August 14, 2009
PEBBLE BEACH – It was a great day for Jeff Burda.
The sun shone through the Monterey Pines and a gentle breeze swirled at Spyglass Hill as Del Rio’s Jeff Burda claimed his first NCGA Senior Match Play Championship title.
With son Patrick on the bag, the 2008 Senior Player of the Year served up a spread of five birdies and no bogeys for a flawless 6 and 4 win over Rob Adolph of Fresno.
“I really wanted to win this week because I was disappointed with the result last year,” said the Modesto resident after the round. He was referring to last year’s final match against two-time champion Rob Thompson, where an erratic back nine led to an eventual heart-breaking loss on the 18th hole.
But demons were laid to rest today with birdies on holes 4, 5, 8 and 11, and another conceded birdie after he placed it to 15-feet on the 12th hole. Burda headed down the 13th hole dormie and closed out the match with a tap-in par.
Adolph, a five-time NCAA champion from USC (having won college football titles in ‘72 and ‘74 and baseball honors in ’72, ‘73 and ‘74), played steady golf the whole way but at three-over-par was not able to edge his way into the match. It was the San Joaquin CC member’s first stab at the Senior Match Play title and in previous matches picked up wins over three decorated players, Bob Fleming, Mark Miller and Dan Bieber.
Burda attributed two separate back injuries in the spring and summer to having caused a mediocre start to the NCGA Senior Points race after dominating last season. The Modesto banker admitted that the swing issues had been resolved, “My swing felt good all of this week,” and heading into the U.S. Senior Amateur qualifying at Green Hills on Monday and with the Senior Valley Amateur and California State Amateur Championships still left to play, Burda could still have a shot at Senior Player of the Year honors in 2009.
August 13, 2009
PEBBLE BEACH – Rob Adolph hung in there until the 18th hole to make it into the NCGA Senior Amateur finals for the first time.
The San Joaquin CC member faced Dan Bieber of Green Valley in the back and forth semifinal that was close until the very end. There was no more than one hole difference in the match which was back to all-square by the 13th hole. Adolph then birdied the par-5 14th to go 1-up but then three-putted the next hole to back to even. The 2009 NCGA Senior Four-Ball Champion then made a par on No. 16 to go 1-up and headed down the 18th hole dormie. Bieber, who recently played in the U.S. Senior Open, knocked his approach shot to 8-feet for a chance at birdie, but the Alamo resident just slipped the putt by to force a playoff.
On the other side of the bracket, Del Rio’s Jeff Burda faced former professional golfer Doug Johnson. Burda dominated the match from the outset and was never down at any point despite a three-hole stretch of bogeys mid-round. The 2008 finalist carded birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 to close the door on Johnson and claim the match 3 and 2.
Adolph is looking to add the Senior Championship to his NCGA debut win earlier in the year, “He’s [Burda] as good as it gets but you always go in there hoping you are going to win.”
Adolph and Burda go head-to-head tomorrow in the final match that begins at 7:15 a.m at Spyglass Hill.
August 12, 2009
PEBBLE BEACH – Adolph, Burda, Bieber and Johnson advance to the semifinals of the 3rd Annual NCGA Senior Championship at Spyglass Hill.
In what proved to be the closest match of the day, Doug Johnson of Fig Garden triumphed over Peter Moren of BlackhawkCC, 2 and 1. The game began with Moren taking an early lead, but during the course of the roller-coaster match, neither player was more than 1-up until Johnson went par-birdie on the 14th and 15th holes to go 2-up and held the lead to win on No. 17. Moren had upset No. 1 ranked Gary Vanier in the morning round.
Del Rio’s Jeff Burdacontinued his fine form shown in the first round, finishing with a 4 and 3 win over Herb Jensen of Del Paso.
Rob Adolph halted Mark Miller’s chances of making it to the semifinals two years in a row. Adolph finished strong with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to win the match 4 and 2.
Dan Bieberof Green Valley capped off a successful day with a 5 and 4 win over reigning champion Rob Thompson, after beating Jim Knoll in the morning.
If Johnson and Adolph both win their matches tomorrow, the 2009 NCGA Four-Ball partners will face each other in the final on Friday.
Burda will face Johnson in the semifinal match starting tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., while Beiber and Johnson tee off at 8:15 a.m.
Round of 16
PEBBLE BEACH – The first round of the 3rd Annual NCGA Senior Championship was as unpredictable as the fog that rolled in and out of the Spyglass Hill golf course Wednesday morning.
The biggest surprise came from Peter Moren who upset No. 1 seed Gary Vanier of The Olympic Club. The Blackhawk CC member was ranked 17th on the NCGA Senior Points List and only got into the tournament because there was a cancellation.
After going 1-down on the first hole, the Danvilleresident got the match back to all-square with a par on the second hole. Moren then remained up in the match the rest of the way until a par on the par-3 15th hole secured a 4 and 3 win over the 2009 NCGA Senior Champion.
The morning round also hinted that perhaps “Tiger” Burda is back. After a slow start to the season, 2008 Senior Player of the Year Jeff Burda found some fine form against past NCGA President Bob Berg of Riverview GCC. Burda made four birdies and was never down in the match that ended on the 12thhole with a 7 and 6 win.
2008 Champion Rob Thompson had a shaky start but went on to beat John Enright by a convincing 4 and 3 margin.
In other matches, reigning NCGA Senior Four-Ball Champion Doug Johnson beat Paul Balatti of Mayacama 1-up. Fellow Four-Ball Champion Rob Adolph of San Joaquin CC also pocketed a win in the morning over Bob Fleming, 3 and 2.
Mark Miller, a semi-finalist last year, nabbed a 2 and 1 win over Bob Rowland of Castlewood CC. Green Valley’s Dan Beiber scored a 2 and 1 win over 2008 Valley Amateur Champion Jim Knoll, while Herb Jensen of Del Paso beat El Macero’s David Baskins 1-up.
The quarterfinals matches will be played this afternoon, with the semifinals on Thursday and the final 18-hole match on Friday.