San Diego County Match Play Championship
Rancho Bernardo Inn
March 25, 30, 31 & April 1

Buddy Duncan Repeats, Claims Match Play

 Rancho Bernardo, CA—The final four players (and the top four seeds in the tournament) teed it up again on Sunday on a cool and windy day.  By the time it was all said and done, the front moved thru and a familiar champion was crowned under sunny skies Sunday afternoon. 

After winning their respective semi-final matches identically in 2 & 1 fashion, 1-seed and defending champion Buddy Duncan of Rancho Santa Fe squared off at high noon against 3-seed Joe Ryon of Carlsbad.   In a match that deserved a sizeable gallery, Duncan drew first blood and was a quick 1-up after one hole thanks to a birdie on the opener.  Ryon would waste no time and respond right away, making a birdie on the difficult par-three 2nd hole.  Both players would birdie the third, and Ryon would take the lead after a par on the fourth hole.  Duncan then went into overdrive, making birdies on 5, 8, and 9 to go out in 4-under par 32 and take a 2-up lead on Ryon who was a very respectable 2-under par after nine holes of play.  Duncan would win the 12th with a birdie and Ryon, perhaps pressing a bit, three-putted the 13th to fall 4-down to Duncan.  Seemingly with the match in-hand, Duncan would make bogey on 14 and 15 to see his lead dwindle to 2-up with three to play.  After a marvelous wedge on #16, Duncan had a 4-footer for the birdie and the win but pushed it, moving the match to #17 dormie for Duncan at 2-up.  Duncan would go on to bogey 17 and the gritty Ryon just kept making pars to stay in the match.   On the 18th hole, both players laid up and both hit pretty pedestrian wedge shots, Duncan flying the green again as he did on his way to making bogey on #14 and #17 and Ryon reaching the middle tier with a difficult birdie putt.  Duncan hit a very nice pitch to about 5-feet, leaving Ryon with an opportunity for his first birdie since #3.  Ryon hit an excellent putt that would have extended the match, catching the hole and lipping out, settling for par.  Duncan, who was 5-under par his first 12 holes and 3-over his last 6 holes, stepped up and drained the five-foot putt to win the San Diego County Match Play Championship, 1-up. 

Duncan, holding the trophy for the 2nd consecutive year, was asked about his match today.  “I played my best golf all week on the front nine and started concentrating on the wrong stuff out there when I got to 4-up.   I am happy to win and learned a lot out there…I stayed aggressive which is good”.   With the gallery that included a very nervous Dad (and 9-time City Amateur Championship, Pat Duncan), Duncan got off to a dream start in his final match and defeated Phil Walker, Scott Stratton, Spencer Thurn, and Joe Ryon on his way to the title. 

Joe Ryon played well in his own right and is an absolute technician who can manufacture any kind of shot out there.  Ryon was able to get past Pete Roberts and Cavin McCall (both matches went into overtime on Saturday), and #2-seed Gary Robinson on his way to the runner-up finish.   Look for Ryon to be a name for years to come, and don’t be surprised if you see him in the final match here in 2013. 

In the consolation match, #2 seed Gary Robinson was 1-down most the day to Spencer Thurn.  Robinson would make 2 birdies down the stretch that proved to be the difference, downing Thurn by a 1-up margin. 

There are whispers out there that Duncan might try his hand soon at the professional game.  But, for now, he has some bragging rights at home being a 2-time County Match Play Champion!

Semifinal Results

Buddy Duncan def Spencer Thurn, 2 and 1

Joe Ryon def Gary Robinson, 2 and 1

Final Match Results

Buddy Duncan def Joe Ryon, 1-up



Duncan Claims Match Play for 2nd Consecutive Year; Final Results Here


Top Four Seeds Advance to Final Four

Rancho Bernardo, CA—The sweet 16 got underway under cloudy and cool conditions Saturday morning at Rancho Bernardo Inn.   Conditions were again good for scoring for the 2nd day in a row after a tough qualifying round last Sunday. 

