MONTEREY, Calif. (December 4, 2016) -- Using a hot putter and a superb short game high school senior Ashkaam Hakim broke free of a three-way tie at the start of the final round to win the the Christmas Classic and his first career amateur title. Hakim followed up a first round 70 with a second day 1-under 71 at Del Monte Golf Course to finish 3-under and one-stroke in front of Lucas Lam.
"I was putting really well today," said Hakim. "I've been working really hard at it and it is usually my strength and I haven't had it of late but the practice paid off and to do it on these greens, maybe the toughest that I have ever putted on it was good to see the hard work pay off."
Hakim, headed to St. Mary's to continue his career next year, outdueled three University of California players on Sunday.
"I've played in a lot of these amateur events and I love them because you get to play with a lot of the top players," Hakim said of playing alongside a trio of Cal players. "These guys were great players, great competition and it was a grind for the whole day, I enjoyed it."
Runner-up Lucas Lam used the round of the tournament, a 5-under 67 to vault himself into second place. The round was an eight-stroke turnaround from his 3-over 75 in the first round. After beginning his day on the 3rd hole, Lam closed in style with an eagle on the par-5 1st. Lam also had three birdies in a row from holes 5-7.
Currently a student at Cal, Lam has tried unsuccessfully to walk onto the team the past two years but is hoping this result will get head coach's Walter Chun's attention.
Defending champion Ben Doyle tied for third alongside Cal teammate Seb Crampton and Sacramento State’s Zac Liberatore at 1-under.
Two other Cal players, KK Limbhasut and Sean Yu, finished even-par to share sixth.
David Nelson (Reno, NV) shot rounds of 72-74 to post 2-over and win the Senior Division by a pair of shots over Kevin Kobalter (San Rafael) and Hank McCusker (Mendocino).
Throughout the day Nelson played solid and his round could have been better had a few putts that burned the edge dropped. Nelson caught a break during his round when a bladed wedge hit the flag and ended up 10 feet from the hole.
Once Nelson, who started on No. 10, took the lead he finished with six straight pars to close his back nine.
Lyle Covino (Brisbane) recorded bookend wins this year in the Net Division. Covino had previously won the Silicon Valley Amateur. In the final round Covino, a two-stroke winner, didn’t light it up but no one was pressing his advantage.
Mark Heald (Turlock) finished second and Charles Balisha (Turlock) was third.
Sean Edgecumbe (Los Altos) and Brandon Baker (Bay Point) both had impressive bounce back rounds on Sunday. Edgecumbe carded rounds of 90-72 and said of his even-par second round, “a little better today.” Baker was fifteen shots better on day two shooting a 74, one day after he shot a 99.
After shooting a 1-under 71 in the first round to tie for second place 14-year-old Ethan Chung (Cupertino) unfortunately had to withdraw due to a hip injury.
Ashkaam Hakim on heading to St. Mary's: "Coach (Scott) Harding is a great guy, he runs a great program. I've met a lot of the team and they are all great players and it is a really talented team. I won't be to far away from home (so) I will kind of have a good feel for the program already and I am excited to take my game to the next level."
AGC Christmas Classic Photo Gallery