The Toyota Tour Cup hit the 101 North this past weekend and headed to Golf Digests’ 33rd toughest ranked golf course in America, La Purisima. The course winds through the rolling hills of Santa Barbara’s wine country, just outside of Lompoc, California. To compete, players would have to contend with severe undulations, whipping winds, and small, fast greens.
Round one began and conditions were perfect with little wind and warm temperatures. Players were capitalizing, as they needed to, because it was only a matter of time until the courses primary defense, the wind, would begin to blow. As the last of our groups were making the turn, winds started to pick up. By noon, the winds were at a consistent 15 mph and gusting up to 20 mph. Despite the difficult conditions, a few standout scores were recorded. Sarah Fouratt would hold a two shot lead after round one with her three over par 75. She was one of only 4 girls to break 80, proving just how difficult the course played. Andrew Fernandez turned in the round of the day with one over par 73, despite a triple bogey 7 on the 18th hole. This was a remarkable round, considering his late tee time which had him dealing with tough, windy conditions nearly the entire round. In fact, US Open local qualifying was held two days before in which a score of 74 qualified for the next stage.
Brandon Bueno, who missed local qualifying for the US Open by just two shots, was feeling confident heading into the weekend. After a first round 77, he was 4 shots back with 10 players tied or ahead of him going into Sunday’s final round. An even par front 9 left him with some ground to make up on the back. He did that by birdieing the 10th and 17th holes for a clean two under par 34 on the back nine and posted the only under par round of the week with a two under par 70. That late charge on the back nine would give him a one shot victory over Sam Choi for his first Toyota Tour Cup title.
The girls division was also decided in exciting fashion, needing two additional holes to decide a champion. Sarah Fouratt and Alisaundre Morallos parred the first playoff hole which took them to the par 3 17th. Sarah had the honors and hit the green but was about 40 feet away. Alisaundre stepped up and covered the pin with a short iron that finished just 3 feet from the hole. Sarah gave it a valiant effort, cozying her long birdie putt to within a foot from the hole. That gave Alisaundre the opportunity she needed to seize her first Toyota Tour Cup title!
The SCPGA would like to thank Stacie and Larry Correa, Russ Sandy, Carlos Garcia, and the entire La Purisima staff for their help and support with our event; Title sponsor Toyota and event sponsor Nike; and the terrific SCPGA Rules Officials for volunteering their time: Ron O’Connor, PGA, Keith Reinking, Gary Albin, and Terry Startzel.
Next stop for the Toyota Tour Cup Series is Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon on May 30th and 31st.