Oklahoma State Junior fires final round 74 to top field of 130 players – Michael Davan of Hoopston, Illinois finishes second
Kevin Dougherty of Murietta, California shot a final round two-over-par 74 to claim a three- stroke victory in the 97th Southwestern Amateur played at the 7,337-yard Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain on Friday, June 15.
The rising junior-to-be at Oklahoma State University – who entered the final round with a four-stroke lead – fought hot temperatures and gusty winds to claim a three-shot victory over Michael Davan of Hoopston, Illinois. Dougherty put together rounds of 69-66-70-74 to claim the prestigious championship over a field of 130 players from 33 states, Mexico and Australia.
Dougherty, who took control of the tournament with his second round six-under-par 66 on Wednesday (June 13), said his final round was highlighted, “By a good ball-striking day but some shaky putting (three 3 putts) on the front nine. I was a little nervous on the first tee, but I am always nervous at the start of an important round.”
On pre-tournament advice from PGA friends Ricky Fowler – also a native of Murietta – and Tom Pernice, Jr. (who won the Southwestern title in 1982) and his brother-caddy, Kevin, “I just tried to keep everything in front of me by limiting the use of the driver and keeping the ball in the fairways.”
The same golf course that hosts the PGA Tour’s World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play event provided some of the nation’s most accomplished amateurs with a stern test with only five players breaking par. Southern Californians claimed three of the top five spots with Cameron Harrell of Colorado Springs (284) finishing third and John Young Kim of Walnut, California and Ben Geyer of Arbuckle, Califonia tying for fourth at three-under 285.
The Cal State Fullerton team of Mark Anguiano of Whittier, California and Scott Rubzin of Rancho Cucamonga, California won the two-man Team Challenge event with a best three-round score of 209.
Defending champion Stephen Carney – a senior at the University of Tulsa who won last year’s event with a 26-under-par score at Butterfield Trail Country Club in El Paso, Texas – finished in 28th with a five-over-par 293.
Nicholas Losole III of Scottsdale was the leading Arizona player, finishing 32nd with a six-over-par 294.
Dougherty joins a distinguished list of past winners of the Southwestern Amateur, including past and present PGA Tour stars Craig Stadler (1975), Jay Haas (1976), Mark O’Meara (1980), Corey Pavin (1981), Pernice, Jr. (1982), Ryan Palmer (1999) and Nick Watney (2002).
Since the first tournament in 1915, the Southwestern Amateur has been played at a variety of sites throughout Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada and New Mexico on annual basis with the exception of a three-year hiatus from 1943-45 because of World War II. On four occasions the event has been played in Mexico.
Since its founding in 1915 as a regional match play invitational tournament for private golf course members to compete against the nation’s best amateur players, the Southwestern Amateur has developed a stellar reputation as a high-quality competition for the nation’s top players. The tournament was changed to a stroke play event in 1966 to meet the growing demands of the tournament and the increased popularity of the game created during the Palmer Nicklaus era.
Beginning next year, the Southwestern Amateur will be played at the Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale for four consecutive years on one of Desert Mountain’s six Jack Nicklaus-designed signature golf courses on a rotating basis through 2016. The new agreement with Desert Mountain will provide the Southwestern Amateur with a future home that should help the tournament retain its status as a top national amateur event.
Additional information on the Southwestern Golf Association can be found at www.swga.net, while additional information on Desert Mountain can be found at www.desertmountain.com.
97th Southwestern Amateur
Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain
Individual Scoring Report - Final Results June 15, 2012
Par 72 (288 Total) - 7,337 Yards
1 Dougherty Kevin Murrieta Ca 69 66 70 74 279
2 Davan Michael Hoopston Il 71 67 71 73 282
3 Harrell Cameron Colorado Spgs Co 72 71 68 73 284
4 T4 Kim John Young Walnut Ca 70 69 75 71 285