NCGA Public Links Championship
51st NCGA Public Links Championship | Bayonet GC/Poppy Hills | April 25-April 26, 2016
The NCGA Public Links Championship began in 1966 at Spyglass Hill and is the premier event for the public-course player. The 36-hole stroke-play tournament has been played at Spyglass Hill every year, with the exception of 1992, 1996 and 1997. Beginning in 2013, the event began having Bayonet GC host one day and Spyglass Hill GC host the other. The reason for the change was due to an expanded field, allowing for more participants in the championship. In 2016 the event moved to Poppy Hills and Bayonet GC.
The tournament has always included a championship flight for players with handicap indexes of 5.4 or less and two handicap divisions for players with an index of 5.5 to 36.4. Beginning in 2013, with the championship and net fields being expanded, 120 players competed in the championship field, while another 120 competed in the net field. Historically, 40 players made up the championship field, while 80 players made up of two 40 player net fields. Contestants must be bona fide public course players who do not hold playing privileges in any course from which the general public is excluded.
Ryan King holds the scoring record set in 1999 of six-under-par 138. Only three players have managed back-to-back victories, Mike Powers in 1972 and 1973, Mitch Thomas in 1978 and 1979, and Scott Hardy in 2010 and 2011. Four-time NCGA Player of the Year Casey Boyns still reigns with the most NCGA Public Links wins, having claimed the trophy four times.
ENTRIES CLOSE: February 28, 2016
Entry Fee: $69-$250 per player
Qualifying for the 2016 Public Links Championship takes place March 24 at the following courses:
Castle Oaks GC| Del Monte GC| Dragonfly GC| Foxtail GC| Metropolitan GL| Poppy Ridge GC| Reserve at Spanos Park GC| San Juan Oaks GC| Table Mountain GC| Turkey Creek GC
Format: 18 holes qualifying for all flights (index used for handicap flights). In the Championship flight, 112 players including exempts will advance to the championship proper. In handicap competition, 36 players from the President’s flight and 36 from the Director’s flight will advance to Spyglass Hill for 36 holes of stroke play (18 holes per day).
All players must qualify except the following: All past champions prior to 2004 (beginning in 2004, this is a 10-year exemption), the top 10 and ties in the Championship Flight from the preceding year, players who qualified for the match play portion of a USGA Championship in the previous 12 months, the NCGA Senior, Junior, Match Play, Stroke Play, Master Division, Valley and Senior Valley champions and any eligible players in the top 500 of USGA/R&A World Golf Rankings as of the closing date. Each exempt player is required to submit an entry prior to the closing date. Public Links Exemptions.
About Poppy Hills
Poppy Hills, which is owned by the NCGA, underwent an extensive renovation beginning in March of 2013 centered around water conservation, primarily by improving irrigation and drainage. Architect Robert Trent Jones II returned with his design firm, this time creating a firm, fast and fun course that unfolds seamlessly through the stunning Del Monte Forest.
Jones reinvented the course architecturally, restoring each hole to its natural elevation along the forest floor, softening doglegs and contours, rebuilding all 18 greens with bentgrass, eliminating rough and introducing native waste areas that reduce irrigated turf by nearly 25%.
About Bayonet GC
Bayonet and Black Horse re-opened in December, 2008 after a $13 million renovation by Bates Golf Design Group (Gene Bates). Both courses underwent dramatic view-shed alterations and hole re-routings to reveal new, breathtaking ocean vistas and improved playing options (including new bentgrass greens). They were included in Golf Digest’s “Best New Courses” issue for 2009 in the ultra-competitive “Remodel” category.
Bayonet, with its narrow playing corridors and steep, penal bunkering, has long been considered the most difficult test of golf on the Monterey Peninsula. The par-72, 7,104-yard course has retained its famous bite after the recent renovation by award-winning architect Gene Bates, but playability and strategic options have been greatly improved. Course Tour |Get driving directions
After a few years of watching cohorts Bobby Bucey, Robby Salomon and pal Nick Moore win, San Francisco resident Matt Cohn kept wondering when his turn would come. “It wasn’t on the back of my mind. It was on the front of my mind,” Cohn said. “I consider those guys my peers.” For the 35-year-old Cohn, the wait is over. Read Full Story | View 2016 Photo Gallery
Following a self-described disappointing year where he went winless, Seaside resident Nick Moore has been eagerly waiting for the 2015 season to really kick in. “I didn’t feel like I was playing to my potential last year, and taking time off doesn’t help,” Moore said. “I’m really focused this year.” On Monday at par-72 Spyglass Hill, a re-energized Moore showed that he’s back, shooting a 1-under 71 to win the 50th NCGA Public Links Championship by two strokes over co-runner-ups Scott Hardy and Wes Sandroni. Read Full 2015 Recap | View 2015 Photo Gallery
Monterey resident Austin Roberts was clutch when it mattered the most. Roberts stuck his 65-yard approach shot on the par-5 18th hole at par-72 Bayonet Golf Course to within three feet of the flagstick and sank the putt for birdie for a final round 73, leading to a one stroke victory over Hayden Shieh in the 49th annual NCGA Public Links Championship.“This is a big win for me,” said Roberts, who finished the weather battered event with a two-day total of 2-over 146 (73-73). “I feel like all the hard work I’ve done the last few weeks has paid off.” Read Full 2014 Recap | View 2014 Photo Gallery | Net Recap
Par proved to be paramount at the 48th Annual Public Links Championship, just ask winner Nick Moore. The 30-year-old Monterey resident feasted on pars over the 36-hole competition, converting 30 total pars, 15 each day. “[Pars] were the key, just keeping the ball in play and getting the ball on the green giving myself a chance for birdie,” he said. Moore, who had two bogeys and one birdie in his first round at Bayonet GC yesterday, did the opposite today at Spyglass making two birdies and one bogey. Read Full 2013 Recap | View 2013 Photo Gallery | Net Recap
(All but 1992, 1996 and 1997 played at Spyglass Hill GC)
|1992||Lou Alvarez at Poppy Hills||74-74-148|
|1996||Casey Boyns at Poppy Hills||72-69-141|
|1997||Dennis Mitchell at Poppy Hills and Spanish Bay||75-68-143|
|2013||Nick Moore at Bayonet and Spyglass Hill||73-71-144|
|2014||Austin Roberts at Spyglass Hill and Bayonet||73-73-146|
|2015||Nick Moore at Poppy Hills and Spyglass Hill||71-71-142|
|2016||Matt Cohn at Bayonet and Poppy Hills||73-74-147|