The SCGA Amateur Championship is the nation's second-oldest, continuously contested amateur golf championship, having been held every year since 1900. Many of the nation's great amateurs -- from Paul Hunter and George von Elm to Craig Steinberg and Tiger Woods -- have won the championship and an even greater number have failed to capture the prestigious title.
1920: E.. H. Seaver, LACC, defeated J. F. Neville of San Francisco, SFCC, 3 & 2 at Los Angeles CC. Seaver, who had just won the Trans-Mississippi Championship, is the father of Charles Seaver (1934 SCGA Amateur champion) and grandfather of Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver.
1921: Dr. Paul Hunter, Annandale and Midwick, defeated Robert E. Hunter, Midwick, 6 & 4 in a 36-hole match at Los Angeles CC. Paul Hunter returns to the tournament as a physician and defeats his cousin in the final. Dr. Hunter qualified with a 144. He then played on the U. S. International Golf team (precursor to the Walker Cup) which defeated Great Britain.
1922: George Von Elm, Rancho CC, defeated E. H. Seaver, LACC, 5 & 4. Von Elm arrived from Salt Lake City with a big reputation for sterling tournament play. This marked the first time the tournament was held at Pasadena CC and Flintridge CC.
1923: Willie I. Hunter, Rancho CC, defeated E. S. Armstrong, Midwick, 2 & 1 at Midwick CC. Hunter (no relation to Paul) was 1921 British Amateur Champion and 1922 runner-up. He arrived at the newly rebuilt Midwick course by train the morning of qualifying.
1924: Paul Hunter defeated Willie Hunter, 2 & 1 at Annandale GC (Paul Hunter's home course). It was Paul Hunter's first tournament after getting married. The best match of the tournament was during the second round between Fred Wright, Flintridge CC, and W. W. Campbell, Los Angeles CC, which Wright won on the 26th hole. The field included five former champions among 130 entries.
1925: George Von Elm defeated Norman Macbeth, Wilshire CC, 12 & 10 at Los Angeles CC, the largest final-match margin in tournament history. Von Elm went on to win the 1925 Northern California Golf Association and California Amateur championships, making him the only man to win all three titles in the same year. The following year, Von Elm won the U.S. Amateur Championship.
1926: Paul Hunter defeated R. G. Cawsey, California CC, 10 & 9, to win his fifth SCGA Amateur crown, a record that still stands. It was also the second-largest margin in a final match. This marked the first time that the tournament was held at California and Brentwood CCs.
1927: George Von Elm defeated Paul Hunter, Annandale, 7 & 6. First time fans are charged to attend the tournament, $2 for the week. Five former champions in the field, including Von Elm who also won the 1926 National Amateur Championship. Rain delayed the final match one day, first time the event was held at Lakeside GC.
1928: Fay Coleman, California CC, defeated 17-year-old Charles Seaver, 6 & 4 at Midwick CC. In 1933 Seaver (whose father had won the 1920 SCGA Amateur) went on to win the Northern California GA and California Amateur and the following year won the SCGA Amateur.
1929: Gibson Dunlap, Riviera CC, defeated David Martin, California CC, on the 38th hole at Bel-Air CC. All of the "old guard" players were eliminated by the semifinals. Dunlap, a junior at UCLA, won on the second extra hole when a missed putt stymied Martin, who would come back to win the title two years later. The 38-hole final match is a tournament record.
1930: Fay Coleman defeated Russell Thompson, Oakmont CC, 3-2 at Midwick. This was Coleman's second SCGA Amateur title.
1931: David Martin, California CC, defeated W. L. (Wild Bill) Jelliffe, El Caballero CC, 2 up at Los Angeles CC. This marked the first time that the tournament was all match play with no qualifying round or medal play. The championship trophy was presented to Martin by Bobby Jones.
1932: Jack Gaines, Oakmont CC, defeated Harold Thompson, Oakmont CC, 2 & 1 before a record gallery of 1,000 at San Gabriel CC. Gaines was 2-down after 18 holes, but four birdies on the final 18 fueled his victory. Thompson defeated Joe Hunter on the 41st hole in their semifinal match.
1933: Harold Thompson defeated Neil White, USC, 2 up at Brentwood CC. Thompson defeated Dave Martin, the 1931 SCGA and California Amateur champion, before facing White. White was defending state champion after beating Thompson in the 1932 state finals 3-2.
1934: Charles Seaver defeated Lynn Lardner, Brentwood CC, 7 & 6 at Bel-Air CC. Seaver was the son of 1920 champion E. H. (Everett) Seaver and father of baseball hall-of-fame pitcher Tom Seaver. Seaver was also just the second person to hold both the SCGA, NCGA and California Amateur titles having won the State in 1933. Lardner was Wisconsin State Champion in 1932.
1935: Harry Wesbrook, Annandale GC, defeated Gibson Dunlap, Oakmont CC, 2 & 1. Wesbrook never trailed in the tournament at The Los Angeles CC.
1936: Roger Kelly, LACC, defeated Gibson Dunlap, Oakmont CC, 3 & 2 at San Diego CC, the first time the event had been held outside of Los Angeles County. Kelly won back-to-back California Amateur titles in 1938-39 and became one of the finest amateur golfers ever; the Kelly Cup at Lakeside GC is named after him.
1937: Jack Gaines defeated Jimmy McHale, 7& 6 to win his second SCGA Amateur title. It was the first SCGA Amateur Championship played at Riviera CC. Gaines was also the 1935 California Amateur champion.
1938: Pat Abbott, Altadena Golf Course, defeated Guy Hanson, Lakeside GC, 5 & 4 at California CC. Abbot, who won the 1936 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, became the first public course players to win the SCGA Amateur; he won again in 1941.
1939: Frank Hixon, Midwick CC, defeated Pat Abbott, 2 & 1 at Annandale GC. Hixon, a survivor of infantile paralysis, would win a second SCGA Amateur title 19 years later at Wilshire CC.