June 28, 2012
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Matt Hansen's dominating run through the 101st California State Amateur Championship continues after he claimed a 4&3 victory over Cal's Michael Weaver on Thursday to advance to Friday's quarterfinals at the La Cumbre Country Club in Santa Barbara.
Hansen tied for sixth overall and earned the No. 7 seed to head into match play as the highest-seeded Northern California Golf Association player to advance. He fired a 5-under 137 and shot rounds of 69 and 68, respectively.
In the first round of match play, he squared off against Peter Gibbs, a junior at San Jose State and the tournament's 26th seed after being one of the last to qualify.
The match was a back and forth affair with neither competitor emerging into the lead for more than a few holes at a time. Gibbs took an early 2-up lead before quickly relinquishing it to Hansen, who won holes five and six to square the match. It remained mostly all-square until Hansen took his first lead with a birdie on the 12th hole. Hansen remained in front of Gibbs, taking a 2-up lead when he parred the 15th hole, but Gibbs came back from a double bogey to win holes 16 and 18 and square the match for the fifth time.
The duo went to a playoff where Hansen would emerge victorious after birdying the 19th hole and move on to the round of 16 where he would face off against Michael Weaver, one of Cal's top golfers who redshirted the 2011-12 season.
Hansen commanded the match from the start after a birdie on the very first hole of the day gave him a 1-up lead that he would never relinquish. He birdied again on the par-3 fifth hole to take a 2-up advantage on Weaver, before birdies on holes eight and ten increased his lead to 3-up.
The Aggie sophomore held a 4-up lead through 14 holes after his sixth birdie of the day. He parred the 15th hole to put the match out of reach and claim the 4&3 win.
Hansen was seven under through 15 holes.
He will face Ben Geyer, a junior at Saint Mary's out of Arbuckle, Calif., in Friday's quarterfinals. The pair will tee off at 7:50 a.m.
Tyler Raber also advanced to match play after finishing even during stroke play. He took on defending champion Bhavik Patel, the individual medalist of the stroke play portion of the tournament, in the first round of match play. Patel took an early 4-up lead through seven holes, but Raber staged an impressive comeback, cutting Patel's lead to just 1-up through 16 holes. Patel, however, was able to birdie the 17th hole to claim a 2&1 win over Raber.