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The Foursomes Championship consistently provides one of the toughest tests of golf for the best amateurs in Southern California. As one contestant (who will remain unnamed) said, “You’re only as good as your team’s weak link!” Combine the difficult alternate shot format with La Purisima GC and you’ve got a steep mountain to climb.
The course showed its infamous bite during the first day of play as players were faced with a cold, 20-30 mph wind throughout the day. Several players projected that breaking 80 would be an accomplishment that day … well, they were right. Gary Robinson and Sejun Yoon posted the only red number of the day, a 71, which was good enough for the overnight lead and a one stroke advantage over Mark Miller and Dan Sullivan.
Tuesday’s final round was graced with sunshine, calmer skies and happier golfers, though. At the end of the day, however, the biggest smiles belonged to Miller and Sullivan, who carded an amazing two-day total of one-under par 143 (72-71) – five strokes ahead of their closest competitors. The win marks both players first SCGA championship victory.
Miller and Sullivan play the majority of their golf together at Brookside Golf Club, where they are active members in one of the SCGA’s most accomplished men’s clubs. The two admitted that playing with and against each other is what has propelled their golf games to where they are today. When asked how they were able to shoot such a great score at La Purisima, Sullivan chuckled and said, “Mark hit a lot of great shots … I just didn’t do anything stupid.” The respect was mutual, as Miller credited the duo’s performance to Sullivan’s great iron play. “Dan is so solid with his irons. He teed off on all the odd holes (both days), which happen to be all of the par 3s at La Purisima.”
Ultimately, it was the team’s steady play which won the championship. Over the 36 holes they made 29 pars, four birdies and only three bogeys. “We avoided trouble and never made a big number. That’s huge at La Purisima,” said Sullivan. “Shooting this number at this course is a lot of fun.”
Looking ahead, Miller and Sullivan will undoubtedly be two of the favorites at the next SCGA major – the Public Links Championship, which will be held at Brookside Golf Club (their home course). When asked about his expectations at the upcoming 54-hole individual stroke play event, Miller said, “If I can beat him (Sullivan), I know I’ll be doing well.” Ironically, Sullivan’s answer was the same.