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Berganio's Etiquette Catches Up to His Game : Golf: Minding his manners, he closes out two opponents to reach quarterfinals of U.S. Public Links Championships.

July 16, 1993|STEVE ELLING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

David Berganio of Sylmar has mellowed, but his game hasn't changed a bit.

Berganio, an Alemany High graduate who completed his eligibility at Arizona where he was an All-American last spring, is known for his rather flamboyant and demonstrative manner. Not to mention his superlative game.

The former sometimes puts him in hot water with officials of the ever-conservative U.S. Golf Assn.

"I was a little cocky," he said with a laugh. "I voiced my opinions, you know? But we're all friends now."

Berganio, 24, once again has found the U.S. Public Links Championships to be user-friendly. On Thursday, he dispatched a pair of opponents in match play at Riverdale Dunes Golf Course in Brighton, Colo., and advanced into today's quarterfinal round.

Berganio, who won the event in 1991 and has been its 36-hole medalist for an unprecedented three consecutive years, will face Jody Roudebush of Noblesville, Ind., today at 7 a.m.

If Berganio defeats Roudebush, he will play another 18-hole match in the afternoon. The winner of that showdown advances to the 36-hole final Saturday.

In Thursday's morning round, Berganio defeated Bruce Sutterfield of Provo, Utah, 3 and 1. In the afternoon, he knocked off Hans Kersting of Las Cruces, N.M., 2 up.

Roudebush defeated Sam Arnold of Cincinnati, 6 and 5, and Derek Robison of Jackson, Mich., 3 and 2.

Berganio, denied a berth on the 10-member Walker Cup team after winning the Publinks title in 1991, hopes his temperament has softened enough that a victory this year would land him a spot on the prestigious Walker squad. The Publinks winner is often invited to join the team, although Berganio was snubbed two years ago.

The Walker Cup would be a huge feather in Berganio's cap. With that in mind, he has tried to make peace with the USGA and is attempting to manage his temperament.

"It's not like playing basketball or football," said Berganio, who was a guard on the Alemany basketball team. "It isn't like you can talk, talk, talk out there."

Berganio also plans to play in the Porter Cup July 29 through Aug. 1 at Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, N.Y., and the Western Amateur, Aug. 5-9 at Point O'Woods Country Club in Benton Harbor, Mich. Both are prestigious invitational tournaments and solid performances could bolster his Walker Cup chances.

The Walker Cup is held every two years. The U.S. team, a mixture of the nation's best college and veteran amateurs, competes against top amateur Europeans. The Walker Cup will be held Aug. 18-19 at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minn.

Berganio said he will probably turn pro after attending the PGA Tour Qualifying School in the fall.

After winning the Publinks title in 1991, Berganio repeated as the 36-hole medalist the following year, but lost in the first round of match play, 3 and 2, when his opponent one-putted 11 of 16 greens. No one had ever been medalist twice in a row.

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