NCGA Public Links
April 26-27, 2010
Spyglass Hill GC
April 27, 2010
PEBBLE BEACH – There is a hot golf cart at Spyglass Hill – a cart that seems to provide its occupants another gear in inclement weather.
Scott Hardy captured the NCGA Amateur Public Links in a duel with his cart partner Mark Miller, firing a one over 73 to Miller’s one-under 71 leaving the competitors in a playoff at a two-round total of 147. Hardy would secure the win with a birdie on the first extra hole in horrid conditions.
The weather competitors endured during the final round is the weather Spyglass Hill’s considerable reputation for difficulty is built upon – gusty and continual wind and horizontal rain. The 34-year-old Hardy, one of the regions finest mid-amateurs and now winner of five NCGA major titles including the 07 Publinx, and the 57-year-old Miller, two-time and current NCGA Senior Player of the Year, posted extraordinary rounds. There were only seven sub-80 scores carded and no other under 75.
“He was playing really well and I was thinking 148 would do it,” the champion said referring to the runner-up Miller, who stood at three under for the day heading to the 16th hole.
“I was just trying to catch him. But that 73 I posted felt like a 68 today.”
A costly double bogey on the 16th hole left Miller in a tie for the lead with Hardy where they would remain at the end of regulation. Hardy, the St. Mary’s golf coach, clipped a tree with his tee shot on the first extra hole, Spyglass’ 10th, but stuck his 167-yard 7-iron approach to six feet and converted for the victory.
“This may be my last year as an amateur. I’m thinking of going pro to do some more teaching. So one of my goals is Player of the Year,” Hardy said. With the win in the NCGA’s first major championship of the year for regular amateurs, he is off to a great start. Third place was earned by Monterey Bay’s Casey Boyns, whose NCGA medal collection now numbers more than 50.
Defending champion Bill Moore withdrew in the final round. First round leader Ricky Stockton of Salinas Fairways tied for fourth, seven back of the lead.
The Public Links Championship is offered only to golfers with no private course access and is staged in three flights. The President’s flight, for players with handicaps ranging from 5.5 – 11.4, saw first-round co-leader Greg Zipp of Par 5 Club hold on for the title, defeating runner-up Robert Sheets of Windsor in a playoff. The competitors had tied at net five-over-par 149. Tadashi Kawano of Callippe Preserve and Korsen Yu of eClub South Bay tied for third.
Paul Layrac of Northwood grabbed the Director’s flight, for players with handicaps of 11.5 and up. Layrac posted an even-par net 144 winning by eight strokes over Hac Nguyen of San Jose Muni and Lynne Houghton of Agilent Technologies and Jacob Smith of Wednesday Foreplayers by nine.
The shot of the championship came from Steve Lunde of Brooktrails, who aced the 5th hole.