GCSAA National Championship: A rookie leads the way

Texan Steve Gilley fired a 1-under-par 71 on the Champions Course at La Costa to build a two-shot lead.


Steve Gilley
Seven-year GCSAA member Steve Gilley on the Champions Course at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., on Feb. 3. Photos by Darren Carroll

A fresh face finds himself atop the leaderboard at the halfway mark of the 2019 GCSAA Golf Championship.

Steve Gilley, the superintendent at Panorama Golf Club in Conroe, Texas, fired a 1-under-par 71 on the Champions Course at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif., to take a two-shot lead in his first year playing in the event.

Gilley got off to a fast start with birdies on a pair of par-4s, the first and the fifth holes. He gave a shot back on the par-3 12th hole, but never slipped back to even par to finish as the only player in the National Championship to record an under-par round.

Two shots back after 1-over-par scores of 73 were two-time champion Michael Stieler, CGCS, from Spring Creek Golf and Country Club in Ripon, Calif., and Keith Stein, the director of golf operations for Rose Hall Development Jamaica. At 2-over-par was another multiple-time winner of the event, Seth Strickland from Miami Shores (Fla.) Country Club.

Omni La Costa Resort golf
In fifth place at 3-over-par 75 was Bryce Koch, CGCS, from Cypress Lake Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla., while five other players — Robert Arnts from Stanton Ridge Golf and Country Club in Stanton, N.J.; Anthony McFadyean from Nedlands Golf Club in Australia; Jason Meersman from The Patterson Club in Fairfield, Conn.; Michael Goldsberry from Wing Point Golf & Country Club in Bainbridge Island, Wash.; and Troy Farris from Forest Park Golf Course in Brazil, Ind. — all finished at 4-over-par 76.

The GCSAA National Championship, along with the other flights in the Golf Classic, will conclude on Monday. For complete results and to follow the action live, check out the GCSAA Golf Championships on Golf Genius.

Scott Hollister is GCM’s editor-in-chief.