8th Annual Valley Amateur & Senior Valley Amateur Championship
Riverbend Golf Club
September 20, 2011
MADERA – Logan Goulding beat Mike Stieler in a two-hole playoff to win the 8th Annual Valley Amateur Championship at Riverbend Golf Course on Tuesday. How it happened was rather bizarre.
After both players posted a two-day total 145 (1-over par) teeing off in the third to last group together, they waited to see what the groups behind them did. The final two groups had five of its six players under-par after the first round, but much to their surprise, they saw all of them shoot 75 or worse. None of those players could have felt worse than co-first-round leader Scott Roak, who triple-bogeyed the 18th hole to lose the championship by one shot.
But that wasn’t the bizarre part; that came in the playoff.
Starting off on the 10th hole as the first playoff hole Goulding and Stieler exchanged fairly standard pars. On the second playoff hole (#17) is where things got strange. With the tees being played up at only 279 yards making it a drivable par 4, Goulding went first and decided to go for the green. His shot went left of the green and ended up underneath a large oak tree on a hardpan lie. Seeing that, Stieler decided to take an iron off the tee and leave himself with a wedge into the green, which he executed the first part nicely, leaving himself in the middle of the fairway. However, upon approaching his ball Stieler accidentally kicked his ball, which cost him a one-stroke penalty. Stieler ended up making a bogey and Goulding made par to be crowned the champion.
“It sucks, nobody wants to win like that,” said Goulding, who felt for Stieler’s mistake. “It’s tough for him to lose that way.”
Goulding proved though to be a well-deserving champion as he was the only player in the championship flight to shoot an under-par final round. His round wasn’t glamorous, but impressively consistent with 15 pars, two birdies and one bogey for a 1-under 71.
“I played pretty well all the way around,” said the 23 year-old. “I felt I only made five bad shots this week.”
Stieler on the other hand had a very back and forth round, which consisted of an eagle, three birdies, five bogeys and nine pars for an even par 72. Finishing in a three-way tie for third were Matt Cohn, Orion Galioni and Scott Roak at 2-over 146.
In the senior flight soon-to-be 2011 Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll added another title to his banner year after shooting a 5-under 67 on Tuesday. His exceptional round vaulted him past first round leader Gary Vanier as his 36-hole total of 139 edged out Vanier’s 140.
Knoll, the 2008 Senior Valley Amateur champion, had an impeccable scorecard, which had no bogeys, three birdies and an eagle.
“(Going into the day) I thought if I could get to 4-under, I’d have a good chance, especially with how firm the greens are and the hole locations,” said Knoll.
Finishing in third place behind Knoll and Vanier was Ron Johnson who finished at 141 after posting a 2-under 70 on Tuesday.
With their victories Goulding earns 500 points to the player of the year list, while Knoll earns 200 towards the senior player of the year.
Photo Gallery–Final Round
September 19, 2011
MADERA – There is a three way tie at the top after the first round of the 8th Annual Valley Amateur Championship at Riverbend Golf Course. Grant Rappleye, Scott Roak and Nick Moore each shot 2-under 70s to give them the final time off the first tee tomorrow morning. Rappleye, Roak and Moore all started off the 10th tee and coincidentally Rappleye and Roak played together in the 9:00 group with Moore trailing in the 9:09 group.
The three players’ rounds couldn’t have been more different as Rappleye played fairly steady, Roak got off to a solid first nine, and Moore closed impressively. Rappleye had 13 pars on the day two bogeys, two birdies and an eagle on the par 5 4th hole. Roak got to 3-under on his round through 11 holes, however, he had three bogeys over his final eight holes—to go along with two birdies—including one on his final hole. Moore made a double bogey on his ninth hole to make the turn at 2-over, but four birdies and no bogeys on his back nine got him to 2-under for the day.
Close behind the first round leaders in a tie for fourth are Matt Cohn and Orion Galioni, who both shot solid 1-under 71s. After that there are three players at 1-over 73. Defending champion Keith Okasaki is in a tie for 19th place after posting a 5-over 77.
In the senior flight, Gary Vanier, the 2007 Senior Valley Amateur champion, shot 5-under 67 to lead the senior division by four strokes. Vanier, who won his Senior Valley Amateur title at Riverbend in 2007, made five birdies and no bogeys on the day. His closest competitors are Casey Boyns, Herb Jensen and Ron Johnson at 1-under 71.
The final round of the 36-hole championship will commence tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.