Nicholas Noya Leads AmateurGolf.com Tour Championship
CARMEL, Calif. (December 17, 2016) -- UC Davis senior Nicolas Noya leads the way at the AmateurGolf.com Tour Championship presented by Callaway Golf after posting a 2-under 69.
Noya, a native of South San Francisco, was 1-under heading into the par-5 ninth - his last hole - when he striped a 3-wood from 245 yards that came off the slope to the right of the green, within 10 feet of the front right pin. His putt for 68 slid by, but was able to knock in the comebacker for the only round in the 60's.
Noya leads by one shot over a trio of players who shot 70: UC Davis's Ryan Han, SMU's Daniel Connolly, and University of the Pacific's Daniel Pena. Han, a runner-up in this event last year, had a bit of good fortune when his tee shot on the par-3 11th careened off the left trees to within 15 feet of the hole. Though he missed his birdie effort, he used his momentum to knock in a birdie on his next hole.
Within striking distance are: Cal Bear sophomore Sean Yu (71), St. Mary's freshman Blake Hathcoat (71), Auburn University's Ryan Knop (72), high school junior Ryan Grauman, and Cal Bear Clayton Madey.
Tony Ralph leads the senior division after an opening round 76. The Sunnyvale, Calif. native opened with a 5-over 41 on the front but turned things around quickly on the back nine with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-3 11th. A few bogeys and a final hole birdie gave him a back-nine 35. He'll take a three shot lead over Lawrence Field and Sung Han into the final round.
Korsen Yu fired a 2-under 69 to lead the net division by two shots over Lyle Covino. Yu credited his multiple trips to the Old Course at St. Andrews as the key to success around the links-style Poppy Hills. Without much confidence in his chipping, Yu was able to putt very effectively from the tightly mowed surfaces around the greens similar to those of historic St. Andrews.