JOHNSON REACHES SEMIFINALS OF CALIFORNIA AMATEUR
SAN FRANCISCO — Jake Johnson made a furious comeback attempt but fell to Kevin Wentworth, 1-up, in the semifinals of the 100th Annual California State Amateur on Friday at the Olympic Club.
Johnson found himself 3-down after four holes before earning one back with a par on the fifth. Wentworth stretched his lead to 3-up on the seventh and then extended it to 4-up following the 10th hole.
From the point, Johnson began his surge. The senior-to-be bettered Wentworth on the 11th hole and then halved the next two. Johnson then picked up back-to-back wins to move to 1-down following 15. However, Wentworth answered back to take the 16th and provide some cushion.
Johnson responded by taking the 17th hole and then had an opportunity to extend the match on 18. Needing to make a birdie putt to square the contest, Johnson's putt rimmed around the cup and then shot back towards him. Wentworth was able to two-putt to halve the hole and win the match.
Earlier in the day, Johnson advanced to the semifinals with a 4&3 win over USC's Sam Smith. After Smith took the first hole, Johnson squared the match on the second and moved 2-up through six. Smith won the next two holes before Johnson took a 1-up lead at the turn. Johnson moved to 4-up with wins on 11, 12, and 13 and clinched the victory by halving the 14th and 15th.
Johnson began the tournament with a 2&1 win over John Catlin on Carmichael in the round of 32 on Wednesday. He followed that effort with a convincing 8&7 win over Shotaro Ban in the round of 16. In that match, Johnson won the opening hole before halving the next two. He then took command with by winning holes 4-9 to stand at 7-up. He closed out the contest with a win on 11.
Fellow Hornet Cameron Rappleye also qualified for match play. Rappleye defeated former Cal Poly standout Geoff Gonzalez in the round of 32, 5&4. With the match all square through 10, Rappleye won the first five holes on the back to advance to the second round. Once there, Rappleye was bettered by Randy Haag, 4&3. Haag, who is the pro at the Olympic Club, never trailed in the match.