Engellenner captures AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur title
On historic grounds at one of San Diego’s most storied clubs, it was course knowledge that proved to pay dividends on Sunday afternoon.
Marc Engellenner, a native of Rocklin, Calif., fired 68 in his closing round of the AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur, including two crucial birdies on the par-5 14th and 16th holes, to secure a two-shot victory. He attributed about a half dozen rounds at San Diego Country Club over the years to his success.
“It’s so critical that you’re in the correct pocket of the green if you’re going to make any score less than par,” Engellenner said of the club’s notoriously-challenging greens.
The only player to finish the 36-hole event in red figures, the 44-year old trailed first-round leader Kyle Kinnane by five prior to his 9:30 a.m. tee time on an unseasonably warm San Diego day. But he found himself in the proper areas of the green and saw putts begin to fall as a result.
Engellenner’s Sunday 68 is even more impressive when you consider the two double-bogeys that were marked on his closing nine’s scorecard on Saturday. He moved past what he called “preventable” mistakes and won his fifth event since the beginning of 2021.
Most notably, he fired an unreal 62 on the final day of the Sacramento City Championship to claim the tournament’s 100th running. He also picked up wins at the Dixie Amateur (Mid-Master Division) as well as the Tony Lema Amateur to wrap up his individual feats. He teamed up to capture the Trans-Miss Four-Ball title with Domingo Jojola, one of three Northern California mid-amateur talents that Engellenner says have helped improve his game.
“I ran into a new circle of friends that played more of the state-level championships, specifically Domingo Jojola, Brett Viboch, and Bobby Bucey,” Engellenner said. “Playing against those guys every week and every tournament really showed me where I’m weak, and so I spent the last 18 months comparing myself to some of the best players in Northern California.
“That’s really sharpening your swords against those guys.”
A trio of players finished in a tie for second place at 1-over par, including a pair of Long Beach State teammates. Bryce Kvick and Tyler Schafer shot identical scores of 74 and 71 to join Kyle Dougherty, who posted 73-72.
Senior, Net and Super Senior Divisions
In the Senior Division, it was Dennis Martin who fired the only under-par round in his flight to run away with a three-stroke victory. Martin, who qualified for the 2021 U.S. Amateur and was the field’s oldest participant, channeled the experience he gained from that accomplishment to push through a rough stretch on his inward nine.
“When I qualified [for the U.S. Amateur], I finished strong,” Martin said. “So I knew today when I started leaking oil that I could turn it around.”
Martin went on to birdie two out of the last three holes after a wild outward nine that featured three birdies, two bogeys, and an eagle. Having never played the course before, he certainly soaked in as much as he could during Saturday’s 77 to turn the page to Sunday with a renewed sense of knowledge.
“I just kept hitting it past the hole yesterday and you can’t be above the hole,” he said. “So today was an exercise in staying below the hole.”
San Diego Country Club member Don Eklund, the day one leader, finished runner-up to Martin and also secured the Super Senior crown at 6-over par 150.
On the 18th green, the pin was tucked ten feet from the left edge, making it nearly impossible to get close from the deep bunker below. No problem for Elijah Peterson as he blasted out to the fringe and watched his ball trickle in for birdie.
“It was the shot of my life,” Peterson said. “And in my first tournament ever.”
Carlsbad Kids: Ben Gould and Vincent Fanucchi are from different high schools in Carlsbad, but today they matched feats on the par-4 17th. Gould (Carlsbad H.S., 2020) holed out a 60-degree wedge for eagle, and Fanucchi (Sage Creek H.S., 2021) playing from a bit farther out, did the exact same thing.
ABOUT THE AGC San Diego Amateur
The San Diego Amateur now has a second
the historic San Diego Country Club. Players
treated to a very walkable private club that has
hosted USGA and major collegiate events, and
legends like Billy Casper and Mickey Wright
Your entry fee includes 2 rounds of golf (carts
extra on this very walkable layout), prizes,
trophies for division winners, and
to play two days at an exclusive private club in
setting. The San Diego Amateur is expected to
become part of the
SCGA player rankings.
49. Compete alongside the younger players in
Championship Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and if there are at least 10 Mid-
separate prize and trophy will be awarded.
For players age
65+. Compete alongside the younger players in
Senior Division, (same tees, same prize
opportunities) and a
separate prize and trophy will be awarded for