CGA Senior Amateur Championship
Del Rio GCC
November 12-14, 2012
November 14, 2012
by Spencer Sorensen
MODESTO – For the third straight day, a different name found the top of the 21st Annual CGA Senior Amateur Championship leaderboard at Del Rio GCC. But unlike the previous two days, Wednesday was the day where it mattered most. In the end, Casey Boyns came back from four shots down to win the title and be crowned the top senior amateur in the state of California.
Boyns was buoyed by an exceptional back nine, which included four birdies, none bigger than the one on the 18th hole. Going into the hole tied for lead at four-over par with fellow-competitors David Delich and Jim Knoll, the three squared off in what felt more like a match play showdown.
Knoll hit his drive in the right rough, while Boyns and Delich both hit their drives on the short par-4 18th within five yards of each other down the left side of the fairway, leaving themselves with shots of less than 100 yards. Knoll was the first to play his approach shot, hitting his ball into the bunker left of the green. Boyns was next and hit his ball 20 feet above the hole, while Delich went last, leaving his approach shot just off the front of the green about 18 feet away. After Knoll hit his ball within a foot of the cup for a tap-in par, Boyns was next to play and had an unbelievably quick downhill putt with several inches of break. The 56-year-old played it perfectly though, as it remained on line until it found the bottom of the cup. A few moments later, Delich slid his uphill putt by, giving Boyns the win.
“I had a great read,” said Boyns. “It was fun to watch it go down that hill and keep turning and turning into the hole.”
Only three holes earlier, Boyns was hoping just to get into a playoff, as Delich held a two-shot lead after the 15th hole when he made his fourth birdie in six holes. However, back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17 by Delich allowed both Boyns and Knoll to recapture a share of the lead going into the 18th.
Boyns and Delich got off to similar starts on the back nine as Boyns birdied Nos. 10 and 11, while Delich also birdied those two and No. 12. Boyns fell behind though with bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14, and thought he was going to come up short.
“When I got two or three strokes back, I thought, here we go again, close but no cigar,” said Boyns.
However, it worked out in Boyns’ favor, something he felt very relieved of, having not won an amateur tournament of this stature in some time.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve won something,” he said. “I have won a lot of little things and had lots of seconds and thirds, but I really wanted to win this.”
Boyns’ 219, three-over par total was good enough for first place, while Delich and Knoll finished tied for second with a score of 220, four-over par. Alone in fourth place was 36-hole leader Jeff Burda at 221, while Gerry Simoni and Michael Turner at 222 tied for fifth place.
Burda, who had a one-stroke lead going into the day, struggled on the front-nine to a 39, but still maintained a lead at the turn. However, what did him in was a double-bogey-6 on the 12th hole, hitting his approach shot in the water after having a perfect lie from the middle of the fairway.
Going into the day, it looked like history was going to be made by three-time winner Burda, who was on course for an unprecedented fourth title. Instead, another bid of history was made as Boyns became only the second player, along with Gary Vanier, to win both the CGA Amateur and Senior Amateur in a career.
“This was a bucket list thing,” said Boyns of winning a CGA Senior Amateur title. “To be on the same page as [Vanier] is an honor.”
November 13, 2012
by Spencer Sorensen
MODESTO – Jeff Burda is on the brink of CGA history. After 36 holes of the 21st Annual CGA Senior Amateur Championship at Del Rio GCC, the 59-year-old is 18 holes away from winning an unprecedented fourth title. Burda currently sits at even-par 144, one shot ahead of Michael Turner of Sherman Oaks at 145 and two shots ahead of Santa Barbara’s Matthew Free at 146. The three will comprise of Wednesday’s final group, teeing off at 10:30 a.m.
Following a steady 72 on Monday, Burda matched his score Tuesday to take a one-shot lead after starting the day alone in third place. Despite an identical score in the second round, Burda felt this round to be different.
“I didn’t hit the ball as well as yesterday, but I made some real good putts,” said Burda.
One difference was the amount of birdies and bogeys he made, as he had three of each on Tuesday compared to two of each on Monday. Another was that he played the Oak nine over par and the Bluff nine under par, doing the exact opposite on Monday.
Going into Wednesday, Burda knows he will likely need to shoot even-par or better to come away with his fourth title in five years. If he were able to do so it would be extra special to win his fourth title on his home course around family and friends.
“I’m thrilled I’ve won this event three times,” said Burda. “To win a fourth would be beyond any expectations I ever had when I started playing senior golf.”
Jumping up the leaderboard to claim the space right below Burda’s name is Turner, who followed his 75 on Monday with a 70 on Tuesday. Turner’s two-under par round was the low of the day, and Burda got to witness it all, playing alongside him. His round was bolstered by his play on the front nine (Oak) where he made birdies on Nos. 2, 7 and 9 to go out in 33.
Rounding out Wednesday’s final group is Free, who started the day in a tie for fourth. After a first round of 73, Free put together another round of the 73. His round on Tuesday consisted of two birdies and three bogeys.
Still within striking distance is NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll, who is alone in fourth at three-over par 147. In a four-way tie for fifth place are Casey Boyns, Terry Foreman, Gerry Simoni and David Delich at four-over par 148. Foreman, who held the first round lead after a two-under par 70, faded on Tuesday to a six-over par 78.
