Suffolk man falls in VSGA tourney

Published 9:04 pm Thursday, June 28, 2012

Suffolk’s David Sanderson, 19, was one of four players to squeak out spots among the final 32 in the 99th annual Virginia State Golf Association championship on Wednesday.

He was unable to hold on against the tournament’s leader, Brinson Paolini, on Thursday, however, falling 3 and 2 in head-to-head competition with the defending state champion.

Sanderson and four others had battled in extra holes on Wednesday for the final four positions available going into the third day of the tournament on Thursday, the first day of match play.

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All five were tied at 148 in stroke play — 12 strokes behind Virginia Beach’s Paolini — at the end of regulation on Wednesday, prompting a five-man playoff from which Sanderson emerged intact. He had shot rounds of 76 and 72 to qualify for the playoff holes.

Thirty-two players, 24 of them 24 or younger, hit the links at Bayville Golf Club in Virginia Beach Thursday morning for the first round of match play in the tournament.

Following his win in Thursday’s morning round, Paolini returned in the afternoon to beat Mikey Moyers of Standardsville, 2 and 1.

The winner of an unprecedented three consecutive VSGA Amateurs from 2008-10, Paolini knows all about the survive-and-advance dynamic that accompanies winning tough matches.

“The thing about these type of events is that they end very quickly and very suddenly, so you try to do everything you can to keep going,” said Paolini, who had a record 16-match win streak at the event before being eliminated in the second round last year.

“It’s all about [Friday]. I was fortunate to win both of the matches today after having to gut it out.”

The quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Friday, and a 36-hole final will be held on Saturday.

In Friday morning’s quarterfinals, Paolini will face the only mid-amateur (ages 25 and older) left in the field, 45-year-old Buck Brittain of Tazewell.