Noah Woolsey rallies to win California amateur title
Throughout the week, Noah Woolsey, a 22-year-old Pleasanton resident, kept telling himself to believe. By the time it was over, it happened.
A senior at the University of Washington, Woolsey erased an early 3-hole deficit and stormed back to win the 110th California Amateur Championship over Wes Payne, 2 and 1, on a hot Saturday at Preserve Golf Club in Carmel Valley.
Woolsey, who joins a roster of California amateur champions that includes Johnny Miller, Mark O’Meara and two-time winner Bobby Clampett, had not won an event since 2019. Clampett, who grew up in Carmel Valley, was among the spectators taking in the act.
A day after securing a berth in the 36th final thanks to a semifinal victory on the 21st hole, Woolsey would quickly find himself down three holes after opening the morning’s 18 holes with three consecutive bogeys. He had reduced the lead twice to 1, but entered the break to three when Payne responded with a pair of birdies on holes 16 and 17.
It was time to believe it again.
“My parents and others gave me a lot of encouragement and I knew there was still a lot of golf left,” said Woolsey, a former member of the Junior Tour of Northern California. “I remembered that I came back to the semifinals and won. So why can’t I do it again? “
The pair halved the first four holes after the break, then Woolsey made his move, winning three in a row – two with birdies – to draw. He kept his foot on the accelerator with wins on three of the next seven holes to take a 3 point lead before the 33rd hole.
Payne kept his hopes up by winning the next two holes before Woolsey closed the game on the 35th hole, winning the coveted titles 2 and 1.
Congratulations to 2021 California Amateur Champion Noah Woolsey, winner 2 and 1 over Wes Payne pic.twitter.com/E2sZlIfpvE
– NCGA (@ ncga1901) June 27, 2021
“All week long I was just walking the fairway saying, ‘You can do it’ over and over again. It calmed me down a bit.” Said Woolsey, who was rooted among others by his mother, Miegen, and his dad, Phil. “It’s pretty crazy. I had a former amateur champion from California walking with me down the fairway. Just an amazing week.”
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ABOUT California Amateurs
The Championship is open to amateur golfers who have established current ratings of 4.4 and are members in good standing of the Southern California Golf Association, the Northern California Golf Association or the Public Links Golf Association of Southern California. Non-exempt players must qualify. A participant can only participate in one qualifying event, even if the golfer is from clubs in Southern California and Northern California. The 18 hole qualifying rounds will determine qualifying.
The championship course will play 36 qualifying holes at a venue in either Northern or Southern California, with the 32 weak golfers from that combined course moving to match play (with a playoff, if necessary, to determine final places). Two rounds of 18 holes each will follow on Thursday and Friday and the 36-hole final match will take place on Saturday.
The location will rotate annually between locations in Northern and Southern California.
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