CARLSBAD, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2016) -- A field of 70 mostly collegiate and high school players from Southern California played the "Palmer Tees" at Aviara Golf Club today in the first round of the AGC San Diego Amateur. The course was long, the ball was played as it lies. And we're sure the late Arnold Palmer, who designed the course 25 years ago, would have loved to see this level of competition on a mid-December day.
At the end of the day, it was Taylor Myers alone on top of a crowded leaderboard. The Novato resident (North Bay San Francisco) started on the challenging 18th hole in today's shotgun start, getting the dogleg-right, watery monster -- that caused many of the field to record "others" -- out of the way with a par. He then went to the front nine like a man on a mission, birdieing Nos. 1 and 2 before recording two more back-to-back (6 and 7) on his way to a 4-under 32. Another birdie at No. 10 and the number got to 5-under before Myers settled down with two bogeys coming in to finish 3-under.
He'll take a 2-shot lead over both Kyle Haas (Rancho Cucamonga) and Austin Fox (Folsom). Both players recorded 1-under rounds of 71.
And how about this card? Christian Guerzon posted a round that would make Bobby Jones proud. (Jones often compared golf to a match against "Old Man Par") Today Guerzon made 18-straight pars. You don't see that at Aviara very often.
Defending Champ Chris Tuulik opened with a 75. Don't write him off just yet. After starting on No. 18 and shooting a disappointing 41 on the front nine, he posted 3 birdies coming home to fire one of the lowest back nines of the day, a 34.
WOMEN'S, SENIOR, NET
If an amazing round full of red numbers is what you're looking for, than Haley Moore was happy to oblige. Moore, from Escondido and who plays for Arizona, fired 65 on a day she said "everything was working, the driver, the wedges, the irons."
Moore hit all the par-5s but one in two, and recorded 7 birdies. Her scorekeeper, Brianna Steger, circled all 7 of them on probably the neatest card we received all day. (Guys, take note.) Amy Matsuoka of Newport Beach posted a very solid round of 73 and leads the next competitor, Divya Manthena, by 6.
In the Senior Division, last year's co-champion Jeff Britton of Carmel shot a steady 74 to lead by one over Don Eklund of San Diego. In the Net flight, Walter Sabati from Las Vegas made his maiden voyage around Aviara in Net 83 and leads Dave Davidson by a few shots.
TEE TIME MONDAY
On Monday, play will be 8:30am shotgun with the leading groups going off the first tee. Pairings will be posted by 8:00pm.