The U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship is being held this week at Soldier Hollow GC in Midway, Utah, and a number of SCGA members are thus far taking advantage of their opportunity at the USGA event. Seventeen golfers shot under par Monday, in the first day of the six-day tournament, six of which hail from Southern California.
California golfers were led by SCGA member James Erkenbeck, who shot a 3-under par 68, good enough for T3 at the conclusion of play Monday. The San Diego resident, who began his round on the 10th hole, made three consecutive birdies on holes 12 to 14 and added a fourth at the par-5 16th to turn in 4-under 31. He last year advanced to the event's Round of 16. In addition, NCGA member and 2012 Southern California High School Champion Bryson DeChambeau shot an impressive 2-under par 69 to sit in the top 5.
“I feel very comfortable out here while I see some of the other guys guessing,” said Erkenbeck. “All the things that come with the altitude – it’s not just distance, it’s controlling your trajectory and spin too – it all makes a big difference.”
Also joining them towards the top of the leaderboard were local collegiate golfers Xander Schauffele of San Diego State as well as Anton Arboleda (pictured) and Manav Shah of UCLA. Schauffele and Arboleda both shot first-round scores of 1-under par 70.
"The course itself is pretty open, but you have to place your ball in the right spots to have good looks at birdies," said Arboleda. "It's also very hilly, so it's a tough walk! I felt good overall, though. I left a few out there but played well and am excited about the rest of the week."
Michael Kim of UC Berkeley, who is from Del Mar Calif., is the other golfer with SCGA ties to have success Monday. The former SCGA member shot a 2-under par 69.
Follow along with live scores from Tuesday's action here. Afterwards, the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers for match play, which begins Wednesday. The 36-hole championship match is scheduled for Saturday.