Wednesday’s final round will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the remaining players all teeing off the No. 1 tee of the Oak nine. Tuesday’s cut came at 11-over par 155, with 37 players surviving.
SENIOR CUP: The NCGA captured the CGA Senior Cup for the fifth straight year, beating the SCGA 434 to 444. Going into the day with a 13-stroke lead, the NCGA was bettered by the SCGA on Tuesday 214 to 217. The SCGA squad was strengthened by the exceptional second round play Turner (70) Delich (72) and Simoni (74). However, the NCGA team, which consists of Burda, Knoll, Boyns and Foreman, was hard to compete with as all four players are in the top-10 going into Wednesday’s final round. With the win, the NCGA now leads the all-time series 12 to 6.
November 12, 2012
by Spencer Sorensen
MODESTO – Slick greens and cool morning temperatures resulted in plenty of over-par scores after the first round of the CGA Senior Amateur at Del Rio GCC. Only two players were able to find red numbers, Antioch’s Terry Foreman and Robert Miller of Saratoga, firing rounds of 70 and 71, respectively.
Foreman, who holds a one-shot lead with his two-under par 70, credited his putter for his exceptional play, converting five birdie putts in Monday’s opening round. Starting on the Bluff nine, Foreman got hot with his long putter, birdieing four of his first eight holes to make the turn at 33. However, he cooled off on the Oak nine as he made two bogeys and birdie to come in with a 37.
The 55-year-old, who became senior eligible earlier this year in March, has enjoyed a fair amount of success over the past eight months, already winning a senior major this summer. As a senior rookie he was excited to be able to not only participate in the event, but was honored to be selected as a member of NCGA Senior Cup team.
“It’s been a nice year,” said the 2012 NCGA Senior Match Play champion. “I’ve been looking forward to this because there’s a great group of guys and it’s always fun to play with them.”
Foreman looked to have the only under par score until Miller, who was playing in one of the final four groups, posted his one-under par 71. The 57-year-old had a fairly steady round, making 15 pars on the day to go along with two birdies and a bogey. Starting on the Oak nine, Miller bogeyed the third hole, but made up for his mistake on his back nine (Bluff) with birdies on the first two holes.
Despite the successes of Foreman and Miller, three-time CGA Senior Amateur champion and de facto favorite Jeff Burda currently stands alone in third place after a first round of even-par 72. The 59-year-old started off slow with bogeys on his third and fifth holes. However, birdies on his ninth and 11th holes of the day got him back to level par, where he would finish the day.
Burda, who is one of two Del Rio GCC members in the field, complimented the course conditions, saying that the course was playing a little different than he’s used to as it’s in immaculate shape for the tournament. But the biggest boon for him is being able to be close to the course.
“It’s sure great sleeping in your own bed, that’s a big deal,” he said.
Thanks to Foreman and Burda’s outstanding play, the NCGA has a head start on a fifth straight Senior Cup win over the SCGA, leading 217 to 230. The Senior Cup involves four pre-selected players from both the NCGA and SCGA, with three of the four scores counting toward a team total over the first two days of competition. The other two NCGA players on the team include Jim Knoll and Casey Boyns, who both shot rounds of 76. The SCGA team consisted of players Kemp Richardson, Michael Turner, David Delich and Gregory Hetzer. Turner led the SCGA team with a 75, while Delich and Richardson were the other scores counted with 76 and 79, respectively.
The second round will commence on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. off both the Oak and Bluff nines. The low 33 and ties at the conclusion of Tuesday’s second round will qualify for Wednesday’s final round.
CGA Senior Amateur Preview
November 9, 2012
by Spencer Sorensen
The 21st CGA Senior Amateur Championship will take place this coming week November 12-14, officially closing out all major NCGA/CGA championships for the 2012 calendar year. While many may not be paying attention, there’s good reason to be, considering history is at stake.
Jeff Burda of Modesto will try and become the first ever to win four CGA senior titles — he is currently tied with Jim McMurtey at three. The 59-year-old Burda won three titles in his first three attempts from 2008 to 2010, becoming the first and only player to win three straight. Burda will be trying to add on his fourth title at his home course of Del Rio GCC. With only one other player in the field sharing the same home course (Dan Bohannon), nobody in the field will know the intricacies of the course better. Last year’s winner Mark Nickeas captured the title competing on his home course of Saticoy CC.
Still, a strong field will try to prevent Burda from doing so, starting with some of his fellow NCGA teammates competing to retain the Senior Cup for a fifth straight year. Jim Knoll, a month removed from his second NCGA Senior Player of the Year Award and a semifinal performance at the U.S. Senior Amateur, has yet to win a CGA Senior, but played well enough for a solo fifth place finish in 2011. Casey Boyns finished tied for second last year in his CGA senior debut, and could very well write his own history, becoming only the second player ever to win both a CGA Amateur and CGA Senior title. Terry Foreman, the fourth member of the NCGA team, won the 2012 NCGA Senior Match Play in his rookie year and is hopeful to make a splash at his first ever CGA Senior. Another formidable opponent to be aware of is Gary Vanier, who is not only a former champion of this event (2007), but he bested Burda last year, finishing tied for second.
The championship begins Monday at 8:30 a.m. off double tees. Burda will tee off No. 10 at 9:00 a.m. with teammate Knoll, while teammates Boyns and Foreman tee off No. 10 in the following group at 9:10 a.m.