September 30, 2009
PEBBLE BEACH – Jeff Burda showed who’s boss.
The Modesto resident began the day just one stroke ahead of a field stacked with the state’s best senior amateur players and captured a wire-to-wire victory at the California Senior Amateur Championship with a final-round four-under-par 68.
In the process, Burda became only the second player in the event’s history to win back-to-back victories (Jim McMurtrey won in ’94 and ’95) and equaled the par-72 tournament scoring record of five-under-par 211, set by Ted Lyford in 2002.
The 56-year-old carded a first-round 66 which gave him a six-stroke lead, but struggled the second day when the wind kicked up and posted a five-over-par 77. “I knew a lot of good players were close by,” said the Del Rio CC member. However, being chased proved to be a motivator for Burda who notched three birdies on the front nine with tricky hole locations. He rolled in a birdie on No. 2, then two-putted for another on the par-5 fourth hole and secured a third birdie at the par-3 6th. “When I found out I had a seven stroke lead at the turn I was a little surprised.”
The 2008 Senior Player-of-the-Year only missed one green in the final round and backed it up with solid putting all week for an eight-stroke victory. Burda had been playing well leading up to the championship, he recently made it to the round of 16 at the 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur, pocketed a win at the NCGA Senior Match Play and made a strong appearance at the Crump Cup at Pine Valley.
One of the unlikeliest stories of the week emerged from Antioch’s Mark Miller. The Roddy Ranch GC member fired a final-round one-under-par 71 to nab second place at three-over-par 219. Miller’s finish earned him just enough points to capture the 2009 Senior Player-of-the-Year honor, edging out the decorated Gary Vanier, who was unable to compete due to an injury.
Boyd Martin of Corona del Mar played consistent all week with rounds of 73-73-74, 220 and took third place after a five-foot putt narrowly missed on the final hole to force a playoff with Miller.
September 29, 2009
PEBBLE BEACH – Jim Knoll is in hot pursuit heading into final round of the CGA State Senior Championship.
As everyone kept their eye on Jeff Burda after his blistering first-round 66 at Poppy Hills, a quiet Jim Knoll crept his way into the spotlight, carding the low round of the day – a three-under-par 69 – to edge just one stroke shy of the leader.
Knoll began the day at three-over-par and nine strokes behind friend and NCGA teammate Jeff Burda. But an eight-stroke swing emerged as blustery and cold conditions swept through the Del Monte Forest and the 2008 NCGA Player-of-the-Year carded a five-over-par 77.
“I just wanted to play with Burda in the final group,” said Knoll. “I never thought I would be one stroke off the lead heading into tomorrow, I just wanted to shoot around even-par today.” The printing salesman made four birdies and chipped-in twice to finish at even-par 144 and will indeed be paired in the final group tomorrow.
One might suggest that Knoll is looking for some redemption after last year’s championship. The Sunnyvale resident led the tournament for the first two days after firing an opening-round 64, but then lost on the final day when Burda came into the clubhouse with a 65.
The 56-year-old has proven he can go low on any given day. Last year he captured the NCGA Senior Valley Amateur at Winchester with a seven-under-par 65 in the final round. He also made the cut at the U.S. Senior Open at Whistling Straits in 2007.
Boyd Martin of Corona del Mar is in third place at two-over-par 143 with a pair of 73s. He is closely followed by two other Southern Californians, Steve Yavorsky of San Clemente and Chris Veitch of Newport Beach at three-over-par 147.
In the North-South Team Competition, the NCGA once again claimed the trophy. The team of Gary Vanier, Mark Miller, Herb Jensen and Jeff Burda won by seven strokes at eight-over-par 440, counting the best three of four individual scores on each of the first two days. The South team of Kemp Richardson, Howie Knodt, Boyd Martin and Clark Heath finished at 15-over-par 447. After succeeding this year, the North leads 10-5 over the South.
Current No. 1 ranked NCGA senior and 2007 champion Gary Vanier withdrew before the second round with an ankle injury. Vanier is the only player in history to have won both the State Amateur and State Senior Amateur championships.
The cut at 12-over-par 144 means that 35 players advance to tomorrow’s final round at Poppy Hills and tee times begin at 7:30 a.m.
September 28, 2009
PEBBLE BEACH – Jeff Burda came out with guns blazing in the first round of the 18th Annual CGA Senior Championship at Poppy Hills.
The defending champion racked up four birdies on the first nine holes (starting on No. 10), no bogeys and an eagle finish on the par-5 9th totalling a six-under-par 66 on the scorecard. The 53-year-old didn’t seem affected by the thick Pebble Beach fog that blanketed the course for most of the morning and holds a six-stroke lead over the field.
