Poppy Hills GC July 20-22, 2007
July 22, 2007
PEBBLE BEACH – A rejuvenated Casey Boyns is adding a rich chapter to Northern California golf lore.
With a win at the NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship Sunday at Poppy Hills that followed a victory at the NCGA Master Division at Spyglass Hill last week, the 51-year-old can now lay claim to seven different NCGA titles and 14 championships overall.
After establishing a four-stroke lead through two rounds, the champion began his final round leaky. “I don’t like being in the lead,” Boyns (right) said. “I’d rather come from behind. But I know how golf is — something bad is always going to happen. I kept trying to play the golf course and not worry about what anyone else was doing.” A front-nine, three over 39 left the Pacific Grove resident in a tie for the lead with UC Davis rising senior Matt Marshall. But a birdie on the par-5 12th hole, after finding two fairway bunkers, re-established a lead he would not lose.
The 12th was indicative of the champion’s back nine. When seemingly in trouble, Boyns would find a way to make something good happen — a skill born from his steep match-play experience (as two State Amateur and two NCGA Amateur titles would suggest). Boyns’ ability to save par or even birdie from almost anywhere could drive other competitors crazy, but his affable nature makes him a joy to play with. His final round, three-over 75 produced a two-under-par 214 total and a two-stroke win.
With two NCGA titles in the last two weeks, after being absent from the NCGA winner’s circle for 11 years, the champion felt somewhat relieved: “It’s been wearing on me.” The two titles also propelled Boyns to a commanding lead in the race for NCGA Player of the Year. Were the Monterey Bay Club member to win, it would be an unprecedented fourth award spanning 20 years, joining ’87, ’89 and ’96. “It’s (the Player of the Year award) not something I set out to do; I never set my schedule for that. But I do want to go down as one of the better players (in Northern California). So it’s cool.”
After a playoff, Steve Woods of Coyote Creek took runner-up honors over Jeff Burda of Del Rio. The 35-year-old captured the State Amateur in 1994 and was medalist in that same event in 2006. Burda, a three-time winner of the NCGA Master Division, was just back from the U.S. Senior Open, where he missed the cut by three shots. Defending champion Erick Justesen of eClub Sacramento briefly flirted with the lead, but was unable to establish any momentum on the back nine, fading to a tie for fifth.
Champion Casey Boyns, runner-up Steve Woods and third-place
finisher Jeff Burda