GLENDALE — Nick Sarian and Lewis Simon shared something in common Thursday during the qualifying round of the second annual Glendale City Golf Championship — both relied heavily on their short games.
In turn, their ability to make key putts put them atop the leader board in the tournament’s championship flight.
Sarian and Simon each carded three-under-par 57s at Scholl Canyon Golf Course to put them in a group of 16 from the flight to advance to the tournament's championship round, which will begin noon Monday at the par-71 Oakmont Country Club.
In addition, eight participants from the Verdugo, Deukmejian and Brand flights advanced to the final round. Brittany Branker of Mission Viejo captured the women's division flight title with a 12-over 72.
“I was able to buckle down by making a few putts for par and birdie in the last five holes,” said Simon, a Torrance resident and a member of the UC San Diego men’s golf team. “That boosted my confidence in being able to make some solid shots.
“I was also able to keep the ball in play off the tee. I hadn’t played the course in a while, but I feel good with my round.”
Sarian of Simi Valley said his short game was strong throughout on the very short Scholl course.
“Things worked out pretty well and I was able to get up and down,” said Sarian, who competes on the CSUN men’s golf team. “I haven’t played on a course like that.
“I made about a 20 footer for birdie on the second hole and that helped me get going. My chipping also worked well at times. I’ve been putting real well lately. I would like for that to continue [Monday].”
Simon and Sarian own two-shot leads over Brian Dancses, Chris Russo and Joel Yoo. Also qualifying for the championship flight are Harold Anderson, Ferdie Barbosa and Nick Scott with 60s. Gregory Gorman, Ryan Miranda, Dave Davis and Tavit Garabedian advanced with 61s and Scott Silcott, Mike Mozilo, Vinh Do and Nick Quintanilla carded 62s.
James Hansen and Bruce Frink each had net scores of 56 to take the lead in the Verdugo flight by three strokes over David Shelburne.
Robert Burns carded a net score of 58 to grab a two-stroke lead over Robert Naka in the Brand flight.
Ross Thiers, Jerry Butt, Richard Dishongh and Anthony Capozzi notched 60’s to share the lead in the Deukmejian flight by one stroke over Ryan Bowne.
Branker, who is a member of the Milligan College women’s golf team, said she’s been spending the summer competing in tournaments to hone her skills. She made her first appearance in the event Thursday.
“I had never heard of this tournament before,” Branker said. “I’m working on my short game.
“This is a great course to play. I was mostly able to adjust to the green speeds.”
The event, sponsored by Trusted Choice, is geared for amateurs with a maximum handicap index of 24. All proceeds will benefit the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation, a non-profit organization.