Perez-Gama claim first S.B. Classic title


El Equipo Rojo, the Red Team, could not be stopped in the final round of the 50th annual Santa Barbara Classic.

Andrew Perez and Brandon Gama, both clad in red shirts, broke away from Albert Corral and Jesse Ferris on the last two holes and captured their first championship at the Santa Barbara Golf Club on Sunday. The winning duo fired a final-round 7-under par 63 to finish with a gross total of 16-under 124 in the 36-hole, two-man best-ball tournament.

Tyler Crawford and Al Geiberger Jr. shot the best round of the day, a 61, and finished second at 14-under 126. Geiberger is the son of the PGA Tour’s Mr. 59, Al Geiberger, a former Santa Barbara resident.

Corral-Ferris and the combo of Kevin Marsh-George Downing tied for third at 127. John Pate-Steve Lass, 11-time Classic champions together, finished tied for sixth at 130.

For Perez, the title completed the Santa Barbara “double,” as he added the Classic triumph to the City Championship he won in May. The last player to accomplish the feat was former UCSB golfer Tony Verna in 2006.

Sunday’s victory also extended Perez’s winning streak to five straight tournaments. Since the end of May, he’s won city titles in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Oxnard and Simi Valley.

The CIF-Southern Section champion from Santa Barbara High in 2008 carried the load for the team early on, making birdies on four of the first nine holes. He had five in the round en route to a 5-under 65, while Gama made four.

“This was my horse the whole way,”  Gama said while patting Perez on the back. “He kept me in it the whole way. Give all the credit to him. He’s my partner.”

Gama, however, showed he wasn’t just around for the ride. An All-American at Chico State, he came up big on the last two holes to ice the victory.

With just a one stroke lead over Corral and Ferris, Gama hit a stellar second shot from the bottom of the gully on 17 that landed 12 feet from the hole. He then nailed the birdie putt for an insurmountable two-shot advantage.

On the par-5 18th, Gama blasted his drive straight and true nearly 300 yards and was on the green in two. He two-putted for a finishing birdie.

“You just stay in the moment,” said Gama of making clutch shots. He had a chance to give his team a two-shot lead at No. 16 but he missed a 3 1/2-foot birdie putt.

Then he rebounded in a big way.

“Brandon rammed that putt on 17,” said Corral, who won last year’s tournament. “He was feeling it. Good for him. I’ve known him for a long time. I’m glad that they won.”

Ferris and Corral, teammates at City College, agreed that their inability to make key putts cost them in the end. They made only three birdies between them all day.

“Today, we just couldn’t buy a putt,” said Ferris.

In the other divisions, Blake Mason and Tim Cooney of the Santa Barbara Men’s Golf Club, shot a net 125 to take the B Flight title by two strokes.

Frank Kerby of Avila Beach and Eddie Williams of Madera played a solid two days and won the C Flight with a score of 120.

Greg Bristol and Jeff Chaffin of the Santa Barbara Men’s Club overtook Sherman Elrod (Rio Hondo) and Steve Theroux (Candlewood) to take the D Flight title by two shots, 122-124.

50th annual Santa Barbara Classic

At par-70 Santa Barbara Golf Club


A Flight Gross Scores

Andrew Perez-Brandon Gama 61-63 — 124

Tyler Crawford-Al Geiberger, Jr. 65-61 — 126

George Downing-Kevin Marsh 64-63 — 127

Albert Corral-Jesse Ferris 60-67 — 127

Jim Vallone-Paul Otte 65-63 — 128

Paul Smith-Tom Volz 65-65 — 130

John Pate-Steve Lass 64-66 — 130

Nathan Fox-Andrew Damron 65-65 — 130

Sean Bowman-Danny Carroll 64-67 — 131

Matt Free-Mike McCaskey 67-65 — 132

Niall Platt-Jack Perry 66-67 — 133

Greg Wells-Brian Six 67-68 — 135

Richard Irwin-Dan Carroll 64-71 — 135

Nick Telliard-Doug Green 67-69 — 136

Topper Owen-Eric Hall 66-72 — 138

Michael Smith-Marvin Maruguin 68-70 — 138

Ruben Carmona-Mike Madrigal 70-68 — 138

Brian Reed-Gavin Lee 70-70 — 140

Brian Lindley-David George 66-74 — 140

Billy Mandarino-Mike Bowker 72-69 — 141

Thorn Robertson-Mike Montgomery 70-71 — 141

Net Divisions

B Flight Combined L.I. 5.8-14.0

1, Blake Mason (SBMGC), Tim Cooney (SBMGC) (gr) 73-69-142 (net) 64-61-125

2T, Dan Dawson (SBMGC), Steve Klock (La Purisima GC) (gr) 69-69-138 (net) 63-64-127; Dan Vordale (Village CC), Daniel Vordale (La Purisima GC) (gr) 69-70-139 (net) 64-63-127

4T, Nigel Copley (Montecito CC), Robert Price (Montecito CC) (gr) 70-70-140 (net) 65-65-130; Ian Selbie (SBMGC), Neal Steward (SBMGC) (gr)-67-76-143 (net) 61-69-130; Mike Kerkering (Soule Park GC), Jeff Hove (Los Paisanos GC) (gr) 73-73-146 (net) 65-65-130; Danny Parker (Elks GC SB), John Babcock (Buena Ventura GC) (gr) 73-73-146 (net) 65-65-130; Wayne Tanouye (TPC Valencia), Masami Kosaka (TPC Valencia) (gr) 70-70-140 (net) 65-65-130

C Flight Combined L.I. 14.1-19.2

1, Frank Kerby (Avila Beach GC), Eddie Williams (Madera Muni GC) (gr) 71-71-142 (net)-60-60-120

2, Doug Boyle (Golf Extra GC), Rockwell Negrete (Golf Extra GC) (gr) 77-72-149 (net) 67-60-127

3, Randy Ondracek (SBMGC), Chris Bailey (Sandpiper GC) (gr) 76-75-151 (net) 64-64-128

4, Larry Rodriguez (SBMGC), Scott Mraz (Sandpiper GC) (gr) 74-74-148-(net) 64-65-129

D Flight Combined L.I. 19.3+

1, Greg Bristol (SBMGC), Jeff Chaffin (SBMGC) (gr) 74-73-147-(net) 60-62-122

2, Sherman Elrod (Riop Hondo CC), Steve Theroux (Candlewood CC) (gr) 71-78-149 (net) 59-65-124

3, Eric Bates (Bermuda Dunes CC), Jim Sweatmon (Brookside MGC) (gr) 75-78-153 (net) 62-65-127

4, Mike Younger, Sr, (El Prado GC), Mike Younger, Jr. (El Prado GC) (gr) 77-74-151 (net) 65-63-128