9th Annual NCGA Master Division Four-Ball Championship
Bayonet/Black Horse GC
October 8-9, 2012
October 9, 2012
SEASIDE – The best word to describe the winning team of the 2012 NCGA Master Division Four-Ball Championship is comfortable—at least that’s how Jeff Hoffman and Russell Humphrey would define their four-ball partnership. Having played with one another in about five four-ball tournaments prior to this event and no victories to show for, the duo knew that something good was bound to come their way. With a final round of seven-under 65, Hoffman and Humphrey shot up to the top of the leaderboard to win by a single stroke, putting together a 36-hole total of 134, 10-under par.
“This is just awesome. It’s an awesome way to cap off the year,” said Hoffman, explaining how it felt to come away victorious.
Hoffman and Humphrey, who came into the day three strokes off the lead, got off to a quick start by birdieing six of the first 11 holes. After birdieing the opening hole, the duo ran off four straight pars, but then really got on a tear by birdieing Nos. 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11. Hoffman and Humphrey got stalled though over the final stretch, making six straight pars before birdieing the par-5 18th.
“The Hoff really carried the load,” said Humphrey, crediting his partner for making all five birdies over that six-hole stretch. “That really changed the round because we were only one-under through five holes.”
Going into the day, Humphrey said they knew that they’d need to get to at least 10-under par to have a chance and sure enough, his thinking proved to be correct. Coming in right behind them at 135, nine-under par were Chris Cuttone and Ron Ewing, who started the day in a four-way tie for second. Cuttone and Ewing got off to a shaky start bogeying the opening two holes, but then got on a roll, making three birdies and an eagle to make the turn at 33. On the back nine the duo would make two birdies and a bogey to come in with a 35 and post a final round 68.
In a three-way tie for third were the teams of Casey Boyns and Bill Moore, Jeff Wilson and Todd Barsotti, and Kevin Kobalter and Frank Pieper. Boyns and Moore, who held the outright 18-hole lead continue to look snake bit, when it comes to capturing a four-ball title. After losing this championship in 2011 and losing the NCGA Four-Ball Championship in May (2012), both in playoffs, it looked as if the duo might finally break through. However, a final round 70, which included five birdies and three bogeys wasn’t enough to close the deal. Wilson and Barsotti, who were in the final group with Boyns and Moore, also took a step back following their first round 67, with a final round 69. Kobalter and Pieper showed consistency, matching their first round 68 with another on Tuesday.
October 8, 2012
SEASIDE – After the first round of the NCGA Master Division Four-Ball, Casey Boyns and Bill Moore lead with a six-under par 66. Boyns and Moore put together an immaculate round, which included six birdies and no bogeys on the Black Horse 18. After parring the first five holes, the duo would roll in birdies on four of the next five holes (Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 10). Then on their back nine, the Monterey Peninsula residents would finish off strong birdieing Nos. 16 and 18.
“We just kind of got it done, really,” explained Moore of their round. “We didn’t play great but we ham-and-egged nicely.”
Moore also pointed out that the key to the duo’s success was bailing each other out as the two each had a couple times where they hit shots awry.
“We were fortunate to play Black Horse today, because it’s more forgiving from the tee and I don’t think either of us hit it particularly well from the tee,” he said.
Last year after coming up just short in this event by losing in a sudden-death playoff, Boyns and Moore hope to redeem themselves and be crowned champions after tomorrow’s conclusion. However, they will have to do so without the two men who prevented them from winning it, Darryl Donovan and Randy Haag, as the two withdrew prior to Monday’s first round.
“I’m a little bummed to hear that Donovan and Haag didn’t make it, because I was hoping to get one back on them,” said Moore. “But there is a field full of great teams, so it will still probably take 10 to 12-under par to win.”
Coming in right behind the leaders are four teams tied for second at five-under 67. Ron Ewing and Chris Cuttone the brief clubhouse leaders, converted the most birdies on the day with seven. Ewing and Cuttone, who started off the 10th tee, made birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 14 and 16 to go out in 32. Bogeys on the second and fourth hole hurt the duo nominally as the two were able to answer with birdies on Nos. 3, 6 and 8. Dominic DeBellis and Andy Nevin made one of the four eagles that Black Horse surrendered to go along with four birdies and two bogeys on the day. Jeff Wilson and Todd Barsotti, who started off No. 10, were flawless for their first 16 holes making birdies on Nos. 12, 16, 18, 1, 3 and 6, before taking an unpleasant bogey-6 on the par-5 eighth. Paxton Song and Donnie Elliott, the last team to post a 67, also made six birdies and one bogey in their round. Song and Elliot made birdies on Nos. 2, 6, 7, 10, 12 and 13, with their bogey occurring on the 15th hole.
Tomorrow’s round will move over to the Bayonet 18, with times beginning at 7:30 a.m. Boyns and Moore will tee off in the final group at 9:40 a.m. with Wilson and Barsotti.
NCGA Master Division Four-Ball Championship Preview
October 5, 2012
Darryl Donovan and Randy Haag will try to make it a three-peat at this year’s NCGA Master Division Four-Ball Championship. The duo has proven formidable since the championship has moved to Bayonet / Black Horse GC in 2009 winning two of the three titles awarded there. It very well could have been a clean sweep for Haag and Donovan had the final round not been cancelled in 2009 due to inclement weather as the pair had fired an opening round 67, putting themselves in a tie for second place. Still, Haag and Donovan will get a chance to make it three in row on Monday and Tuesday, trying to become the second team to win three consecutive titles in the fledgling event—the duo of Terry Foreman and James Hay won the first three championships from 2004-06.
As the Olympic Club and CordeValle member come into the event as the favorite, there will be plenty of partnerships vying for that top spot. Casey Boyns and William Moore both regulars at Bayonet / Black Horse GC, came extremely close knocking off Haag and Donovan last year, tying them after 36 holes of play, before losing in a playoff when Donovan sunk a 40-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole. Boyns and Moore also should feel good about their chances considering they also nearly won the NCGA Four-Ball Championship in May, before losing in a playoff there as well.
Other contenders include one half of that winning Four-Ball Championship team in Russell Humphrey, who’ll be pairing up with Jeff Hoffman. Both players finished the 2012 points season in the top 25 of the points list, with Hoffman finishing 12th and Humphrey 24th. Based off last year’s performance the teams of Herb Jensen and Craig Miyamoto, and Mike Stieler and John Benjamin could contend as both teams tied for third with 36-hole scores of 136. The partnership Foreman and Mark Hill has four Master Division Four-Ball between the two of them, but none of those have been together as a duo—Foreman won his titles from 2004-06, while Hill was victorious in 2008, ironically with Foreman’s same partner, Hay. Only one other former champion is in the field Jamie Looper, who won the 2008 championship with partner Jeff Burda, will be teaming up with Dale Bouguennec. Jim Knoll, fresh off a semifinal performance at the U.S. Senior Amateur and his second consecutive NCGA Senior Player of the Year award, will partner with Thomas O’Grady.
Notable tee times:
|Haag / Donovan||8:20 a.m.||No. 10|
|Boyns / Moore||8:10 a.m.||No. 1|
|Humphrey / Hoffman||8:00 a.m.||No. 10|
|Jensen / Miyamoto||9:10 a.m.||No. 10|
|Stieler / Benjamin||9:40 a.m.||No. 1|
|Foreman / Hill||9:00 a.m.||No. 1|
|Looper / Bouguennec||8:30 a.m.||No. 10|
|Knoll / O’Grady||8:40 a.m.||No. 1|