Golfers compete to be best in Santa Clarita at first Amateur Golf Tournament

Jack Dudeck, a former West Ranch High School graduate, takes a swing on his first hole of the day at the first annual Santa Clarita Championship Amateur Golf Tournament. Matt Fernandez/ The Signal

Tense silence punctuated by birdsong and the sharp clinking of golf clubs permeated the atmosphere at the Sand Canyon Country Club, which hosted the inaugural Santa Clarita Valley Championship Amateur Golf Tournament on Sunday.

The two-day tournament hosted 30 golfers from Santa Clarita and other areas of Southern California, who all competed for the title of “Best Golfer in Santa Clarita.” All proceeds from the event went toward supporting after-school sports programs for the Boys and Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley.

“We have people where who are just here to support the club and people who are here to really here to win the championship so it’s been a great turnout,” said Matt Nelson, CEO of the Boys and Girls Club. “We were hoping to raise $20,000 and were able to raise $21,500. We’re glad that we were able to partner with Sand Canyon to bring a new event to Santa Clarita and to help stimulate the local economy by having people from outside the valley come and compete.”

Mark Kagaoan, PGA director at the country club, said that he had wanted to organize a Santa Clarita-based tournament. Kagaoan said he was presented with the perfect opportunity when the Boys and Girls Club approached him looking for a unique fundraising opportunity.

“We’ve never had a Santa Clarita Valley championship, so this being my home was something I’ve been dreaming of doing for years,” he said. “I was planning on doing it this year anyway but when the Boys and Girls Club approached me I felt there was no better organization I could team up with, especially with their impact on the community.”

Jack Dudeck, who graduated from West Ranch High School last year before moving to North Dakota, came back to Santa Clarita for the tournament.

“It’s cool to be back playing at a course I love and supporting the Boys and Girls Club,” Dudeck said. “Since golf isn’t a huge sport, this new tournament is great because it spreads the word and can get younger people into it. It’s something you can play your whole life, so there’s no really bad part of golf and I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Kagaoan and Nelson are optimistic about the future of the tournament. Nelson anticipated the attendance to double for next year’s event and Kagaoan’s hope is, in a few years, there will be 144 players and a waiting list to get into the tournament.

The winners of the tournament are listed below.

1st Place Gross, Tournament Champion and winner of ‘The Rosana Cup’ – Brandon Trinkwon 

1st Place Net – Matt Bedford  

2nd Place Net – Ian Arcellana 

3rd Place Net – Jack Dudeck


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About the author

Matt Fernandez

Matt Fernandez

Matt Fernandez is a local news reporter for The Signal. He is a 2017 graduate of UCLA and his previous work experience includes the Daily Bruin newspaper and Variety magazine, where he focused on arts and entertainment news. Fernandez has lived in Santa Clarita since 1998.