Hampered with a back injury earlier in the year, the Modesto resident recently found his past form when he made it to the round of 16 at the 2009 U.S. Senior Amateur and pocketed a win at the NCGA Senior Match Play Championship.
Burda’s eight titles in 2008 included the NCGA Senior, State Fair and the Modesto, Madera, Manteca and Sacramento City championships, Sacramento County and the State Senior. He was only the second player to win both the NCGA Senior and State Senior in the same year. After advancing to the round of 16 at the State Amateur at Lakeside last year, Burda went on to become 2008 NCGA Senior Player of the Year. If Burda wins, he will be the only player since Fair Oaks’ Jim McMurtrey in 1995 to win consecutive CGA Senior titles (McMurtrey went on to win a total of three titles).
NCGA Senior Four-Ball Champion Doug Johnson of Fresno is tied for second at even-par 72. He is chased by NCGA Valley Amateur Champion Herb Jensen of Carmichael, Chris Vetich of Newport Beach and Corona del Mar’s Boyd Martin at one-over-par 73. The 2009 SCGA Senior Champion Howie Knodt of Chula Vista is at 10-over-par 82.
The NCGA team leads the SCGA team by nine strokes in the North-South Team Competition, held concurrently with the first two rounds of the tournament. The South team of Kemp Richardson, Howie Knodt, Boyd Martin and Clark Heath carded a 223 team total, while the North team of Gary Vanier, Mark Miller, Herb Jensen and Jeff Burda are at 214. The best three of four individual scores count each day. After succeeding last year, the North leads 9-5 over the South.
In other stories of note, shortly after Tom Lyons hit a crisp 5-iron on the par-3 11th hole, he heard cheers echo from the group on the next tee box. “Nobody could see because of the fog,” the Castlewood CC member said. But when they got up to the green they discovered his ball had bounced and rolled into the cup for an ace. Some would consider this a once-in-a-lifetime event, but the Pleasanton resident added the hole-in-one to a collection of six others in his career. Lyons went on to post a four-over-par 76 and is tied for 16th.
The championship is being hosted by Poppy Hills GC for the 15th year in a row. The challenging Robert Trent Jones Jr. design opened in 1986 and is the home course for the NCGA. It was the first course in the United States to be owned and operated by an amateur golf association. The challenging par-72 layout weaves through the Del Monte Forest and measures 6,857 yards from the black tees.
A field of 112 of the best senior golfers in California are competing for the state’s premier senior title. Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and the field will be cut to the low 33 and ties after tomorrow’s second round.
|Jeff Burda||Del Rio CC||66||77||68||211|
|Mark Miller||Roddy Ranch GC||75||73||71||219|
|Boyd Martin||Santa Ana CC||73||73||74||220|
|Jim Knoll||Rooster Run GC||75||69||78||222|
|Ray Vanyo||Mission Lakes CC||80||71||72||223|
|Bob Rowland||The Castlewood CC||74||74||76||224|
|Kemp Richardson||El Niguel CC||75||75||74||224|
|Jack Anthony||Green Valley CC||78||73||74||225|
|Chris Veitch||Santa Ana CC||73||74||78||225|
|Herb Jensen||Del Paso CC||73||76||77||226|
|John Enright||Sharp Park GC||74||81||72||227|
|Conrad Nilmeier||San Joaquin CC||76||75||76||227|
|Steven Hakes||Coronado Municipal GC||74||78||75||227|
|Rob Adolph||San Joaquin CC||76||79||73||228|
|Douglas Johnson||Fig Garden GC||72||79||77||228|
|Steve Yavorsky||Talega GC||75||72||81||228|
|Dan Pouliot||Lakeside GC||77||76||76||229|
|Greg Olson||Gold Hills CC||79||76||75||230|
|Neil Duffy||Pajaro Valley GC||76||77||78||231|
|Kent Richardson||Seven Oaks CC||80||75||76||231|
|Karl Stewart||Canyon Crest CC||80||75||76||231|
