Beck and Wilson claim titles from George C. Thomas at LA Country Club

2022 GCTI Mid-Amateur Champion Evan Beck (CCAA photo)

A year away from the tournament’s biggest margin of victory, two recently reinstated amateurs found themselves locked atop the George C. Thomas Invitational standings.

It was Evan Beck of Virginia Beach, Va., who beat Michael Jensen of San Francisco, Calif. on Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Country Club, securing the Mid-Amateur title and continuing a hot run since he was joined the amateur circuit.

Beck had victories at the Eastern Amateur and the Virginia State Open in 2021, and finished second to Stewart Hagested at the 2022 George L. Coleman Invitational. In Seminole, on the shores of the Atlantic, Beck birdied just one on the final day and twice caught the two-time U.S. mid-amateur champion. Two months later, on the opposite coast, a few miles from the Pacific, Beck had six birdies on his last lap.

A 2-under 68, including a bogey-free back nine 32, helped catch Jensen in the clubhouse to par the future host of the US Open for a 3-hole total playoff.

It was Hagested who blitzed the north course last June, beating Mike McCoy’s eight-shot performance by nine to one in 2013. McCoy took seventh place in the senior division this time around, while Hagested traded a title defense for a chance. to compete at the Northeast Amateur.

Jensen’s comeback from the professional ranks began a few years earlier than Beck, in 2019 when he reached match play at the US Mid-Amateur. Two years later, he won the Stocker Cup in the playoffs against Jason Anthony. And at TPC Harding Park in April, he ousted Kyle Dougherty in a 36-hole match play final for a much-wanted crown in San Francisco.

He came out the other side of Saturday’s playoffs, however, finishing four behind Beck who played holes 1, 2 and 9 at par. Still, Jensen valiantly bounced back from a tough second round where his 77 turned a two-shot first-round lead into a potentially disappointing performance. His par-5 1st eagle, just like Thursday, kicked off his day en route to a par 65 at 5 under.

Day two leader Jeronimo Esteve bogeyed four times on his last seven holes, narrowly missing a playoff chance. He finished the 54-hole round tied, settling for third place in the solo, two ahead of John Sawin and Ben Hayes.

Jeff Wilson, George C. Thomas Invitational Senior Division Champion. (Photo CCAA)

Wilson adds to his resume with a two-stroke victory in the senior division

Full story to come.

Results: George C. Thomas Invitation

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ABOUT George C. Thomas Invitation

The 54-hole stroke play invitational tournament with the Mid-Am and Senior divisions is named after George C. Thomas, Jr., the legendary golf course architect who designed the courses at Bel-Air Country Club, of the Los Angeles Country Club, the Riviera Country Club and others in the 1920s. Thomas was a prominent rose breeder on the East Coast before becoming famous as a golf course designer. The Los Angeles Country Club hosted the 2017 Walker Cup.

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