2023 State Fair Mid-Amateur

2023 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 19-20, 2023.

The quality of the field showed out the first day with 14 players posting under par scores despite a tough course set up, including our defending champion, Tanner Makimoto of Roseville with a one under par 71. Early in the day, Eli Poppers of Sacramento came in with a solid 67. In the very next group, Scott Bubany of Rocklin came in with a blistering 66, carding a pristine scorecard with four birdies and an eagle on Hole 14. Marc Engellener and Scott Alward both of Rocklin each posted solid rounds of 68 but Scott held the clubhouse lead most of the day until Kenneth McCready of Cameron Park took the first round lead coming in late with a 7 under 65. Ken’s round got off to a slow start with an early bogey on the difficult par 4 2nd hole, but Ken reeled off 8 birdies in the last 13 holes.

The Sunday scores continued to come in low as Domingo Jojola of Sacramento, one under on Sunday, matched Bo’s 67 to tie for 4th at 6 under while Andrew Warren of Dublin, even the first day, came in with a 66 with a very aggressive round that included 7 birdies, a double, a bogey and an eagle. Despite these great early scores, the tournament turned into a three-player race.

Ken McCready and Scott Bubany, playing in the last group seemingly separated themselves posting 33s on the front nine to get to 10 and 9 under respectively at the turn. An unlikely challenge, however, emerged from 2020 State Fair Mid Am Champion Juan Gonzalez. Juan mounted an early charge with four straight birdies on Holes 3, 4 5 and 6. He finished a 31 front nine with a birdie on the par 5 9th hole. Juan stayed hot on the back with birdies on holes 10, 11 and 14 and 15. Juan could not muster another birdie though coming in with three straight pars to tie the tournament single day record with a 9 under 63 to take the clubhouse lead at 10 under par.

While Juan was making birdie after birdie, Ken and Scott were still playing well. After Ken birdied the 9th hole to go to 10 under, he parred the 10th but eagled the 11th to get to 12 under. Ken, however, stumbled with a bogey on the 12th hole to drop back to 11 under. Meanwhile, Scott, one behind after nine, birdied the 11th to get to 10 under, but bogeyed 13 to drop back to 9 under, two behind Ken. Ken made an uncharacteristic par on the easy par 5 14th hole and Scott took advantage with a birdie to get back to 10 under, tied with Juan and only one back of the leader. Ken made some really good pars coming in on holes 15, 16 and 17 to stay at 11 under. Scott again dropped a shot on 16 after missing a short par putt, however, he made a miraculous chip in birdie, short sided from 25 feet to get back to 10

After Scott’s chip in, a crowd was forming at the 18th green to see if Ken could hold off Scott and also if he could par or birdie to stay ahead of Juan, sitting at 10 under in the clubhouse. Would there be a playoff? On 18, Scott hit his approach shot to about 25 feet right and short of the back left hole location. Ken, after bombing a 300 plus yard drive down the middle stuck a shot in close to 10 feet. With a crowd of 30-40 players who stuck around and family and friends watching, Scott calmly rolled in his putt for birdie to tie Ken at 11 under to knock Juan out of the lead. Ken lined up his birdie putt, however, it slid past the hole and he tapped in for par to tie Scott at 11 under. There would be a playoff.

In the playoff, Ken made three really good pars. Scott matched Ken’s pars on the first two playoff holes, but he just missed his par putt on the 3rd playoff hole. In the end, Ken proved too steady reeling off nine consecutive pars to claim the 2023 California State Fair Mid Amateur Championship.