November 14-16, 2011
November 16, 2011
VENTURA – Mark Nickeas of Lake Sherwood wrapped up a wire-to-wire California Golf Association’s State Senior Championship win at Ventura’s Saticoy CC.
Nickeas (right) posted a final-round six-over 78 to hold onto the six-stroke lead he began the final round. His five-over 221 total was good for a four-stroke win. The only Saticoy member in the field, the champion was clearly comfortable on a course where the left-hander has seven club championships and currently holds the club’s match play, stroke play and senior club titles. Nickeas essentially earned the title with a stellar opening 69, a sublime score on a very difficult course.
Two former State Amateur champions finished second – Casey Boyns who just concluded his rookie year as a senior, and 2007 champion of this event Gary Vanier. Vanier carded a closing even-par 72, his finest of the championship, to climb into second while Boyns posted a 73 – the Pacific Grove native’s second-round 78 proved too much to overcome.
Modesto’s Jeff Burda, who was seeking his fourth straight State Senior crown, placed fourth. Burda’s final-round 77 was not enough to overtake the leader and landed him five back.
If anything characterized the 54-hole championship best, it was a lack of red. The tough William F. Bell-designed Saticoy CC yielded only three sub-par rounds for the championship (NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll’s two-under 70 was the only red number on the board in the final round), and the average score came in north of nine-over 81.
The team competition, featuring four pre-selected golfers from each association’s points list, was captured by the NCGA team of Burda, Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll, Casey Boyns and Mark Miller 455- 482 at the conclusion of the second round. The SCGA team consisted of Howie Knodt, Boyd Martin and Don Ludwig.