Kanda in a good spot

GLENDALE — While Brett Kanda might not have played his finest round of golf in Monday’s opening round of the 98th California Amateur Championship, he played well, and most importantly to him, well enough to put himself in contention to move on to match play on Wednesday. And that’s truly all that matters to the La Crescenta resident.

The Flintridge Prep graduate shot a one-over-par 73 at the Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, putting him in a tie for 39th place — seven spots off the 32-man cut for match play.

“I played well, I finished pretty well,” said Kanda, who carded two birdies and four pars over the last seven holes. “I got a bad break on 11, but other than that I played pretty well.”

Kanda, 22, found himself in a green-side bunker on the par-4 11th hole, but his shot went over the green, leading to the double-bogey.

Kanda began his round with a birdie on the par-4 first hole en route to an even-par 36 on the front nine. He didn’t tee off until 1:30 p.m., though, and he’ll tee off at 7:20 a.m. today, something he’s pleased with.

“I’m really happy I’m playing earlier [today],” said Kanda, who added he believes the scores will even out today considering most of the leaders played early on Monday. “This morning they saw smooth greens and no wind. ... It was tougher in the afternoon.”

The 156-player field is led by Scott Clayton and Sam Smith, who both shot five-under. Defending champion Nick Delio is tied for fifth at three-under, one of 25 players who shot below par.

Kanda is tied with eight players and believes an even-par or one-under round today should move him on to match play, which is his first and only priority.

“It doesn’t matter what place you’re in,” said Kanda, who missed the cut last year, but in 2007 was the second seed and lost in the first round to eventual champion Josh Anderson, the 31st seed. “It doesn’t matter.

“It was a good start,” said Kanda, who hopes to make Saturday’s final. “It’s the beginning of the week.”


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