The first match of the day pitted 1-seed and defending champion, Buddy Duncan, against 17-seed Phil Walker of Rancho Santa Fe.  Walker would build an early two-up lead after Duncan struggled on the front side and not breaking 40 for nine holes.  Walker missed some opportunities to go way up in the match and it cost him.  Duncan won the 11th and 12th holes to pull even, and then went ahead thanks to a gritty par on the 16th hole.  Both players were tied heading into 18 and both players laid up on the par five.  Duncan flew the green with a wedge, and Walker’s approach found the green albeit some forty downhill feet away.  Duncan hit a deft pitch to 5 feet and drained the putt, winning 1-up. 

25-seed Scott Stratton of Rancho Santa Fe and 24-seed Pete Wlodkowski had a tremendous match, with no player getting to more than 1-up or 1-down on the day.  With Stratton holding a tenuous 1-up lead on the 18th hole, both players hit their wedges to close range.  Wlodkowski, facing a do-or-die putt, nailed his birdie to hopefully extend the match.  Stratton, who had about an 8-footer, responded nicely and made his putt to win, 1-up.   

4-seed Spencer Thurn and 13-seed Jeff Hunter had a tremendous match.  Hunter pulled ahead early, building a 2-up lead after eight holes of play.   Thurn made a difficult 15-footer for birdie on 9 to pull within 1, and he remained 1-down heading all the way to 18.  On 18, Thurn made birdie to extend the match to extra holes and would go on to win in exciting fashion on the 20th hole of the day with a par on the difficult par-three 2nd hole. 

In a rematch of last year’s sweet sixteen matchup, 5-seed Bill Brammer squared off against 12-seed John Kollus of San Diego.  Brammer, who defeated Kollus last year on his way to the semi-finals, did not have much of a fight on Saturday as he did not bring his “A” game.  Kollus on the other hand played beautifully, going out in 3-under par 33 to be 7-up after nine holes of play.  Kollus made four birdies and closed out the match on the 12th hole, 8 and 6. 

2-seed Gary Robinson of San Diego and 18-seed Akash Patel also had a very competitive match.  Robinson would seize a 1-hole advantage after three holes of play and would never relinquish it, however, winning 2 and 1.   

7-seed Scott Stevens was up two against 23-seed Cory Gladstone after only four holes of play and looked to be comfortable.  Stevens, who qualified for match play in the 2011 US Mid-Amateur, figured to build on the lead but the talented Gladstone chipped into it slowly.  Gladstone got the match back to even after nine holes, and won the 10th and 11th with pars to go 2-up.  Stevens made a nice birdie on 12 to get to 1-down.  Showing some resolve, Gladstone would go on to birdie 13 and 14 to get to three up and went on to claim the match, 3 and 2. 

The heavyweight match of the sweet 16 was undoubtedly the Joe Ryon-Pete Roberts matchup.  These two Taylor-Made employees had the most competitive match of the morning with Ryon going 1-up early.  Roberts, a seasoned veteran of this event, was either even or down all day long until the 14th where he went 1-up.  Ryon would respond with wins on 16 and 17 to hold a 1-up lead going into 18.   After both players laid up, Ryon would hit a nice wedge to about 10-feet setting the stage for Roberts.  Roberts hit the shot of the tournament so far, with his approach hitting about five feet behind the hole and spinning back, lipping out and leaving him about 5-feet.  After Ryon narrowly missed, Roberts buried his birdie putt to send the match to extra holes!  The momentum would be short lived, as Ryon escaped with the win after a par on the 19th hole of play. 

6-seed Mark Stuart faced off against 11-seed Cavin McCall on Saturday morning.  Stuart, no stranger to competitive golf, built a 1-up lead early.  McCall would steady his nerves a bit, however, and swing the match to 1-up in his favor heading into the final nine.   McCall would not waiver, not losing a hole on the back nine on his way to a 3 and 2 victory. 

Quarterfinal Matches

1-seed Buddy Duncan had little trouble getting past 25-seed Scott Stratton.  Duncan built a 4-up lead after six holes of play, and would go on to win after Stratton conceded the match.  Thus, Duncan will reach the semi-finals for the 2nd year in a row, and is the only repeat player in the final four from 2011. 

