Berganio, Nello Lead Qualifiers for State Amateur

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Dave Berganio of Sylmar and Jamie Nello of Westlake Village led a group of 400 entries in the Southern California qualifying tournament for the 77th California Amateur Golf Championship at Los Serranos Golf and Country Club in Chino on Tuesday.

Nello, a senior who will attend UCLA in the fall, shot a 4-under-par 70 on the South Course.

“I’ve been hitting the ball good enough lately to where I felt I should have been scoring around 68 or 69 each time out,” said Nello after a two-bogey, six-birdie round in which he hit 15 greens in regulation. “I finally made some putts today.”


Berganio, a senior at Alemany, fired a 4-under-par 66 on the North Course, tying him with three other players.

Berganio and Nello, who each defeated 200 players on their respective courses, advance to the finals at Pebble Beach on June 20-25. The stroke- and match-play event is held on Spyglass Hill, Pebble Beach and Cypress Point courses.

Other Valley-area qualifiers on the North Course included Tony Lehman of Simi Valley (68) and Jim Lundstrom of Mission Hills, Paul Tanner of Sun Valley and Rodney Watts of Reseda, all of whom shot 70.

Valley-area qualifiers on the South Course included Brad Johnson of Sylmar, Regan Bayless of Woodland Hills, Jimmy Chang of Westlake Village and Brad Tanas of Granada Hills at 74; Don Baker of Canoga Park and Mike Turner of Van Nuys at 75; Craig Steinberg of Van Nuys at 76 and James Jordan of Encino at 77.

Area players granted exemptions include Richard Greenwood of Tarzana, Mitch Boges of Simi Valley, and Earl Morely, Wayne Tyni (CSUN) and James Kim (USC) of Van Nuys.