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Thornberry falls short in making State Amateur
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Ryan Thornberry completed his sophomore season at Cal State Stanislaus in May, where he had 13 top-10 finishes, including three firsts and a second at the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship, and set a team-record in scoring average en route to claiming first-team, all-America honors.

The 2002 Ceres High graduate participated in the 93rd edition of the California Golf Association State Amateur Championship at Poppy Hills Golf Course, June 21-22.

The top 60 players moved on to the second stage of qualifying at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Thornberry failed to make the cut. He missed qualifying by four strokes.

"I didn't do really well," he said. "I was a little rusty. I haven't played (in a tournament) since nationals. I played a couple of qualifiers but those were just one round."

Thornberry finished 103rd with an 11-over-par 155. The field was made up of 156 players, including 78 from Northern California and 78 from Southern California.

Thornberry completed two stroke-play qualifying rounds. He opened with a 7-over-par 79 in the first round and fired a 4-over 76 in the second round.

"My scores really didn't represent the way I hit the ball," he said. "A few bad shots cost me."

Thornberry was in 114th place at the end of the first day.

"The first round, I got off to a decent start," he said. "Then I had a bad string of holes, where I hit it out of bounds a couple of times. Before I knew it, I was four or five over. It was a struggle."

Thornberry paired with Rancho Murieta's Spencer Levin and Fair Oaks' Jeff Williams in the opening round. Levin arrived just in time for his tee time after flying back from the U.S open, where he tied for 13th.

"I saw him (Levin) on Sports Center the night before," Thornberry said.

Thornberry and Levin are friends. They roomed together while competing at tournaments at the junior level.

"I've know him since I was 12," Thornberry said.

"I've played with him plenty of times."

The top 32 from the third round of stroke play advanced to match play, held at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Levin captured the 93rd State Amateur.

Thornberry qualified for match play at the 2002 Amateur Championship.

"I'm disappointed because I played in this tournament before and made match play," Thornberry said. "I'm going to take this week as a learning experience and go from there."

Thornberry will compete at the Scratch Players Championship at Bayonet Golf Course in Monterey this week. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier