4. He was also able to convert an eagle on the par-5 11th which helped him preserve his lead at 10-under par 134.
Josh Anderson of Murrieta and Christian Rajcic of Ramona are lurking one-stroke back at nine-under par 135. Anderson, defending Champion, is again in the hunt after a steady three-under par 69. Rajcic also finds himself in the mix after catching fire on the back-9 where he had five birdies to finish with a second round five-under par 67.
Eric Doyle of San Diego fired a 2-under par 70 to go with yesterday’s 66 to lead the way for the amateurs and currently sits tied for fourth.
The second-round cut was made at +1 and 54 players will continue to tee it up for a chance to hoist the trophy.
Round three action begins tomorrow June 30th at 7:00 AM. Stay connected to the action by following along on social media @scpga.
ROUND 1 RECAP
The 121st California State Open kicked off with Henry Chung of Cerritos firing a red-hot eight-under par 64 at Bear Creek Golf Club to take a two shot lead after the first round.
This marks the first playing of the historic State Open since 2019 due to Covid-19 with 142 players in this year’s Championship field, each with high hopes to include their name to the rich list of past champions.
Chung navigated the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design with ease as he rattled off 11-birdies throughout his round including a string of seven-straight birdies on holes 8- 14. Impressively, Henry’s stellar round occurred despite three-bogeys on holes 1, 4, and 17.
Nahum Mendoza of Chula Vista, amateur Eric Doyle of San Diego, and Josh Anderson, of Murrieta, currently sit in a tie for second two-strokes off the lead at six-under par 66.
Anderson, the defending champion, is one of three past champions in the field this week as well as PGA Professional Michael Block of Mission Viejo, 2001 Champion, and Bryan Martin of Thousand Oaks, 2015 Champion.
The morning wave saw the best conditions with 32 of the 39 rounds at even par are better coming from the early start times.
A couple of rare feats were also witnessed during the day as amateur Ethan Chung of Eastvale carding a double eagle on the par-5 11th. A flush 5-iron approach shot found the cup for an albatross. Additionally, amateur Donald Kay of San Diego had a hole-in-one of the par-3 16th.
With plenty of action ahead, check back in tomorrow to see how round two shakes up. The low 48 players and ties will make the cut following tomorrow’s second round.
You can also follow along on social media at @scpga.