Cal Bears’ Senior Finigan Tilly Wins the 2020 96th Annual California State Fair Championship

Cal Bears’ Senior and team MVP Finigan Tilly wins the 2020 96th Annual California State Fair Championship at the Alister MacKenzie GC at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex.

2020 96th Annual California State Fair Champion, Finigan Tilly
2020 96th Annual California State Fair Champion, Finigan Tilly

As one of the oldest and most prestigious Amateur Championships in the West, Finigan Tilly adds his name to the Sacramento Clearing House Trophy that has fellow champions on it such as Ken Venturi, Al Geiberger, Kevin Sutherland, George Archer and more with his win of the 2020 California State Fair Championship.

This year’s final round of the California State Fair Championship was both sizzling hot in terms of temperature and scores. With a scorching heat wave in Sacramento resulting in temperatures forecasted to be 109, the field of amateurs posted a series of terrific low scores across the historic track. None were able to top Tilly, however, as he followed up his 2020 Grapevine Amateur at Silverado in Napa victory earlier this year (which he won by a blistering, 11 strokes) with another one stroke victory in Sacramento. Tilly finished the tourney 14-under (202) with a 67-68-67.

The final round wasn’t without drama at the end. With Sacramento’s own Brett Viboch (67-68-68) and Blake Hathcoat (Fresno, CA) from Saint Mary’s College (70-64-69) a single stroke behind going into the Par 5 18th hole, a birdie by the second-place finishers would have forced a playoff as Tilly also made par. But neither could capitalize there at the end and it ended up handing Tilly his first California State Fair Championship win.

Devon Bling started the weekend as two-time State Fair defending champion and was 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 followed up his attempt to three-peat with a great last round of 67 to finish at minus seven 209 for the tournament.

The University of North Florida’s Nick Infanti (Clarksburg, MD) fired a brilliant last round 67 to finish in standalone fourth place at 204.

Ethan Farnam (Crystal Lake, IL), the lanky lefty also from Saint Mary’s College, Sam Harned (Rocklin, CA), the fifth year senior from University of Nevada Reno, and Mason Greene (Tustin, CA), from UCLA, all finished at tied for fifth at 11 under par 205. Harned, who just made his own return from a run in the US Amateur Championship where he made it into match play, completed his third straight top ten finish in the State Fair tourney.

A full scoreboard with a listing of all the final scores can be found here:

About the course:

The 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.

Check Out This Additional Link for a Summary of the First Day’s Event:

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