4-seed Spencer Thurn brought his best game to the quarterfinal matches.  Kollus would win the opening hole with a birdie to go 1-up, but it was all Thurn all the time after that.  Thurn made 4 birdies the rest of the way with no bogeys, finishing up at 4-under par thru 15 holes to win his match 4 and 3. 

Gary Robinson also played his best golf in the afternoon against Cory Gladstone of San Diego.  Robinson would birdie the first hole to go 1-up and would never take his foot off the gas.  Robinson would go on to win, 4 and 3, thanks to a 5-under par performance thru 15 holes of play. 

The last quarterfinal match of the afternoon was also the most exciting.  Joe Ryon and Cavin McCall played a match that one might hope could produce two winners.  All square heading into 17, Ryon would hit a fantastic approach under pressure to 5-feet and a seeming advantage.  McCall responded and then some, almost holing his wedge shot which finished kick-in distance to the hole.  Ryon was up to the task, however, and nailed his 5-footer for birdie.  Both players would lay up on 18, with McCall hitting a nice approach to ten feet while Ryon just missed the green.  With the pin out of the cup, Ryon’s chip just slid past and was conceded for par setting the stage for McCall.  McCall hit a great putt that just missed on the high side sending both players to extra holes.  After finding the trees with his tee shot, Ryon was able to get his approach past pin high just left of the green while McCall hit a great wedge to 10-feet away and must have had some good vibes after making birdie there to open the match.  Ryon, figuring his luck might be running out, hit a beautiful chip that somehow stayed out of the hole after a lip-out.  McCall, with his 2nd putt in a row to end the match, faced a difficult slider and left it just short sending the match to the 20th hole of the day.   On the 20th hole, McCall would hit his approach long and face a very difficult 50-footer in which he unfortunately 3-putted.  The opportunistic Ryon who held in there after dodging multiple bullets took no time to knock in his 4-foot par putt to send him to the semi-finals.   Both players should be commended on their great play and great match in which both players finished up at 2-under par after 20 holes of play. 

Semi-Final Matches

(1) Buddy Duncan            VS           (4) Spencer Thurn
(2) Gary Robinson            VS           (3) Joe Ryon


Ryan Furey

Rancho Bernardo, CA—The 2012 San Diego County Match Play Championship got underway early on Friday morning with each match going out on its own in twosomes from 6:50AM-8AM.  Pace of play was great and the greens pure which made for some very good scoring conditions. 

16-seed Pat Duncan, arguably the greatest amateur to ever live in San Diego, got underway early against 17-seed Phil Walker of Rancho Santa Fe.  Both players did not have their best stuff on Friday, but Walker made three birdies in a 7-hole stretch starting on the 9th hole to win the match, 5 and 3.  Walker’s task does not get any easier heading into Saturday, as he faces another Duncan, this one being the defending champion and #1 seed.

In perhaps the biggest upset in the round of 32, #25 seed Scott Stratton of Rancho Santa Fe was never down in the match, defeating the #8 seed Ryan Furey of San Diego, 2 and 1.  Furey had battled it back to even after a nice birdie on #12, but Stratton birdied the very next hole to take a 1-up lead that he would never give back. 

Another upset of sorts happened in the very next match, with 9-seeded Tom Isaak of San Diego going head-to-head with 24-seed Pete Wlodkowski of Carlsbad.   The match was even heading into #7 and Wlodkowski  kicked it into overdrive, making birdies on 7, 8, and 9 to build a strong 3-up lead.  A lost ball for Isaak on #10 got the match to 4-up or Wlodkowski who would cruise to the victory on the back nine, 3 and 2. 

13-seed Jeff Hunter of Rancho Santa Fe never trailed in his match in spite of not making a birdie until the 10th hole.  Hunter would birdie 10 and 12 to defeat Ryan Flanders, 3 and 2.   Hunter will take on #4 seed Spencer Thurn, who had a bye in the opening round of 32. 

5-seed and a semifinalist a year ago, Bill Brammer of Rancho Santa Fe got off to a horrible start, losing the opening hole to John Fieberg with a triple-bogey 7.  Brammer would right the ship, however, and build a 3-up lead after nine holes of play.  Fieberg, who plays out of San Diego Country Club (host course for this year’s Century Club Matches), was scrappy on the back nine and made a charge, but fell just short, losing to Brammer 2 and 1. 

