Henderson, Nev.–Consistency was the key for Michael Sarro as he posted three straight sub-par rounds en route to a 3-stroke victory in the 2020 Nevada State Amateur Championship held July 10-12, 2020, at Reflection Bay Golf Club at Lake Las Vegas. How consistent was Sarro? Try just one bogey over the 54-hole event. –by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.
Sarro held off a hard-charging Hazen Newman who fired a closing 10-under-par 62 and finished second.
Sarro, who is in the transfer portal after playing at California Baptist University in Riverside, Ca., carded 13 birdies and just one bogey over the three rounds.
“This definitely showed me where my game is at,” he said. “I had a really good ball-striking tournament and drove the ball great the whole tournament.”
He opened the tournament par, bogey. It would wind up being his only bogey.
“It was a three-putt,” he said of the second hole. “It kind of startled me a little but it was nice to follow it up with a birdie. That gets you back into a positive frame of mind.”
Sarro works on his game with the help of former PGA Tour player and High Performance Golf Institute director of instruction Craig Barlow and says the work is paying off. The Institute is located at Lake Las Vegas and Reflection Bay.
“He’s helped me a lot with my game,” Sarro said of his time with Barlow. “With all of his experience he knows how to play the game. His short game help has been tremendous.”
Overall, Sarro said the tournament was a solid effort over three days.
“I didn’t miss an iron or a drive the whole tournament,” he said. “I hit a few bad putts but we’re all going to do that. I was expecting to play well coming in and it was a solid three days.”
Newman fired nines of 32-30 in the final round to vault up the leaderboard to a solo second finish. Newman, a graduate of Arbor View High School, will be entering his sophomore year at Oklahoma State this fall.
“It’s my best tournament round,” he said. “I’m grinning from ear to ear.”
After the first two rounds left him well back in the tournament, he spent some time on the range. It paid off.
“I definitely didn’t play well the first two rounds,” he said. “But I had a few swing thoughts on the range and something clicked and I started hitting it well. It led to a good round.”
UNLV commit Ben Sawaia, a 2020 Coronado grad, finished third, four strokes behind of Sarro, his former Coronado High School teammate. Sawaia closed with a five-under-par 67 that included six birdies in a seven-hole stretch.
J.J. Gresco, last year’s Nevada State Amateur champion, finished in a tie for fourth with Zac Frazier, the 2019 Southern Nevada Amateur champion, and Charlie Magruder.
2020 Nevada State Amateur Championship
Michael Sarro, 71-67-66—204 (-12)
Hazen Newman, 73-72-62—207 (-9)
Ben Sawaia, 70-71-67—208 (-8)
Zac Frazier, 73-67-70—210 (-6)
J.J. Gresco, 70-73-67—210 (-6)
Charlie Magruder, 74-71-65—210 (-6)
Craig Erickson 72-69-70–211 (-5)
Cameron Barzekoff, 69-70-73—212 (-4)
Brett Sawaia, 73-73-66—212 (-4)
Canon Olkowski, 68-75-70–213 (-3)
Jake Ruttenbur, 73-71-69–213 (-3)
Brady Exber, 75-70-69–214 (-2)
Alex Jordan, 74-69-71–214 (-2)
Skyler Ngo, 70-72-72–214 (-2)
Lorenzo Gillenwater, 72-75-68–215 (-1)
Andrew Hawk, 72-69-74–215 (-1)
Daren Johnson, 75-75-65–215 (-1)
Connor Motherway, 72-70-73—215 (-1)