NCGA Master Division Championship
Bayonet GC/Spyglass Hill GC
June 10-11, 2013
June 11, 2013
by Spencer Sorensen
PEBBLE BEACH – Randy Haag added his name to NCGA history on Tuesday, not that his name can’t be found in it already. The six-time NCGA Player of the Year—a record by itself—became the first player ever to win a fourth NCGA Master Division title by posting a 36-hole score of 144, even-par.
With a fourth NCGA Master Division title to his name and his first NCGA major win since the 2011 Master Division Four-Ball title, Haag was happy to get out of his mini-slump. He also wasn’t any less excited winning an event he’s already won three other times (’99, ’02 and ’09).
“It never gets old [winning this event],” he said. “It’s almost like this one is more important than the others.”
Starting the day two shots off the lead and in a three-way tie for second, the 54-year-old had plenty of competition around him, but a solid front-nine put him tied for the lead with first-round leader Russell Humphrey making the turn. Haag fired a two-under-par 34 on front-nine thanks in large part to some great scrambling.
After making birdies on Nos. 2 and 4, Haag’s adventures began on the sixth hole when he got up-and-down out of the bunker. Then on the par-5 seventh, he found trouble again by hitting into the lake, but fortuitously saved par by sinking a long putt. On the eighth after hitting his tee shot under the trees down the right side of the fairway, Haag was able to get a green in regulation—to his surprise—for a two-putt par.
“I hit a couple errant shots that I recovered nicely from,” said Haag. “I was really making some pars where I probably deserved some bogeys.”
On the back-nine Haag fired a two-over par 38, which included two birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey, yet despite posting an over-par score over the final nine holes he was able to outlast his competitors.
“It wasn’t a very clean round of golf,” said Haag, who admitted he was a little surprised that even-par won the event.
Humphrey, who started the day with a two-shot lead, had an even-par 36 on the front-nine, but a four-over par 40 on the front-nine.
“I just didn’t play well late [in the round] today,” said Humphrey, who went five-over par the last seven holes.
Humphrey finished with a 36-hole total of 146, two-over par to finish in a three-way tie for second place with former champions Casey Boyns (2007) and Jamie Looper (2008). Boyns, playing in the penultimate group was awarded the second place medal via a scorecard playoff. His final round one-under par 71 was one of just three under-par scores yielded by Spyglass Hill on Tuesday. Looper, who was in that three-way tie for second place going into today’s final round, posted a two-over par 74 Tuesday with three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey.
Three players tied for fifth at 147, three-over par: Steve Sear, Jeff Wilson and Dale Bouguennec. In a three-way tie for eighth place at 148, four-over par to round out the top 10 were John Jaramillo, Michael Lee and Chris Miller. Defending champion Jim Knoll finished tied for 49th place at 159, 15-over par.
June 10, 2013
by Spencer Sorensen
SEASIDE – Russell Humphrey finds himself in a familiar spot after Monday’s first round at the NCGA Master Division Championship. Six weeks ago at the conclusion of the first round of the NCGA Public Links Championship at Bayonet GC, Humphrey captured the 18-hole lead with the only under-par score of the day; on Monday it was déjà vu all over again.
Humphrey was the only player to post an under-par score at Bayonet GC, posting a two-under-par 70 taking a two-stroke lead into tomorrow’s final round. Starting off the No. 10 tee, the Lodi resident scored five birdies on the back nine on Nos. 10, 12, 16, 17 and 18 to go along with two bogeys on Nos. 11 and 15 to make the turn at three-under par. On the front-nine Humphrey double bogeyed No. 2, birdied No. 3 and then finished with six straight pars for a 37.
“It got tougher as the day went on and as the wind picked up,” explained Humphrey on the difference between the two nines.
Humphrey, who has had an affinity for Bayonet GC ever since he won the WCC championship in 1994 as a member of the USF golf team, credited the putter for his under-par round.
“I putted really well today and that was the difference,” he said.
With tomorrow’s final round moving over to Spyglass Hill GC, the 41-year-old hopes to finish better than he did at the NCGA Public Links Championship and come out with a win. In that event, Humphrey struggled with the flat-stick at Spyglass, relinquished his lead and lost by a single stroke with a final round of 74. His plan after Monday’s round was to go get some work in on the Spyglass Hill practice greens to get a feel for the differentiating speeds compared to Bayonet’s greens. He knows that making putts will be vital in order for a victory.
“The field is so strong it’s going to take another under-par score in order for me to have a chance to win,” he said.
Joining Humphrey in the final group is a trio of players at even-par 72, Jon Peterson, Randy Haag and Jamie Looper.
The early clubhouse leaders, finishing virtually at the same time were Peterson of Granite Bay and six-time NCGA Player of the Year Haag. Peterson, who started off No. 10, made a pair of birdies early on Nos. 10 and 13 before countering them with bogeys on Nos. 16 and 18. On his back-nine, the 40-year-old Master Division rookie would reel off nine pars to finish at level-par. Haag’s round started off with a birdie on No. 1, but bogeys on Nos. 4 and 8 had him turn at 37. On the back-nine, birdies on Nos. 10, 17 and 18, and bogeys on Nos. 11 and 16, gave the three-time Master Division Champion (’99, ’02 and ’09) a 35 to finish at 72.
Looper, who finished about an hour later to tie Peterson and Haag, had a tale of two nines as he started out guns blazing on the front nine before imploding on the back nine. The Oakdale resident was five-under through seven holes, but a bogey on the ninth—to finish with a 32—is when things went south. The 52-year-old would birdie No. 10, but then had four straight bogeys on Nos. 12-15. A birdie on the 16th got the former Master Division Champion (’08) to two-under-par with two to play, but a double-bogey on the par-3 17th left him with a 40 on the back nine.
In a tie for fifth place at one-over-par 73 are Dale Bouguennec and Mark Miller. Alone in seventh place at two-over-par 74 is current NCGA Senior Champion Gary Vanier. Five players are tied for eighth place at three-over-par 75 including 2007 champion Casey Boyns. Defending champion Jim Knoll is currently in a tie for 48th place after a nine-over-par 81.
Tomorrow’s final round will take place at Spyglass Hill GC with play beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the leaders teeing off last at 9:50 a.m.