Niall Platt won his second straight SCGA Match Play Championship Wednesday (photo courtesy of the SCGA)
Aug. 8, 2013
PASADENA, Calif. - University of Notre Dame men's golfer Niall Platt extended his unbeaten streak at the Southern California Golf Association Match Play Championship to two years, repeating as the event champion Wednesday at the Annandale Golf Club.
Platt won a pair of matches on the final day of action to secure his second straight SCGA Match Play title, the first in the six-year history of the tournament to be played away from the Sandpiper Golf Club in Platt's hometown of Santa Barbara.
Platt, the number one seed in the championship bracket, began Wednesday with a semifinal victory over No. 5 Anton Arboleda. Platt never trailed during the match, taking a one up lead after paring the 348-yard first hole. Arboleda responded with a par of his own at the third hole to square the match.
Both players remained all square for the next seven holes before a Platt birdie at the par-4 11th gave him a one up lead. The Irish senior birdied two of the final holes to close out Arboleda 4 and 3.
Awaiting Platt in the championship's final match was 10th-seeded Sean Crocker. Par 4's at the first and second holes gave Platt a quick two up advantage. Crocker answered with a par at the 403-yard third hole to draw within one.
The players traded hole wins at five, six and seven, with Platt gaining the edge with a par at the 465-yard par-4 seventh to up the lead to two. Crocker closed the front nine with a flurry, birdieing the short par-4 eighth and saving par at the 165-yard ninth hole to square the contest.
Platt turned up the pressure on the back nine, as birdies at numbers 10 and 12 offset a Crocker win at the 11th to give Platt a one up lead. Crocker evened the match for the third time with a par at the 427-yard 14th, but that was as close as he would come the rest of the way.
It was all Platt over the final four holes. A birdie at the par-3 15th hole put him back on top at one up, and a conceded eagle at 18 closed out Crocker 2 up.