The 96th Annual State Fair Men’s Amateur Championship at the Alister MacKenzie GC at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex is one of the oldest and most prestigious Amateur Championships in the West.
Under the leadership of the Sacramento Golf Council, the tournament celebrates its rich history with previous winners such as Ken Venturi, Al Geiberger, Kevin Sutherland, George Archer, and more.
This year’s first round held Saturday, September 5, 2020, was both sizzling hot in terms of temperature and scores. Despite a scorching heat wave in Sacramento resulting in temperatures over the century mark, the field of amateurs posted a series of terrific low scores across the historic track. Each of the players are striving to add their name to the historic Sacramento Clearing House silver trophy that was first used in the tournament back in 1925 and won by Geo Richie from the Olympic Club.
Devon Bling started the weekend as a two-time State Fair defending champion and is fresh from his appearance at the US Amateur at Bandon Dunes GC in Oregon last month. In addition to his State Fair Championship wins, Bling has had a runner-up finish at the U.S. Amateur, made a Masters start, and a U.S. Open start, and played terrific golf at UCLA. Devon opened up his attempt to three-peat with a couple of late birdies that got him an even-par 72 start.
Six golfers are currently tied for the lead after day one. California Bears team MVP Finigan Tilly was four under after just seven holes and rode that quick start to a minus five 67 start in the event.
Rocklin HS graduate and University of Nevada Reno star Sam Harned, who just made his own return from a run in the US Amateur Championship where he made it into match play, birdied four of his last five holes to fire a blistering five-under-par 67 to help take his place among the leaders.
Cameron Park resident and high school sophomore Julian Monas opened the morning with an incredible 67 that was clearly all the more remarkable considering his young age.
Two-time Sacramento County Golf Championship winner Juan P Gonzalez birdied 5 out of his last 6 holes to also post a five-under round of 67.
Sacramento-resident Brett Viboch, who grew up in Moraga, spent four years as a pro before regaining his amateur status back in 2014. Viboch fired a 67 as well in his morning round.
San Diego State University Junior Youssef Guezzale also shot a 67 in his opening round.
Matt Haass played his amateur golf in Davis and now in college at Holy Names University and shot a 68 to be just behind the leaders in a tie with several others at minus four.
The cut is projected to be at even par after tomorrow’s second round and before the final third round on Labor Day on Monday.
A full scoreboard with a listing of all the first-day scores can be found here: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/2617003
About the course:
The Alister MacKenzie Golf Course was designed in 1932 by the renowned Dr. Alister MacKenzie, who designed several of the world’s top courses, including Augusta National, Royal Melbourne, and Cypress Point. The MacKenzie Golf Course is a classic “parkland” golf course with flat to rolling terrain. The fairways are lined with mature oak trees and the Arcade Creek meanders through the middle of the course. The course hosted the PGA Tour’s Sacramento Open from 1935-1938, and legendary players participated each year including Walter Hagen, Jimmy Demaret, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, and Ben Hogan. The course also hosted the 1963 U.S. Public Links Championship and the 1992 U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship.