Each year the SCGA Amateur Championship typically crowns one of the state’s finest amateur golfers as its champion. That could not be closer to the truth the past two years, as 2011 Champion Patrick Cantlay (pictured) and 2012 Champion Bhavik Patel have both advanced to the final stage of Q-School and have proven they are not just two of the best golfers in the state, but also the country.
Surviving the first three stages of play and remaining in the hunt to earn one of 25 PGA TOUR cards are 174 golfers from around the country, who will begin the first of six rounds at PGA West Wednesday. The event runs through Monday.
Clearly highlighting the field is Cantlay, who has already had some success on Tour. Just prior to winning the 2011 SCGA Amateur at San Gabriel CC, the then-UCLA golfer earned low amateur honors at the 2011 U.S. Open. Cantlay left UCLA and turned professional earlier this year. He has already played in eight Tour events, and has four top 25 and one top ten finish under his belt. He tees off at 10 a.m. Wednesday on PGA West’s Stadium Course.
But someone not to overlook for one of those 25 elusive spots is Patel, who is coming into the final stage playing spectacular golf, having finished with the second-lowest score during the second stage of qualifying. The Bakersfield native shot rounds of 69, 67, 68 and 66 for a four-round total of 18-under par. He tees off at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday on PGA West’s Nicklaus Course.
The SCGA Amateur Championship is again represented in the field with Paul Stankowski, who won the event when it was held at Glendora CC in 1989. Stankowski has played in nearly 400 PGA TOUR events in his career, including earning two victories.
The following SCGA members will also be competing at PGA West this week:
David Lipsky, Glendale
Tom Pernice, Murrieta
Byron Smith, Palm Desert
Peter Tomasulo, Long Beach
Jeremiah Wooding, Riverside
Learn more about the final stage of Q-School here.