ACI Update: Silva, Waters have edge in round robin play

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By Mike Cote

NOTE: Due to early deadlines owing to the July 4 holiday, coverage of the Atomic City Invitational will be delayed in the print edition of the Los Alamos Monitor. Check our website for tournament updates.

Nick "James" Silva knocked off top-seeded Eddie Sanchez to take control of the senior men's Atomic City Invitational championship Friday.

Silva was dominant in his victory Friday over twice-defending champion Sanchez, taking their match-play contest 6 and 5. Silva (2-0) needs just to beat Fred Robinson Saturday to win the ACI title.

Meanwhile, Martha Waters moved to within one win of taking her first ACI women's title since 2002. Waters (2-0) topped Miranda Olinger 3 and 2 Friday, her second straight win of the tournament.

Waters, who will face Anna Swertfeger Saturday for a chance to clinch the tournament, said her performance Friday was a far cry better than her showing Thursday. She was on a pace to shoot an 80 for Friday's round, compared to the 85 she put up in topping Lynne Taylor a day earlier.

Olinger (1-1) — and Sanchez in the senior men's flight — must earn a victory Saturday and will need some help to force a playoff in the round robin tournament.

In Thursday's opening round, Silva topped Dale Mildbrandt while Sanchez won his contest over Fred Robinson.

In the men's championship flight Friday, Cale Jones came back from two-hole deficit against Brad King to advance to his first semifinal since 2005, in which he won the tournament.

Jones won the 11th and 12th holes to even the match with four holes to play, then scored a par on the 16th to seal the come-from-behind victory.

It was a tough loss for King, who finished tied for third in Wednesday's qualifying round with a score of 1-over par, then knocked off three-time champion Gary Rich in the opening round of match-play 6 and 5.

Defending champion Lee Sanchez also advanced to Saturday's semifinal, where he will face Ted Ball.

Jones will take on Curt Norman in the semis.

Saturday's semifinal round will tee off at 8:30 a.m.

Here are the results from the men's championship bracket play Friday:

(1) Lee Sanchez def. (8) Brett Hollander, 3 and 2

(6) Ted Ball def. (3) Jason Norman, 2 and 1

(2) Curt Norman def. (7) Brandon Rich, 1-up

(5) Cale Jones def. (4) Brad King, 1-up