The AAA division wrapped up its stroke play series yesterday evening at Via Verde Country Club in San Dimas, leaving the Championship and North/South Cup Matches as the final two remaining events on the 2016 AAA calendar. The quaint little country club, weaving through a quiet residential area, put a premium on course management. Measuring a modest 6,400+ yards, Via Verde may have given some players the impression this would be a stroll in the park…but the narrow corridors, small greens, and many dog legs would be sure to penalize any off line shots!
All the “big guns” were out, jockeying for valuable POY points in hopes of making the 7th Annual AAA North/South Cup Matches. Bobby Nickell of Arroyo Trabuco set the pace in the first group firing a four under par 68. The second group out included Chris Lungo of Arroyo Trabuco and newly crowned Southern California PGA Professional Champion Kenny Pigman, PGA, from Goose Creek, both of whom shot 68’s as well, setting up the possibility of an enticing playoff!
However, Raj Samra of Friendly Hills, runner up in the AAA Match Play Championship and winner of the AAA Chapman at Goat Hill Park, was primed and ready to play spoiler! Sitting at four under par coming to the closing par 5 18th, Raj needed a birdie for his second win on the AAA season. His second shot into the par 5 missed the green but left him a fairly straight forward pitch to get up and down for the win. The “Raj Mahal” as they call him, did one better and holed his pitch shot for eagle to shoot 66 and win by two shots! It was also Raj’s career low in a tournament! Congratulations to Raj Samra on an impressive, career best, round of golf!
The SCPGA would also like to congratulate Michael Mendoza of Pauma Valley Country Club and Eric Mitchell, PGA, of Anaheim Hills Golf Club for winning the Maui Jim closest to the pin competitions. Each is now a proud new owner of a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses.
Lastly, the SCPGA would like to thank the host facility and PGA Head Professional Tim Haas for their hospitality as well as Maui Jim and Western Regional Manager Keith Achman for their continued support of the AAA division! Next up…the AAA Championship at The Crosby on October 18th! Look forward to seeing you there!