April 6, 2016
Record six-time NCGA Player of the Year Randy Haag and world top-ranked senior amateur Chip Lutz are no strangers to the pressure cooker.
On Wednesday at par-72 Bayonet Golf Course, the duo’s vast experience would carry them through again.
Lutz, the defending U.S. Senior Amateur champion, drained a three-foot putt on the 5th hole of a sudden-death playoff to help him and Haag finally get by Doug and Jim Williams and win the annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship.
Lutz’ winning putt, which ended a long day of the two teams dueling back and forth, was set up by a nearly perfect 54-yard pitch shot from just beyond the greenside bunker on the par-4 hole. Even the last putt didn’t come easy though, as it horseshoed around the cup before finally falling in.
“I wasn’t sure what wedge to hit. The greens had gotten so firm,” said Lutz, who went with a 60 degree sand wedge. “I hit it in the perfect spot and executed it at the right time.”
Haag, who plays out of the Olympic Club, and Lutz, a member of AmateurGolf.com, shot a 68 to come from two strokes back to tie the Williams brothers after regulation at 13-under 203. Lutz made key putts on both the 15th and 17th holes to keep the duo within striking distance.
“I love being in the hunt, coming down the stretch and making shots,” said Lutz, whose resume also includes a win at the 2011 Senior British Amateur. “The Williams brothers played really well. We were fortunate to get by them.”
On the 18th, both Doug and Jim Williams had putts to win outright, but missed for a 70. On the 5th hole of the playoff, they’d have to settle for par after both of their approach shots came up well short of the flagstick. Last year, the duo missed an agonizing short putt on the 18th hole at Poppy Hills that would’ve forced a playoff with eventual champs Casey Boyns and Terry Foreman.
“We were so close last year and we got to five playoff holes this year. It should have been today. We had our chances,” Jim Williams said. “Chip made a great birdie on the 17th and his shot on the 5th playoff hole was great too. We stood up pretty well with them. We had a lot of fun.”
Haag had his clutch moments too. Earlier in the round, he nearly holed out from the rough on the 5th hole for an easy birdie.
“This kind of pressure is what you aspire for,” said Haag, who’s been friends with Lutz for over 15 years. “You can’t play casual golf and put yourself in the heat of the moment. It was fun to have to grind it out.”
Haag, 57, now has two senior victories this year. In March he won the San Francisco City Senior Championship. In that event, he’d defeat Jim Williams in the semifinals.
“It took me a while to warm up to senior golf,” said Haag, “I’m finding out that these guys are really, really good.”
Third place went to the team of Mark Miller and Mitch Harrison, who posted 67 to finish at 207.
In the Super Senior Championship, Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff carded a 68 to finish at 207, defeating runner-ups Dennis Younglove and David Hemrick (68) by three strokes.
April 5, 2016
Jim and Doug Williams remain the pair to chase at the annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship.
A day after opening with a 68, the Williams brothers posted an even better 7-under 65 at Bayonet Golf Course to get to 11-under 133 and will hold a two stroke lead entering Wednesday’s 18-hole finale. The closest team to the leaders is the tandem of Randy Haag and Chip Lutz, who are at 135 after a 66.
The Williams brothers, who had a shot at the title last year before missing a final short putt on the 18th hole, were nearly flawless on a gorgeous day. The pair racked up eight birdies to go against a lone bogey on the par-3 6th. The duo came out on fire. Starting on the back-nine, they’d post a 30 that included four straight birdies from holes No.12 through No.15.
Last year, the Williamses entered the final round holding a share of the lead with eventual champions Casey Boyns and Terry Foreman.
Earlier in the morning wave, it was Haag and Lutz’ turn to make a charge. Haag, winner of the recent San Francisco City Senior Championship, and Lutz, the defending U.S. Senior Amateur champion, posted seven birdies and an eagle but also had three bogeys. The two closed out their round with an eagle on the par-5 18th.
Also making a push was the team of Dale Bouguennec and Jamie Looper. Bouguennec, who leads in the race for NCGA Senior Player of the Year honors, and Looper had a 68 that got them to 138, five behind the leaders.
In the Super Senior Championship, the tandem of Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff took over the top spot at 139 after carding a 69. They’ll hold a two shot lead over Alan Schneider and Gary Shemano (70) entering the final round. First round leaders Chip Campion and Terry Ackerman, who opened with a 69, slipped to a 76.
April 4, 2016
The Williams brothers are back at it again at the NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship.
Doug and Jim Williams, who were in the running for the title last year until a final missed putt on the 18th hole, took the first round lead in this year’s championship at par-72 Bayonet GC in Seaside with a solid opening round 4-under 68.
The Williams brothers lead the team of Randy Haag and Chip Lutz, who came in with a 69, by a stroke.
Jim Williams, a member at Orinda CC, and Doug, an AmateurGolf.com member, rang up six birdies to go against two bogeys. The duo was hotter on the front-nine, where they posted a 33.
Haag, a record six-time NCGA Player of the Year and the recent winner of the San Francisco City Senior Championship, and Lutz, a winner of both the U.S. Senior Amateur (2015) and British Senior Amateur (2011), also shot a 33 on the Bayonet front-nine. On the back, however, they’d have to settle for an even-par 36.
At just two behind the leaders after a 70 is the duo of Dale Bouguennec and Jamie Looper. Five teams are at 71, including the tandem of Casey Boyns and Joey Ferrari and Terry Foreman and Gary Vanier. Boyns, a four-time NCGA Player of the Year, and Foreman won the title as a team last year.
In the Super Senior Four-Ball Championship, Chip Campion and Terry Ackerman took the lead with a 69. The team of Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff are one back after a 70.
Following Tuesday’s second round a cut will be made with the low 22 and ties advancing in the Senior Championship and low eight advancing in the Super Senior Championship.
April 1, 2016
This one ought to be very good.
When the 18th annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship gets underway Monday at par-72 Bayonet Golf Course in Seaside, the field will be loaded with some of the best senior amateurs in Northern California. And they will be teaming up.
Among the heavyweight tandems that will be chasing the trophy include record 5-time defending NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll and 2008 Senior POY Jeff Burda, 4-time NCGA Player of the Year Casey Boyns and Joey Ferrari, Dale Bouguennec and recently turned senior Jamie Looper and 2015 NCGA Super Senior champion Gary Vanier and Terry Foreman.
There’s also the teams of recent San Francisco City and record six-time NCGA POY Randy Haag and Chip Lutz and the brother tandem of Jim and Doug Williams.
Last year, Boyns and Foreman paired up to capture the title at Poppy Hills, as the duo defeated the teams of Knoll and Vanier and the Williams brothers by a stroke. The key to Boyns and Foreman’s win was a second round 6-under 65 that featured an eagle and five birdies to go against just one bogey.
While one would expect low scores, like Poppy Hills the Bayonet GC won’t be a cakewalk. Long known as one of the toughest courses anywhere, Bayonet is expected to play around 6,600 yards for the Senior Championship.
As per the norm, there will also be a championship for Super Seniors. There, teams to keep an eye on include Ron Johnson and Bob Olds, 2016 NCGA Super Senior POY Herb Jensen and Thomas O’Grady and Chuck Richesin and Bob Thomason.
The 54-hole championship will consist of 18 holes of stroke play each day. Following Tuesday’s round, a cut will be made with the low 22 and ties advancing in the Senior Championship and low eight advancing in the Super Senior Championship.