John Catlin knows Carmichael's very well.
Catlin, a Carmichael native, now 20, has been coached by course instructor Eric Pollard since he was 12 and played in tournaments there while attending .
On Monday, Catlin shot a 2-under 208 to win the Memorial Amateur tournament, beating out about 140 competitors. He made clutch putts – a 20-footer for birdie on No. 17 and a five-footer for bogey on No. 18 – to shoot a final-round par 70 Monday to tie Cody Robinson (67) after 54 holes, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Catlin, a sophomore at New Mexico, beat Robinson, a 19-year-old Discovery Bay resident and Washington State sophomore, by five shots in a three-hole playoff that quickly became anticlimactic when Robinson opened with a triple bogey, The Bee reported.
"It was cool to be able to win on a course I was familiar with," Catlin said Thursday. "There were about 100 people watching me at every hole."
Catlin, who said he was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, finished fifth in April 2010 in a tournament at Texas against schools including the host as well as Oklahoma State and Texas Christian. He finished ninth at the Golf Week Conference Challenge in September in Iowa.
At Jesuit, where Catlin graduated in 2009, he said he was the golf team Most Valuable Player all four years, won his league tournament two years in a row and in 2009 won the school's Fr. Barry Tournament and finished fourth in the state.
It all comes back to the course, where Catlin played Thursday in a Skins Game.
"I like this golf course because it's tree-lined ans you have to hit the ball straight," he said. "It's a ball striker's course...If I get the putter going, I'm pretty dangerous."
Despite two years at New Mexico, Catlin said he still enjoys coming home to Carmichael.
"I'd like to be on the PGA Tour when I graduate from college," he said. "Playing week in and week out like Spencer Levin (an Elk Grove native who also attended New Mexico) because he's helped me a lot."
Catlin will play Monday in a U.S. Open sectional qualifying tournament in Oakmont in Southern California.