Perez tops field at City Championship

Andrew Perez claimed his first Santa Barbara City Golf Championship on Monday, holding off Levi Garcia by a single stroke to take the title with a three-day score of 203.

Perez, a 20-year-old Santa Barbara High graduate, carded a one-over 71 in his final round while playing in the final group with Kevin Marsh, Patrick Duncan Jr. and Garcia at Santa Barbara Golf Club.

Andrew Perez hits out of a bunker near the ninth green on Monday.

“I don’t really know how to describe it, the feeling, but it feels good I would say,” Perez said. “I’m gratified with the win.”

Duncan Jr., Marsh and Allen Geiberger finished two shots back in a tie for third place.

Perez, Marsh and Duncan Jr. began the day sharing the lead. Marsh, champion in 2004 & 2005, took a two-stroke lead into the back nine but posted bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes to give Perez a window.

Perez leaped through with a birdie on 16, giving him back the lead that he had held for much of the front nine.

“People were telling me just be patient, be patient,” Perez said. “Eventually my opportunity came on 16.”

He drained a clutch 12-foot birdie putt on the par-three 16th for his longest putt of the day.

Perez then closed out the round with pars on the par-four 17 and par-five 18, enough to hold off Garcia who finished in second place for the second straight year.

The Cal State Bakersfield player had his own opportunity but missed his birdie putt on the 18th that would have forced a playoff.

“It was just a battle out there,” Garcia said. “This course played pretty tough. A lot of the pins were inaccessible so you just had to play really patient out there.

“I just didn’t close it out like I needed to.”

Monday saw far fewer rounds under par than either Saturday or Sunday. Several score cards had even-par rounds but only Cameron Tennant was able to go under par with a two-under 68.

Like Garcia, Marsh cited the pin placements for affecting scores as all of the day-two leaders tallied over-par rounds after entering the day eight under. That’s after Marsh and Duncan Jr. each posted a 63 0n Saturday and Sunday.

“I couldn’t figure it out what it was. None of us played good,” Marsh said, before singling out Garcia. “Levi played ok. But other than that, none of us could really get anything going.”

Championship Flight Results

Perez, A…65-67-71 — 203

Garcia, L…66-68-70—204

Duncan, P Jr….63-69-73—205

Marsh, K…69-63-73—205

Geiberger, A…71-64-70—205

Gama, B…69-70-71—210

Free, M…68-70-73—211

Tennant, C…68-75-68—211

Kang, A,,,66-73-73—212

West, A…71-68-73—212

Barrow, B…71-71-70—212

Bowman, S…71-69-73—213

Perry, J…74-69-70—213

Ward, D…70-72-72—214

Siporin, M…69-70-76—215

Hulvey, Z…69-74-73—216

Patchett, G…71-67-79—217

Gerow, R…73-71-73—217

Duncan, P…72-68-78—218

Carmona, R…71-70-79—220

Schaeffer, B…74-68—dnf

Rowley, M…74-70—dnf

Wilson, Jeff…68-66—dnf

Sanders, G…66-77—dnf

Cohen, M…68-72—dnf