John Kollus (12 seed) and Bill Borden (21 seed) was the first match to see the 18th hole on Friday morning.  After Kollus had build a 2-up lead after 11 holes, Borden got back into the match and pulled to even heading into the final hole of the day.  A pushed tee shot and bad bounce would cost Borden, who would go on to bogey the 18th hole with Kollus winning the match, 1-up. 

Two players from Chula Vista, 15-seed Dallas Field and 18-seed Akash Patel faced off on Friday.  Patel, who was 1-down before even hitting a tee-shot for being late to the tee, found himself 4-down after six holes of play.  Down and not out, Patel made a ferocious comeback winning the 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th holes to go from 4-down to 1-up.   That score remained as the players headed to 18, with Field having a 10-footer for birdie to extend the match.  The putt just slid by the edge of the hole, Patel winning 1-up. 

7-seed Scott Stevens of Encinitas and 26-seed Adam Reyes have some history in this tournament.  In the round of 16 (in 2010), Stevens was dormie, 4-up with four holes to play against Reyes.  One of the best performances in this event’s history, Reyes would finish birdie, par, birdie, eagle to send the match to extra holes and win the match in 19-holes thanks to another birdie.   Fast forward to 2012, Reyes would build an early 2-up lead that would diminish to all square after 12-holes of play.  Stevens made par on holes 15-17 while Reyes made bogey on each of them, with the match finishing on the 17th hole and a 2 and 1 victory for Stevens. 

In another upset on day 1, 23-seed Cory Gladstone faced off against 10-seed Brad Larsen of Oceanside.  Gladstone would never trail in the match, making four birdies to win, 2 and 1. 

The heavyweight match of the opening round had to be 14-seed and 2010 Champion Jimmy Harris versus 19-seed Pete Roberts of San Marcos.   Roberts would birdie both par fives on the opening nine and head into the back 3-up over Harris.  Harris, who was 4-down after 12-holes of play, would claw back into the match winning the 13th, 14th, and 15th holes.  Harris had the opportunity to birdie the last hole of the day to extend the match, but it narrowly missed allowing Roberts to two-putt from ten feet to win the match, 1-up.  The road does not get any easier, as Pete squares off against fellow Taylor-Made employee Joe Ryon in the round of 16. 

6-seed Mark Stuart had little trouble getting past 27-seed Jason Matteson on Friday.  Stuart would build an early lead and never get down in the match, winning on the 13th hole, 6 and 5.  Matteson, who has improved tremendously the past few years, should take some good experience away and look for him to win a match or two in 2013. 

Some of the best golf was seen in the final match of Friday, with 11-seed Cavin McCall of El Cajon pitted against 22-seed Stacey Morimoto of Rancho Santa Fe.  Morimoto birdied both par fives on the front, and the match was all square heading to the final nine.  McCall and Morimoto matched each other with pars on 12, 13, 14, and 15.  A bogey on the 16th hole saw Morimoto go 2-down.  The match would end on seventeen, McCall winning 2 and 1. 

Round of 16

6:40        (1) Buddy Duncan            VS           (17) Phil Walker

6:40        (25) Scott Stratton           VS           (24) Pete Wlodkowski

6:48        (4) Spencer Thurn            VS           (13) Jeff Hunter

6:48        (5) Bill Brammer                VS           (12) John Kollus

6:56        (2) Gary Robinson            VS           (18) Akash Patel

6:56        (7) Scott Stevens              VS           (23) Cory Gladstone

7:04        (3) Joe Ryon                       VS           (19) Pete Roberts

7:04        (6) Mark Stuart                 VS           (11) Cavin McCall

* * * *


Rancho Bernardo, CA–The 2012 San Diego Match Play Championship got underway amid partly-cloudy skies on Sunday.  With the looming forecast and showers, the last group completed play just as the heavy rain commenced.  Windy conditions helped keep the scores in check for the most part, as Rancho Bernardo showed some teeth that might not be seen again this week.   With a slew of withdraws and no-shows, players were competing for a bye in the first round as 28 of the scheduled 34 players teed it up on Sunday. 

