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SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, Calif. — Last weekend, the penultimate tournament of the 2018 season was contested at San Juan Oaks. A Fred Couples signature designed course, San Juan Oaks is a staple every other year for the Dragon’s Golf Club. It’s a tough modern layout where good scores must be earned in the meadows and canyons terrain. It was definitely a fair test to separate the contenders for the 2018 Dragon Cup. With defending champion Mike Lum dealing with injuries early in the season, a new crop of players wanted a taste of the Dragon Cup.
In the B Flight, it was no surprise that the the top four finishers were all contenders for the Dragon Cup. Karen Fong’s 97/net 76 bested John Park’s 94/76 in a cardoff to take 3rd Net. Fan Li’s 103/75 was good for 2nd Net. Mike Gui didn’t realize how good his 90/72 was. On this day, it was good enough for 1st Net in the B Flight.
Points leaders John Park, Karen Fong, and rookie Fan Li have been the most consistent players all season. But, as in the FedEx playoffs, the Dragon Cup looks like it might be a case of who can get hot at the right time of the season. This finish extends Gui’s great summer run, as a member of the winning Weekender team; placing second at DeLaveaga, and securing a spot in the finals of the season-long Match Play Brackets. “Gui Time” is on fire and looking for a strong finish at Season Finale to etch his name on the Dragon Cup.
The top 5 finishers in the A Flight were separated by 2 shots. Rookie Jeff Shih shot 87/72, with an impressive gross 39 on the very tough back nine to beat Mike Lum’s 75/72 for 4th in a cardoff. Jason Kung and Robert Dang both shot a 85/71, but Kung shot one better on the back to nab 2nd Net via cardoff. Davis Lee’s 12 foot curling putt for par on 18 preserved his 1st Net finish, with a 85/70.
Speaking of hot, San Juan Oaks win caps off a great September by Davis Lee, who also took first low net in the A Flight at the Chinese Golf Federation’s Labor Day Invitational in Victoria, BC. Davis, the 2016 Dragon Cup champion, is now leading the Dragon Cup with 959 points. Mike Gui at 832 points is by no means out of it, as he stands to rack up points to catch Davis should he prevail in the Match Play Bracket’s final.
And all of it will come together, as it should, in the last group of the last tournament of the year, at Wente Vineyard in October. Mike will face Mieko Sugimoto, who defeated some of the toughest match play competitors in the club en route to the Match Play Brackets finals. It should be an interesting Season Finale as always, with a few mathematical possibilities to determine the Club Champion.