Monday, July 29, 2013

Live from Martis Camp: US Junior Amateur Wrap-Up

   Well, a great week in Truckee is completely over and it's back to the grind.  Not that I'm complaining, today I am working a US Amateur Qualifying at Pasatiempo...Not a bad place to be either.  But there is the unfinished business of my round as an observer for the semi-final match, and the most untimely Rules situation I believe in US Junior Amateur history.
   On Friday, I was one of two observers in the semi-final match between John Augenstein and Davis Riley.  The round went without much ado until the 13th hole.  Much like my first round as an observer where Ryan Gregg snapped a great shot of me running up the side of the 13th hole, I took the high position and ran up to see if any balls entered the water hazard ESA and sure enough, one did.  It was again in by only an inch but because the hazard was an ESA, he was not allowed to play the ball from that position.  I confirmed that the ball was in the ESA and that the drop zone was an option, and David Staebler also confirmed that the 26-1a and b options were also available.  Augenstien chose to use the drop zone.
   Riley ended up wining the match on the 15th hole, once again saving me from having to rush up the hill to the 16th green.  But in the finals, Riley had one of the most admirably handled and most untimely Rules situation occur on the final hole of the match.
    Riley was on the wrong end of a comeback by eventual champion Scheffler when 2 down on the 16th hole he was staring down a putt for birdie.  His ball was against the fringe and he noticed the ball move after he had addressed it.
   He was the only one who noticed and he immediately called over the referee for the match, Skip Gist, who confirmed it was a one-stroke penalty and the ball had to be replaced.  Unfortunately that pretty much sealed his fate.  At that point, he could've halved the hole and still had a chance to win 17 and 18 to force extra holes, but the stroke penalty led to an easy lag putt by Scheffler whose par putt was conceded for the hole and the match.
   Scheffler had played stellar golf throughout the week and was a deserving champion.  I would like to thank a few people who contributed to a wonderful week for me.  First, thank you to Greg Sanfilippo, the USGA staff person in charge, for the invitation and for a wonderful event.  To the Martis Camp staff led by Gus Jones who were truly gracious hosts.  To Skip Gist and other members of the US Junior Amateur Championship Committee for allowing me to be a part of this great championship on the official side of things.  It was very special for me to be a part of the championship that led to so many great things in my own junior golf career - Thank you all.

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