The 2014 AAA Match Play Championship was conducted over two and a half months, and saw 29 of the best AAA competitors battle it out for the title of match play champion. Once the dust settled from the first three rounds, the final four left standing were set to battle it out at beautiful Hillcrest Country Club in Beverly Hills, CA. Reigning champion Michael Drake had a rematch of his 2013 match play semifinal against Booby Nickell of Monarch Beach Golf Links. Our other semifinal match saw the 2014 Assistants Champion Kenny Pigman, of Goose Creek Golf Club take on Larry Correa from La Purisima Golf Club.
Early on Nickell and Pigman took commanding leads in their matches, and neither Drake nor Correa could find a way to get back in their matches. The back nine told a different story as Drake battled back from four down to win four of the last five holes and force the match to a playoff. On the first playoff hole, Nickell hit a great approach shot that saw him in perfect position to close out his match. Nickell did just that after sinking a birdie putt to send the defending champion home. The other match saw similar fortune for Correa, as he won six straight holes after being four down to close out Pigman in 17 holes. The final saw Nickell and Correa go shot for shot early on, with Correa being the first to strike. At the turn Correa held a two up lead, but just as it happened in the morning matches, the back nine was going to decide the outcome. Nickell got hot at the right time, and was able to tie the match, and ultimately take the lead. With only three holes left, Nickell was two up heading to the par 3 sixteenth. After finding the green off the tee, Nickell calming sank his putt to claim his second AAA Match Play Championship in three years. Next up in the AAA Division is our AAA Championship presented by Greg Norman Collection on October 9th at The Golf Club of California at Fallbrook.
The SCPGA would like to send a special thank you to Hillcrest Country Club, its members and especially head professional Paul Wise, PGA and PGA apprentice Scot Alexander for allowing or AAA members to play such an outstanding course for the final two rounds. This is the second year in a row Hillcrest Country Club has played host to an SCPGA event, and we thank you for your continued support of our section and all of its events.