Valley Hi CC
October 29-30, 2012
October 30, 2012
by Spencer Sorensen
ELK GROVE – Rob Thompson is no stranger to NCGA senior majors. Before today’s final round Thompson had already six of them to his credit. Now he has seven.
His seventh, however, proved not to be easy as it came down to his final putt. On the 18th hole, tied with defending champion James Myers for the tournament lead, Thompson had a 40-foot birdie putt with Myers only three feet away for par. Having a good line on the putt, Thompson wanted to give it a chance to go in, but also didn’t want to ram it past the hole and three-putt to possibly lose the tournament.
“I thought I left it short, right in the heart, but then the ball kept trickling and trickling, and boom, [it went in],” said Thompson. “It was a great way to win the tournament.”
Having started the day with a share of the lead, Thompson’s final round two-under par 70 put him at even-par 144 for the tournament, giving him a one-stroke victory over Myers, who also fired a 70—bogey-free—to finish at 145.
Thompson felt especially fortunate to win considering his 40-foot putt may have turned out to be for a tie if it weren’t for Myers’ honesty. On the 10th hole after addressing his ball on the putting green, Myers ball slightly moved, so he called a one-stroke penalty on himself.
“The integrity of the game is unbelievable,” said Thompson. “His ball couldn’t have moved more than a fraction and he called a penalty on himself.”
Thompson, who is good friends with Myers and recruited him to play in this event last year—Myers is an SCGA member from Oceanside—was happy to reverse roles this year as he finished runner-up to Myers in 2011. However, he is quick to admit that there is a different dynamic in an event like this, where a fraternity of sorts is built amongst the players.
“The older we get the more we appreciate each other,” said Thompson, explaining that Myers was rooting for Thompson’s final putt to go in. “That’s the way we are, we root for each other. It’s kind of like a brotherhood.”
Finishing in a tie for third place was Ron Johnson of Walnut Creek and first-round co-leader Carl Cowan at 149. Johnson followed his first round 75 with a 74 on Tuesday, while Cowan followed his 74 with a 75. Coming back on the field to tie for fifth were Bob Olds, Donel Geisen and Terry Coffee, who each finished at 150. Olds followed his opening round 77 with a 73 on Tuesday, while Geisen and Coffee improved by two strokes, firing rounds of 74.
The site and date for the 2013 Super Senior Championship are yet to be determined.
October 29, 2012
by Spencer Sorensen
ELK GROVE – Despite ideal conditions with temperatures in the mid-70s, sunny skies and no wind, low scores were hard to come by at Valley Hi CC in the third Annual NCGA Super Senior Championship. After the opening 18 holes, former NCGA Senior Player of the Year Rob Thompson and Carl Cowan lead the way with scores of two-over par 74.
Thompson and Cowan, who happened to be paired together today, may have fired the same score and had the same amount of bogeys and birdies—four and two, respectively—but the way in which the two shot 74 couldn’t have been more opposite. Thompson claimed that his ball-striking was excellent, but around the greens he had trouble.
“I hit it exceptionally well. I hit eight greens in regulation on my opening nine (starting off No. 10), and four of those were inside 10 feet, but couldn’t make a putt,” said Thompson. “I felt like I turned a 70 into a 74.”
On the other hand Cowan explained that his ball-striking was poor, but he survived the day by getting up and down.
“I didn’t hit the ball very well, but I chipped well, so I don’t know what to expect for tomorrow,” said Cowan, who admits that he doesn’t play a lot of tournament golf.
Thompson, who finished runner-up in this event last year in his first year eligible, hopes to improve his position and add another NCGA senior major to his resume. If he were able to do so it would be his seventh, having already won the NCGA Senior (2005), NCGA Senior Match Play (2007, ’08) and the NCGA Senior Four-Ball (2005, ’07 ‘08). For Thompson, a fast-paced golfer, he believes the key for him to get a victory will be staying patient, which can be hard for him to do.
“I just need to slow down, smell the roses a little bit and stay patient,” he said.
Joining Thompson and Cowan in the final group tomorrow at 9:10 a.m. is defending champion James Myers, who fired one of three 75s on the day. The other two at 75 tied for third place, who will go out in the second to last group at 9:02 a.m., include Ron Johsnon of Walnut Creek and Ray Vanyo of Banning. It’s worth noting that the 75 Vanyo fired on Monday matches his age, which he claimed is the 501st time that he has shot his age or better.
Tomorrow’s action begins at 8:30 a.m.