October 14, 2014
Comebacks were the theme as the 21st annual NCGA Net Amateur Championship wrapped up Tuesday at what was a blustery par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course.
In the Chardonnay Flight (handicap index 9.0 or lower), Placerville resident Niles Fleege took the title, carding a final round 1-over 72 to come from a stroke back and win the title.
Fleege, who plays out of Cold Springs G&CC and had opened with a 75, made his move with an eagle on the par-4 16th and two birdies. The three red figures helped offset five bogeys, three of which came on his back-nine.
Helping Fleege get through the wind, and nerves, was his wife Sheila, who caddied for him.
“Sheila helped keep me cool and slowed down the pace,’ Fleege said. “She helped keep me in the present. I was also a little more stable with my swing today, especially considering how windy it was.”
Stephen Osborne of Sacramento GC climbed into second place at 149, posting a 70 a day after shooting 79. Osborne had two eagles (No.5 and No.10) and three birdies, but he also slipped four bogeys and a crucial double-bogey on the par-5 18th.
Finishing third in the Chardonnay Flight was Oakdale GC member Brian Stewart. Stewart came in at 150 after carding a final round 71 that included two eagles and three birdies to go with three bogeys and two double-bogeys.
David Gragnola of Saratoga GC, who took a share of the first round lead with Manteca GC’s Michael Culy at 73, fell back to fifth place after a 79. Culy dropped to a tie for 15th following an 84.
In the Merlot Flight (9.1-13.5 handicap index), Pleasanton resident Ray Sullivan came back from four strokes to win the title.
Sullivan, who’d opened with a first round 74, carded a 72 that fetaured five birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey. “I didn’t have any blow up holes,” Sullivan said. “I never got myself into any big trouble.”
Finishing in a tie for second at 150 were Aptos Seascape GC member John Twaddle and Castle Oaks GC member Richard Knittle. Twaddle had a second round 73 that featured an eagle on the par-5 10th and four birdies. He’d also, however, card three bogeys, one double-bogey and a quadruple-bogey.
Knittle, who had taken the first round lead with a stellar 70, fell back with an 80. Finishing in a tie for fourth at 151 were Olympic Club’s Rick Peterson and Gary Emerson of Windsor GC, who had final rounds of 72 and 77, respectively.
In the Zinfandel Flight (handicap index 13.6 and above), Auburn resident Richard Wilkins not only came from five strokes back, but won by nine strokes.
Wilkins, playing out of Men’s GC at The Ridge, shot his second straight 72 to come in at 2-over 144. In the final round, Wilkins carded two bogeys and two double-bogeys, but he’d offset the errors with an eagle on the par-4 3rd and three birdies.
“My goal starting the day was to come back,” Wilkins said. “I played smarter today, but shot the same.”
Palo Alto GC member Darien Arends, who had raced out to the first round lead with a 67, saw his second round score jump to 86, leaving him in second place at 153.
Taking third place was Links of Paso Robles GC member Ricky Spurgeon, who followed up a first round 80 with a 74 to come in at 154.
October 13, 2014
The 21st annual NCGA Net Amateur Championship got underway Monday at the new Poppy Hills Golf Course, and players had some breezy conditions to contend with.
In the Chardonnay Flight (handicap index 9.0 or lower), Michael Culy of Manteca GC and David Gragnola of Saratoga CC each grabbed a share of the lead after coming in with identical scores of 2-over par 73.
Culy’s round included an eagle on the par-5 9th and three birdies but also four bogeys. Gragnola, meanwhile, posted five birdies to go with five bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-4 3rd.
Sitting alone in third place after a 74 is Frank Coon of Moraga CC. Coon got himself an eagle on the par-5 10th and added another five birdies, but he’d slip with five bogeys and a pair of double-bogeys.
Four players–Jason Marks of Sacramento GC, James Bradshaw of Olympic Club, Tom Cech of Castlewood CC and Niles Fleege of Cold Spring G&CC are all tied for fourth in the Chardonnay Flight after opening with 75.
In the Merlot Flight (9.1-13.5 handicap index), Richard Knittle, who plays out of Castle Oaks GC, jumped into the lead after posting a solid round of 1-under 70. Knittle ‘s day included an eagle on the par-4 3rd, five birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey. He was the lone player to break par in his flight.
Just a stroke back after a first round 71 is Dan See of Dairy Creek GC. See finished his front-nine with an eagle on No.9 and proceeded to nab another eagle on the 10th to start his back-nine. He’d also card three birdies, but was stung by a double-bogey on the par-3 2nd and a triple-bogey on the par-3 11th. It was Poppy Hills’ five par-3’s that hurt See. He’d play the par-3’s at 4 -over par.
Three players–Ray Sullivan of Callippe Preserve GC, Gary Emerson of Windsor GC and Hunter Ranch GC member Robert Rogers–all are tied for third in the Merlot Flight at 74.
In the Zinfandel Flight (13.6 handicap index or higher), everyone is chasing Palo Alto GC member Darien Arends. Arends had the low round of the day out of all the flights, carding a solid 4-under 67.
Arends’ round featured three eagles (No.3, No.5 and No.9), six birdies, one bogey and two double-bogeys. He’d feast on the par-5’s, playing the four longest holes at Poppy Hills at 4-under.
Richard Wilkins of Men’s GC at The Ridge is second at 72, while Neal Webb of Jack Tone GC and Michael Doucette of Sebastopol GC are seven behind Arends after opening with matching 74’s.
The second and final round will also be held at the new Poppy Hills.