Gandranata Takes NCGA Amateur Title
Aug. 19, 2009
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Recently graduated George Gandranata advanced to the final and culminated perhaps the finest tournament of his life by defeating two-time state amateur champion, two-time NCGA Amateur champion and 14-time NCGA individual champion Casey Boyns 1-up for the 2009 Northern California Golf Association Amateur title at Spyglass Hill on Aug. 14.
His victory came 10 days after incoming freshman Michael Weaver won the NCGA Junior Championship on the same course. Weaver fired at 71 and 72 to sit second after two rounds before storming into the lead to win with a final-round 65 (-8).
Gandranata distinguished himself over the weeklong amateur tournament with strong drives onto the fairway combined with consistency and accuracy with his approach shots using long irons and fairways woods. He gained a one-stroke lead on the second-to-last hole of the final over Boyns, a 53-year old Pebble Beach caddie, and held his lead on the final hole for the victory.
'He made a clutch, downhill 4-footer,' recounted Cal head coach Steve Desimone, who followed Gandranata on the final day and witnessed his putt on the 17th hole at Spyglass during the second and final round on Friday for what became the winning margin.
'It was typical George,' said Desimone, 'straight off the tee, keeping the ball in play and an exciting finish. There were a lot of smiles, to be sure. No one has worked harder and he's a very deserving champion.'
Gandranata, of Emeryville by way of Jakarta, Indonesia, ended his California career with a 73.3 stroke average in 139 rounds of play and received his second All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention for his achievements on the course and Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention for his achievements in the classroom.
His final year in Berkeley was further punctuated by All-America Scholar honors from the Golf Coaches Association of America for his work en route to a degree in economics as well as a Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship to assist his future plans to pursue an MBA and eventually a Ph.D. in either economics or business administration.
The 2009-10 season of Cal men's golf begins Aug. 30 at the Golfweek Conference Challenge at Blue Top Ridge in Riverside, Iowa.