109th Amateur Match Play Championship Jake Yount | Spyglass Hill | Aug. 13-17
Given the spectacular nature Jake Yount
of Spyglass Hill’s first five holes, it might come as a surprise that NCGA Amateur Match Play Champion Jake Yount now has a
special affinity for the iconic course’s back nine. The champion captured his first NCGA major title by
playing his best golf on Spyglass Hill’s final nine, despite never playing Nos. 10 through 18 until this tournament run. In his four matches leading up to the 36-hole final, Yount trailed early in three of the four before making a move on the back nine to finish off his opponents. The finals told a different story, though, as Yount got off to a quick start and cruised to the finish line, winning 6 and 4 over Eric Ash.
On the second hole of the
match, when it took Ash five shots to get on the green after hitting two poor chip shots, the Blackhawk CC member took a 1-up lead and would maintain it the rest of the day. By the end of the seventh hole Ash was
3 down due to more trouble, having hit his approach on the sixth hole into the greenside bunker and on the seventh, hitting his drive beside a tree that hindered his
swing. Ash looked to get back in the match briefly when he hit his approach shot on No. 8 to four feet for a birdie and found himself 2 down. However, he then took a bogey on the ninth when his ball failed to get to the fairway after it clipped a tree on his tee shot. Making the turn at 3 down, Ash continued to get into trouble, while Yount continued to play steady hitting lots of fairways and greens to take a 6-up lead. The second 18, the eClub Sacramento member would hang tough and actually win more holes than Yount— winning four holes to Yount’s three—but by then he was running out of opportunities. Yount’s par on the 514-yard 14th, the 32nd hole of the match, was all it took to close out Ash for the victory. The consistency of the first-time NCGA Match Play contestant was evident as he finished with 27 pars, three bogeys and two birdies in the final day of competition en route to the title.
Quick Facts FIELD AND FORMAT: 146 players competed in 36 holes of stroke play to qualify for the 32-player match play bracket
MARVELOUS MEDALISTS: Jay Myers and Austin Roberts both fired 66-75–141 in stroke play to take medalist honors.
CHAMPION’S BRACKET RECAP: def. Brian Knoll, 2 and 1; def. Patrick Soli, 19 holes; def. Scott Hardy, 4 and 3; def. Danny Paniccia, 1 up; def. Eric Ash, 6 and 4.
PREVIOUS CHAMPION: John Catlin IN THE TROPHY CASE: An antique sterling silver trophy is awarded to the winner of the oldest NCGA major.
STAT OF SIGNIFICANCE: Yount is the first mid- amateur to win the championship since Matt Bettencourt in 2001.
WORDS OF A CHAMPION: “I rolled up here on Monday morning and had to start off the 10th tee, which was the first time I saw the back nine. I had talked to a lot of people about how to play it, but I kind of blind-eyed it and stared at my yardage book a lot.”
UNTIL NEXT TIME: Aug. 12-16, 2013, at Spyglass Hill For complete tournament coverage, including scorecards and photos, visit NCGA.org. 56 / NCGA.ORG / FALL 2012