97TH ANNUAL CALIFORNIA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP:

TOLUCA LAKE — Make it 53 consecutive years without a repeat champion at the California Amateur Championship.

Josh Anderson became the latest in a long line of defending champions who failed to repeat in the prestigious tournament.

One of the bigger upsets occurred Thursday morning when 21st-seeded James Erkenbeck knocked off the fifth-seeded Anderson, 2 and 1, during the second round of match play at the tournament's 97th installment at Lakeside Golf Club.

Anderson, who won the tournament for the first time last year at Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach, saw his bid to repeat fall short during the tournament's inaugural appearance in Southern California. The last athlete to win in consecutive years was Frank “Bud” Taylor, who accomplished the feat in 1955.

“[Erkenbeck] played better than me,” said Anderson, who is a redshirt freshman at Pepperdine University. “Hats off to him.

“I didn't have it. I wasn't hitting good shots. I wanted to have a good showing. I felt better this week than last year.”

Erkenbeck, a sophomore at San Diego State University, went up five strokes through nine holes.

Anderson made a brief comeback when he parred the 12th hole to shave the deficit to three shots after he lost his ball following a tee shot.

Erkenbeck said there wasn't any reason to panic after Anderson cut into his lead and it showed, as he advanced to the quarterfinals, which will be held today at Lakeside.

“I didn't think about being paired with the champion,” said Erkenbeck, who made 20-foot putts on the first and 10th holes to earn birdies. “If anything, it worked in my favor because I had less to lose.

“There are a lot of momentum swings in match play. This is as fun as it gets, and I get to play again.”

Top-seeded Matt Hoffenberg of Simi Valley received a scare late in his match against 16th-seeded Matthew Marshall of Saratoga. Hoffenberg was four up through 14 holes before Marshall won the next three holes.

However, Hoffenberg sealed the match, 1-up, after he and Marshall bogeyed the final hole.

“I've been starting [my rounds] real strong,” said Hoffenberg, who will be a sophomore at San Diego State in the fall. “I just need to finish them better.

“I feel like I've got some momentum. It's a marathon, and you can't waste your energy on each hole. You have to be able to conserve it.”

The final match of the afternoon featured third-seeded Alex Kim of Fullerton and 14th-seeded Ryan Hallisey of Granite Bay. Hallisey, the defending Northern California Golf Assn. champion, got the 1-up win when Kim missed a 14-foot putt on the final hole.

“On the last three holes, I had a two-hole lead,” Hallisey said. “I thought I'd try to force him to make a birdie.

“There are a lot of ups and downs. The up was that I had the lead. The down for me was that [Kim] picked it up to win the 16th hole.”

Josh Dupont, the 24th seed, continued to gain momentum after he bested 25th-seeded Steve Woods, 3 and 2.

Dupont led throughout the entire match. He made a 30-foot putt for birdie on the eighth hole to provide additional confidence.

“Putting definitely helped me out the most,” Dupont said. “That was the boost for me [Thursday].

“I just have to go out there and keep doing things the way I've been doing them. The competition will just get stronger and stronger.”

Austin Roberts, the 20th seed topped fourth-seeded Kevin Fryer, 2-up.

Second-seeded Scott McGihon topped Jordan Nasser, 3 and 2; Tim Cha, the 23rd-seed, defeated 26th-seeded Bryan Harris, 3 and 2; and sixth-seeded Nick Delio got by 22nd-seeded Jeff Burda, 5 and 4.

The quarterfinal matches will feature Erkenbeck against Roberts at 7:30 a.m., Dupont against Hoffenberg at 7:40, McGihon against Cha at 7:50; and Hallisey against Delio at 8 at Lakeside.

The semifinals will take place at 1 p.m. The 36-hole championship round will begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Lakeside.


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