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Bicknese, Garcia Punch Their Tickets to U.S. Junior Ams

BOISE, Idaho – Idaho’s future stars were on the course today at Crane Creek Country Club in a battle for a single spot in the U.S. Junior Amateur and the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur.

Jonas Bicknese of Fruitland, Idaho shot a 2-under 70 to punch his ticket to the U.S. Junior Am held at the historic Baltrusol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey. “I wasn’t expecting to play well today. I played poorly in the State Am this past weekend, so I didn’t know what to expect,” Bicknese said after the round.

On a difficult setup at Crane Creek, Bicknese was forced to convert many up-and-downs from off the green. He gave credit to his putting for these par saves. Spectators and Bicknese’s playing partners agreed, saying that he practically made every putt he had.

The highlight of the round for Bicknese came on holes 14 and 15. A bogey on the par-5 13th dropped Bicknese to 1-under after hitting a tee shot that ended up in a hazard. Bicknese birdied the next two holes, a move that would prove crucial as the rest of the field hovered around par.

The girls’ qualifier was also extremely competitive. As the heat turned up in the Boise foothills, it became apparent that no career rounds were to be shot. Whoever made the least amount of mistakes would survive and advance to the U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Julia Garcia, all the way from Temple, Texas, shot a 1-over 73 to outlast the competition. Garcia’s bogey, bogey, bogey start was not ideal, but 4 birdies throughout the round brought her back into the fold.

Pocatello’s Payton Fehringer was the first alternate and Boise’s Emily Cadwell won a playoff in three holes to become 2nd alternate.

For the boys, Seattle’s Daniel Tiscareno was the first alternate and Meridian’s Jake Slocum won a playoff to become 2nd alternate.

The U.S. Junior Amateur takes place July 16-21, 2018 (broadcast on FS1)
The U.S. Girls’ Junior takes place the same dates.

Full qualifier results:
Boys

Girls

Dean Captures 2018 State Am

June 24, 2018

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Not often do we see a dominating performance at the Idaho State Amateur. The event reserved for the state’s finest players was led start to finish by Eagle’s Colby Dean. Colby hoisted the trophy on Sunday afternoon after finishing with a score of 10-under at Canyon Springs Golf Course.

If you’ve been following along you’ll already know that Dean is a former Chico State golfer who played for state championship teams at Eagle High School, as well. “High school and college victories are nice,” said Dean, “but winning on home soil in front of friends and family is well near the top of the rankings for me.”

Dean began Sunday’s final round at 10-under; five shots ahead of Hunter Ostrom in second place. The round started off a little shaky for Dean. A misplaced drive on the Par-4 12th left him with a difficult approach shot into an elevated green guarded by trees right in Dean’s line. The approach landed next to a tree root off the green; Dean could not convert and walked away with a bogey.

At that point, Dean switched gears and put on a fantastic ball-striking display on Canyon Spring’s back nine.

A booming drive in the middle of the fairway on the par-5 14th set up an easy wedge shot into the green. Dean knocked it to about 12-feet from the hole and drained the eagle putt. Right after that on the Par 3 15th, Dean struck a perfectly flighted iron shot that landed a mere 5 feet from the hole. Once again, he capitalized on the opportunity and made the birdie putt.

Consistent play tee-to-green was the theme of the rest of the first nine holes (back nine). Great drives and short irons in set up great chances, but many of the birdie putts just missed.

On the second nine, Hunter Ostrom put the pressure on Dean. Ostrom outdrove his competitors by a wide margin and was finally able to get some birdie putts to drop. After birdies on 1, 3, and 4 cut the lead down to 4 strokes. Dean made a rare bogey on the par-3 5th hole and suddenly the lead was only 3 with 4 holes remaining.

An unfazed Dean bounced back by hitting the green in regulation on the last four holes, preventing him from any high pressure putts. Dean made par on those last four holes, sealing the victory.

Dean says he plans on remaining an amateur for the summer and will play in events like the PNGA Amateur before turning pro. After turning pro, Dean plans on playing in pro events in Asia with the eventual goal of moving his way up to the PGA Tour.

View full Idaho State Am results here.

Dean Remains the Leader After State Am Day 2, Cross Makes His Way Into the Picture

June 23, 2018

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Day 1 leader Colby Dean started off Saturday’s second round with a couple mishaps, but he didn’t let that affect him for the rest of the day. Dean shot a 3-under 69 to stay atop the Idaho State Amateur leaderboard.

A couple of wayward tee shots on holes 13 and 14 resulted in bogeys for the Chico State grad. On 14, Dean remained focused after going O.B. left and knocked in a 15-foot putt with confidence to save bogey.

Perhaps 4 years of college competition prepared Dean to bounce back from adversity. Maintaining a lead is not an easy task considering Chris Carew in 2nd place was off to a hot start in the same group.

Dean finished his first nine holes with 2 birdies to climb back to 1-over on the day (-6 total). Dean fared much better on the back nine. Accurate drives set up a few birdie chances, which he capitalized on with great putting. A key highlight on the second nine being a birdie on the difficult par-3 5th hole playing straight into wind gusts of up to 25mph.

Hunter Ostrom also finished the day 3-under, giving him a two day total of 139 (5-under). Ostrom once again put an eagle down on the scorecard, and made 2 fewer bogeys than Friday (3) proving that his game is trending upwards heading into Sunday.

Carew finished with a 75 (+3), but remains in 5th at 1-over. Rounding out the final pairing is Jason Huff who fired a 73 (+1) which was good enough for 4th place at even par.

One of the more fascinating stories of moving day was Randal Cross. The Twin Falls resident played in the first flight, but shot a lights-out round of 68 on Saturday to give him a two-day total of 140 (-4) – which, yes, is currently in third place. The 54-year-old is one year shy of senior status for IGA championships, but is showing the state why he belongs in the top 5 of the IGA’s hallmark event.

Be sure to follow along with the final round and view all scores from Canyon Springs in Twin Falls here.

(Note: players from the first flight are eligible to win the event, winners from net scores in the first flight remains the only difference between the championship flight and first flight; handicap index separates flights)

Colby Dean Leads State Amateur Field by 5 Strokes After Day One

June 22, 2018

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – The first day of the 2018 Idaho State Amateur proved to be a tough test for the state’s top players. Colby Dean of Eagle, ID leads the field with a 7-under 65. Trailing in second place are Meridian’s Hunter Ostrom and Chris Carew, who each dropped a score of 2-under 70. Jason Huff from Moscow, at 1-under, was the only other player under par at Canyon Springs Golf Course in Twin Falls.

Dean, a recent graduate of Chico State University, played with impressive consistency. A bogey free round with 7 birdies puts Dean 5 strokes free of second place. “I was pretty good tee to green, and I didn’t leave myself with any stressful putts,” he said after the round.

Ostrom will be a junior at Notre Dame in the fall, and is already a 2018 IGA championship winner at the Four-Ball. He went eagle, birdie, birdie on holes 14, 15, and 16 to get to 2-under. Carew, a high school teammate of Dean at Eagle High School, played his way into second place by only making 2 bogeys with 4 birdies. Huff is a former University of Idaho golfer who stayed in contention by staying away from any high numbers and balanced bogeys with birdies, much like Carew.

A few of the expected leaders going into Friday’s first round played well enough to stay in contention, but they’ll need low rounds on the weekend barring a major collapse by the front of the pack.

Saturday’s second round is predicted to be affected by strong wind gusts, so it might not be surprising to see results higher than the first round stroke average of 76.92.

Click here for scores and statistics

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  • GHIN
  • USGA
  • First Tee
  • PNGA