by Brendan Stasiewich
Santee, California — University of California senior Sebastian Crampton’s streak of 42-consecutive starts for the Golden Bears ended this week, electing to instead head to Carlton Oaks Golf Club to test his efforts at the third Mackenzie Tour Q-School event of the season.
So far, it looks like a good call for the 22-year old, who backed up a spotless opening-round 66 with a 69 to take a one-stroke lead over Preston Valder into Thursday’s third round.
“It was a grind out there today, the wind picked up on the back nine,” said Crampton. “I got off to a good start, which gave me a cushion going into the last few holes. I had some good par saves coming down the stretch and made some good birdies. I think, overall, I’m moving in the right direction heading into the next couple days.”
Backtracking through the Pacific Grove, California native’s resume, it’s no surprise that Crampton has sprung out of the gate.
This past fall, Crampton took co-ownership of Cal’s 54-hole scoring record, firing 17-under par at the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational to claim his second individual medallist title.
If the nine birdie, one eagle, two bogey start through 36-holes this week is any indication, it looks like his game has continued through the winter and then some.
“I said in the practice round if I was 8-under through two rounds I’d have a good shot going into the last couple days,” said Crampton. “When I shot six yesterday, I wanted to get to 10 today, but I’m obviously happy how it turned out considering the conditions.”
Crampton’s closest chaser is 2017 Mackenzie Tour member Preston Valder, who traded positions with Crampton and finds himself one-stroke back following a 1-under 71.
- Vanderbilt teammates William Gordon (4) and Patrick Martin (T7) are part of a group of six amateurs currently within the top-10. Gordon has two individual tournament victories this season and a 69.52 scoring average, which would be the second-lowest in school history. Meanwhile, Martin has a career scoring average of 70.95, which would also be the second-lowest in program history.
- When amateur Brandon Bauman was 11-years old, having only played golf for a few months, he bet his dad that if he broke 100, he could enter his first tournament. That day, he shot 99. Over a decade, and four collegiate victories with University of California Santa Barbara, later, Bauman fired a 68 today at Carlton Oaks to head into the third round in a tie for seventh.
- A top-10 recruit nationally out of high school, Nathan Jeansonne has improved his scoring average each season with the LSU Tigers, currently boasting a 71.78 average this year.
- 1-over through 10 holes, Alex Chiarella rallied on his back side, making three birdies on his way to a second-round 70. The 2018 Mackenzie Tour member heads into the third round in a tie for fifth place.
- Roman Aragon, who was the last player in the field after a late withdrawal on Monday afternoon, made only a single bogey, offset by two birdies to head into the third round in a tie for fifth at 5-under.
- John Mlikotic remains the low-Canadian following a second-round 72 that has him T16 heading into the third round.
“You just have to avoid doubles and big numbers out here. If you can manage your game and hit the correct shots when you’re in trouble to get yourself out of trouble, you give yourself a great shot.” – Sebastian Crampton
“My dad came down on Monday afternoon and took the week off of work; I’m happy he’s on the bag. He got me into the game when I was nine or 10; he’s there to help me calm my nerves and to tell me where to hit it and not to hit it, I think he’s been a big help.” – Sebastian Crampton On his father caddying this week
“Tomorrow will be the same game plan; manage my game and if I get into trouble, just be smart and get myself out of the trouble and give myself a good chance at up and downs. That and just hitting the ball in the right spots.” – Sebastian Crampton
“My back nine was a little better today. I had a few good pars from some not so great spots on one and four. I drove it up greenside on five, hit it close and had a nice tap in there and then hit it to a couple inches on seven, so a couple good birdies there. I let one go on eight and then finished with a birdie, so it was nice to keep things rolling that way heading into tomorrow.” – Preston Valder
“It’s great. The greens are normally perfect, the wind isn’t usually up yet, and the golf course is as good as it gets; it’s prime for scoring. I didn’t take full advantage of it today, but I ended up under par which is alright, and I’ve got two more solid days ahead.” – Preston Valder On being the first group off the tee
“It doesn’t feel as good after today’s round than if somebody told me that this is where I’d be at the beginning, but 8-under is a great spot to be at. I don’t really have a number in my head, but I’m going to keep trying to play as well as I can and see how it ends up after Friday.” – Preston Valder on his thoughts on his position
“I got off to a tough start and went through a stretch where I wasn’t hitting it so well, but then on No. 3 I made one from about 50 feet and then chipped in on No. 4. Later on I made a birdie on the last, but all-in-all, played pretty consistently.” – Nathan Jeansonne
“There are a lot of good players in college that might be just as good as PGA TOUR players. I think golf is getting harder with technology and players coming up because everyone hits it so far, so It’s tougher for guys like me who don’t hit it as far, it’s brutal but it’s the way it’s going.” – Nathan Jeansonne
“I looked at the scores from last year before I got here, and I knew anything a few under par would put me in position, so I’m definitely happy with where I’m at.” – Nathan Jeansonne
How the Tournament Works
There are 120 players competing this week with hopes of earning Mackenzie Tour membership for the 2019 season. Below is a breakdown of the status available at each of the six Qualifying Tournaments:
|Medalist||Exempt for the 2019 season|
|2nd through 14th (no ties)||Fully exempt for the first six tournaments and subject to the re-shuffle|
|15th through 40th (plus ties)||Conditionally exempt|
Second-Round Weather: Overcast. High of 20. Wind at 15 KPH.