|David Ujihara||Los Coyotes CC||81||73||77||231|
|J. David Carroll||Silverado CC||77||77||78||232|
|Dennis Younglove||El Macero CC||76||78||78||232|
|Bill Brammer||San Luis Rey Downs GRCC||77||73||82||232|
|Jeff Hooper||Simi Hills GC||74||78||80||232|
|Scott Parker||Alta Vista CC||74||76||82||232|
|Paul Kay||MountainGate CC||76||77||80||233|
|Bruce Swanson||Roddy Ranch GC||81||75||78||234|
|Tim Grunsky||Stockton GCC||80||76||82||238|
|Frank Merhar||La Jolla CC||78||78||82||238|
|Michael Miyasaki||Hacienda GC||80||76||82||238|
|Richard Braun||Cottonwood GC||78||77||84||239|
|Bill Wachtel||Chalk Mountain GC||79||77||84||240|
|Thomas O’Grady||Los Altos GCC||80||75||86||241|
|Failed to Qualify:|
|Joe Beato||Kings CC||81||76||157|
|Ben Whipple||Serrano CC||79||78||157|
|Joseph Zanassi||Antioch GC||81||76||157|
|Rick Doebler||Hacienda GC||77||80||157|
|Donald Ludwig||San Diego Advertising GA||77||80||157|
|James Myers||El Camino CC||77||80||157|
|Lee Tomlinson||GOLFEXTRA at Roger Dunn||81||76||157|
|Steve Wilson||Lomas Santa Fe CC||77||80||157|
|Robert Cayton||Pasatiempo GC||80||78||158|
|Rich Morrison||eClub South Bay||78||80||158|
|Bob Olds||Roddy Ranch GC||81||77||158|
|Tom Lyons||The Castlewood CC||76||82||158|
|Warren Caves||Big Canyon CC||79||79||158|
|William Cvengros||El Niguel CC||79||79||158|
|Howie Knodt*||San Diego CC||82||76||158|
|Michael Uptegraff||Marbella CC||78||80||158|
|James Wisda||Bel Air CC||77||81||158|
|Dan Bieber||Green Valley CC||80||79||159|
|James Camaione||Crystalaire CC||82||77||159|
|Don Baker||Woodland Hills CC||78||82||160|
|Clark Heath*||Coto de Caza GC||75||85||160|
|Rick Lindsay||The CC of Rancho Bernardo||80||80||160|
|Warren Shafer||San Diego CC||81||79||160|
|Marty Temple||Hacienda GC||84||77||161|
|David Baskins||El Macero CC||77||84||161|
|Bill Bowen||The Lincoln Hills Club||81||80||161|
|Lee Jeberjahn||San Luis Obispo CC||76||85||161|
|Bob Schoenherr||Rooster Run GC||80||81||161|
|Greg Grohs||Brookside GC||80||81||161|
|Rick Herrera||Santa Ana CC||80||81||161|
|Gregory Hetzer||Virginia CC||80||81||161|
|Bruce Loman||Oak Creek GC||78||83||161|
|Robert Baker||Talega GC||80||82||162|
|Peter Daley||Mesa Verde CC||81||81||162|
|Frank Pieper||Monterey Peninsula CC||84||78||162|
|Bob Berg||Riverview GCC||82||81||163|
|Donel Geisen||Rancho Canada GC||82||81||163|
|Byron Johnson||Belmont CC||76||87||163|
|Tom Eastlack||Temeku Hills GCC||78||85||163|
|Gary Grimes||Antelope Valley CC||82||81||163|
|Larry Hampsten||El Niguel CC||83||81||164|
|Nyal Leslie||Los Angeles CC||79||85||164|
|Deane Manning||CrossCreek GC||83||81||164|
|Douglas Tambara||SeaCliff CC||82||82||164|
|Michael Duncan||Mariners Point Linksters||84||81||165|
|Rick Novak||California GC||82||83||165|
|Vic Benson||La Purisima GC||82||83||165|
|Rob Seidel||Fig Garden GC||87||79||166|
|Mark Battista||Desert Willow GR||82||84||166|
|Kerry Booth||San Diego CC||83||83||166|
|Mike King||Industry Hills GC||85||81||166|
|Monte Mahan||Coto de Caza GC||83||84||167|
|Topper Owen||The Valley Club||81||86||167|
|David Sunker||The TPC at Valencia||81||86||167|
|Bruce Taylor||Wilshire CC||83||84||167|
|Ted Lyford||San Bernardino GC||85||83||168|
|John McCarthy||River Ridge GC||84||84||168|
|Bryan Rolfe||Mesa Verde CC||87||81||168|
|Jim Krusen||Lomas Santa Fe CC||84||85||169|
|Pat Rohan||Fairbanks Ranch CC||86||83||169|
|Rich Sims||Las Posas CC||87||82||169|
|Gary Conti||De Laveaga GC||81||89||170|
|Bill Cushman||La Purisima GC||88||83||171|
|Robert Hallock||San Luis Rey Downs GRCC||83||89||172|
|Dean Richesin||GOLFEXTRA at Costa Mesa||82||90||172|
|Jeffrey Howard||UAC GC||90||83||173|
|Michael Cooney||Torrey Pines GC||90||84||174|
|Terry Ackerman||Laguna Seca GR||89||87||176|
|Larry Grant||Meadowlark GC||85||95||180|