2022 State Fair Mid-Amateur
The California State Fair Men’s Mid Amateur Golf Championship was held at Bing Maloney GC on the weekend of August 20-21, 2022. This tournament was formerly named the California State Fair Master’s Golf Championship from 2003-2019 and the Mid-Am since 2020.
On Saturday, the tournament began under extremely hot conditions with not even a hint of breeze. This did not stop Tanner Makimoto of Roseville from posting a sizzling first round score of 66 that included seven birdies on Holes 1, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12 and 14 with a single bogey on the short but difficult par 3 third hole. Although Tanner had the lead, several players finished Saturday within range for Sunday. Keith Okasaki of Sacramento, no stranger to Bing Maloney, was close behind after firing a solid 68 that included 5 birdies and one mistake on hole 11, having to take an unplayable against the greenside boundary fence. A group of players were close behind at three under par 69, including Derek Strain of Arbuckle, Thomas Steinhoff of Colusa, Ryan Deakyne of El Dorado Hills and Tighe Hammam of Sacramento. Also lurking dangerously at 3 under was 2020 CA State Fair Mid-Am Champ, Juan Gonzalez of Antelope, who carded a nice eagle on Hole 14. Last year’s Mid-Am Champ, Alvaro Estrada of Sacramento, also shot a solid one under 71 capped with a nice birdie on 18 in defense of his title.
The second round was significantly cooler than Saturday but that meant a steady breeze all day that seemed to confuse some players off the first tee with nearly half the field missing the fairway on their opening tee shot. Tanner and Keith, playing in the last group, both missed the fairway left. Keith missed the green from the left trees and made bogey, but Tanner, missing the fairway by some thirty plus yards left, made a great 4. Tanner could not make another miracle par on the second hole and made bogey but a birdie on 4 steadied him. Keith’s slow start continued on the difficult par 4 Hole 2, and he had two more bogeys on Holes 8 and 12, but he offset those with 4 birdies on holes 7, 9, 13 and 14, coming in with a respectable even par round to finish in 4th place. Tighe Hammam also playing in the final group also had a roller coaster round with 7 pars, 6 bogeys and 5 birdies, coming in at one over 73, finishing in a tie for 5th place at 2 under.
Earlier in the day, Scott Stevens of Garden Valley, starting 8 strokes behind after a first round 74, made a strong push with five birdies on Holes 5, 6, 9, 11 and the most difficult 12th hole, but failing to birdie the short par 5 14th hole and a bogey at 17 hurt his chances. Scott still shot the low round of the day at 4 under 68 to finish in a tie for 5th place. Rocklin Shaw of Carmichael and Eric Morgan of Rocklin also posted final round two under 70s to finish at 2 under in 5th place.
On the back nine, the tournament turned into a three man race with Juan Gonzalez and Derek Strain making serious charges. Derek was steady all day with birdies on 7 and 11 with no bogeys at 5 under going into hole 14. Juan bogeyed 7, but he posted birdies on 6, 9, 11 and 13, that left him at six under, tying Tanner going into Hole 14. Hole 14 saw some fireworks as Derek birdied the hole to temporarily tie Tanner and Juan at 6 under, but Tanner seemingly took control of the tournament with an eagle for a two stroke lead at 8 under. Both Juan and Derek had tough bogeys on 17 that placed them both three back giving Tanner a comfortable lead going into the last two holes.
Perhaps feeling too comfortable, Tanner made a mistake on his drive on 17 that lead to a double bogey. Just before that, Juan drained a birdie putt to get back to six under on 17. Suddenly Juan and Tanner were tied again at six under going into the last hole with Derek just one back. Derek, was unable to make a birdie on 17 and 18 but finished in sole third place at 5 under par.
After Juan parred 18 for his second 69 to finish at 6 under, a crowd started to form at the 18th green after seeing that Tanner and Juan were tied on the live leaderboard. You would think that the double bogey would shake Tanner’s nerves, but instead, he showed great intestinal fortitude as he piped his drive and stuck his approach shot to four feet to a difficult back right pin on 18. With a crowd of 25-30 players and spectators watching, Tanner calmly rolled in his birdie putt to claim the 2022 CA State Fair Mid-Am Championship.
The Mid-Am is an NCGA points tournament and Makimoto has a spot reserved to play in the California State Fair Men’s Amateur Golf Championship at Alister Mackenzie Golf Course at Haggin Oaks on Labor Day weekend.
The tournament director, Sean Wong, would like to thank all the participants for a great tournament weekend. Special thanks must be given to the co-directors and volunteers that helped make the tournament run smoothly, including Larry Glasmire, Janis Luis, Alan Luis, Greg Bisi, Deborah Kanner, Tai Mamea and Riley Wong. The Bing Maloney staff, including tournament director at Bing Maloney, George Golden, and the general manager, Mike McGrath, also should be commended to getting the course in good shape despite the extremely high temperatures of over 100 degrees during the couple weeks prior to the tournament.