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A Ban-ner Win N


o golfer had ever won the California State Amateur while playing at Cal.


And if Shotaro Ban didn’t do it, Cal teammates Ben Doyle and Keelan Kilpatrick might have been the ones to break through. The 21-year-old rising senior


at Cal won his first four matches 1-up, including two over teammates Doyle and Kilpatrick, before topping 17-year-old Joshua Sedeno 5 and 4 in the finals to win the 104th Califor- nia Amateur Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club during a grueling final week of June. “It’s very special to have my name


on that trophy,” said Ban, the 2009 Junior Tour Player of the Year from San Jose. “There are so many names on that trophy that have gone on to do great things. Hopefully this is a stepping stone for me, and I can build off of it and do bigger things in the future.” Ban barely snuck into match play,


Cal Senior Shotaro Ban Slices Through Field to Win California State Amateur


opening with a 4-over 76 before closing with three birdies in his final five holes to shoot 70 and make the cut on the number. Ban then squeezed through the


first two rounds with razor-thin victo- ries, beating both his teammates in 19 holes—first the No. 8 Doyle, then the No. 9 Kilpatrick. A total of four Cal golfers made match play, with K.K. Limhasut also qualifying as the No. 4 seed after a 5-under 139. (He was knocked out in the second round.) Ban then took down Costa Mesa’s


Pete Fernandez 1 up in the quarterfi- nals, and Stanford’s Franklin Huang 1 up in the semis. Ban trailed Huang three times,


but birdied four of his last five holes to close the match out on No. 18. Ban had five birdies on the back nine, while Huang had four. Both players birdied their final three holes. “It was the best match I’ve ever had,” Ban said. “Franklin is a great


player. It was awesome to see him stripe it shot after shot. He showed a lot of guts.”


Ban had an easier time in the 36-hole finals, leading from the third hole on. Ban was 3 up after 18, reached 4 up on the 25th hole, and finished birdie-birdie to close out Sedeno on the 32nd hole. Ban’s win extended a four-year


streak where the champion came from the host association’s membership. Only twice in the nine years the event left Pebble Beach Golf Links has that trend been broken. “It’s a good experience going for-


ward,” said Sedeno, who is committed to playing at Southern Methodist Uni- versity in 2016. “Not a lot of kids my age get this kind of experience against this quality of players.” Finishing runner-up in this event has been a promising forecaster of future success. Beau Hossler lost in 2014 finals, and is now ranked No. 5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Bryson Dechambeau lost in the 2013 finals, and is now No. 14 in the world after his NCAA Individual Champi- onship at SMU. Medalist Satch Hermann was three


Runner-up Joshua Sedeno


clear of the field with an 8-under 136 that included a second-day 66, but he was knocked out in the second round of match play by Fernandez.


SUMMER 2015 / NCGA.ORG / 57


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