The Southern California PGA hosted the 2015 edition of the illustrious Match Play Championship at the scenic Sandpiper Golf Club on July 13th and 14th. Jamie Puterbaugh, PGA of Aviara Golf Club outlasted the strong 16 player tree to be claim the title.
The Match Play Championship tree was comprised of 16 very talented PGA Professionals from all over the Southern California section, with 15 of the professionals earning their spot in the tree by qualifying at one of three TPS Series tournaments held earlier in the year. The final spot in the tree was reserved for 2015 Match Play Champion Chris Gilley, PGA. All players who successfully qualified for the Match Play Championship were then seeded based on their 2014 final Player of the Year standings.
The first day featured a Monday full of exciting matches with the First Round and Quarter Round matches conducted. In the morning session, the first match of the day seemed to set the tone for the Championship as Don Littrell, PGA began his march to the Finals. The 16 seed dethroned defending champion Chris Gilley, PGA taking the match to the 18th hole where Littrell pulled off the upset. The First Round saw many high seeds prevail and surviving into the Quarter Finals where the field was cut in half and 8 players remained. Ron Skayhan, PGA continued the excitement in the Quarter Finals when he recorded a Hole-In-One on the 229 yard 4th hole. This was Skayhan’s second ace within a month in an SCPGA event and the 12th in his career, incredible. Ron rode the momentum and went to the 19th hole where he won his match with an eagle to defeat Ben Krug, PGA.
The Semi Finals went out early on Tuesday morning with both matches coming down to the wire, as all four players were grinding hard to have a spot in the Finals. The first match of the Semi Finals consisted of Don Litrell, PGA of GolfTEC facing Scott Heyn, PGA of Oakmont Country Club which saw a back and forth match as it turned All Square. Litrell then won the 10th and 11th holes to go 2 up, an advantage he rode throughout the back nine to win his match 2 & 1. The second match of the Semi Finals was made up of Jamie Puterbaugh, PGA of Avira Golf Club verse Ron Skayhan, PGA of Hillcrest Country Club. The match was All Square with four hole remaining when Puterbaugh birdied the 15th to go 1 up over Skayhan. Ron hung around and took the match to the 18th hole, where Jamie won 1 up to advance to the Finals.
The stage was then set for an afternoon match between Don Litrell, PGA and Jamie Puterbaugh, PGA to determine the SCPGA Match Play Champion. Each player played exceptional golf to make it to the Finals and both were determined to hoist the Cup following the final match. Puterbaugh took the early lead in the match winning the second and third hole, but Don got it back to All Square with his birdies on the 5th and 7th. Jamie found himself 1 up at the turn after winning the 9th and continued to lead the match throughout the back nine. Leading the match 1 up, Puterbaugh stepped up to a 30 foot putt on the 17th hole and sank it for a birdie. This put the pressure on Littrell to answer and make his birdie putt to force the match into the final hole, but his putt slid just past the hole to give Puterbaugh the 2 up victory. It was a hard fought match and exciting one to watch. The 16 player tree was then down to 1. The title of 2015 Match Play Champion was given to Jamie Puterbaugh, PGA. Congratulations and great playing Jamie!
A big “thank you” to PGA Host Professional Kyle Oliver, Richard Ruddy and the entire staff at Sandpiper Golf Club for their hospitality!
View the entire Match Play Championship result tree here