Players were looking to join #1 seed and Defending Champion Buddy Duncan with a day off and a bye for Friday’s round of 32.  Gary Robinson of San Diego accomplished that, earning the #2 seed by virtue of his medallist honors.  Robinson was the only player in the talented field to break par at 1-under par 71.  Three players tied for 2nd at even-par 72 including Bill Brammer, Spencer Thurn, and Joe Ryon.  Turning to a scorecard playoff to determine the seeding order, Ryon earned the #3 seed thanks to his back-nine score of 37, his last six holes of even par, and his last three holes of 1-under par.  Spencer Thurn earned the #4 seed thanks to his back-nine of 37 and his last six holes at even (as well as his last three holes which were also even). 

Most notably, Joe Ryon of San Diego aced the par-three 2nd hole on Sunday and happily bought a round for his fellow competitors.  This was the first hole-in-one for Ryon, who used a 5-iron on the 205-yard hole. 

Seeding Results and Tournament Seed

Buddy Duncan (1)
71 – Gary Robinson (2)
72 – Joe Ryon (3)
72 – Spencer Thurn (4)
72 – Bill Brammer (5)
74 – Mark Stuart (6)
74 – Scott Stevens (7)
75 – Ryan Furey (8)
76 – Tom Isaak (9)
76 – Brad Larsen (10)
77 – Cavin McCall (11)
77 – John Kollus (12)
78 – Jeff Hunter (13)
78 – Jimmy Harris (14)
79 – Dallas Field (15)
80 – Pat Duncan (16)
80 – Phil Walker (17)
81 – Akash Patel (18)
81 – Pete Roberts (19)
84 – Ryan Flanders (20)
84 – Bill Borden (21)
85 – Stacey Morimoto (22)
86 – Cory Gladstone (23)
87 – Pete Wlodowski (24)
89 – Scott Stratton (25)
89 – Adam Reyes (26)
91 – Jason Matteson (27)
92 – John Fieberg (28)

Good luck to all players as we head into the match play portion of the championship! 

Round of 32

(16) Pat Duncan        VS        (17) Phil Walker
(8)   Ryan Furey         VS        (25) Scott Stratton
(9)   Tom Isaak          VS        (24) Pete Wlodowski
(13) Jeff Hunter         VS        (20) Ryan Flanders
(5)   Bill Brammer     VS        (28) John Fieberg
(12) John Kollus        VS       (21) Bill Borden
(15) Dallas Field       VS       (18) Akash Patel
(7)   Scott Stevens    VS       (26) Adam Reyes
(10) Brad Larsen      VS       (23) Cory Gladstone
(14) Jimmy Harris     VS       (19) Pete Roberts
(6)   Mark Stuart        VS       (27) Jason Matteson
(11) Cavin McCall     VS       (22) Stacey Morimoto

Byes:  (1) Buddy Duncan, (2) Gary Robinson, (3) Joe Ryon, (4) Spencer Thurn

Registration/Check-InEach participant is required to check-in with the tournament committee at least 20 minutes prior to your respective tee-time on Sunday.  Registration/check-in will be located near the 1st tee at Rancho Bernardo Inn.  Players will have an opportunity to enter an optional $20 skins game at this time for the qualifying round. 

  • Tee-prizes will be handed out to players prior to the 1st round of Match Play on Friday, March 30. 
  • There will not be a formal check-in for the Match Play rounds.  Players are required to be at the starting hole a minimum of 5-minutes prior to your scheduled start time 

Teeing Grounds

All tournament play will be from the black tee markers


-Play will be governed by the Rules of Golf as approved by the USGA
-All players must conform with the USGA Rules of Amateur Status as specified in the USGA Rules of Golf
-Tournament Committee Decisions will be final
-Caddies and pull-carts are permitted
-Players may use distance measuring devices so long as the device measures actual distance only

Event Schedule

Friday, March 30

6:45AM:  1st round of match play (28 players)

Saturday, March 31

6:45AM:  2nd round of match play (16 players)

12:15PM:  Quarterfinal round of match play (8 players)

Sunday, April 1

7AM:  Semifinal round of match play (4 players)

12PM:  Championship round of match play and consolation round (4 players)


Joe Wagner
Tour Director