May 8, 2016
Brett Viboch and Bobby Bucey got the warm-up for Winged Foot they wanted and picked up some gifts for their moms along the way.
A day after carding a championship record-tying 10-under 62, Viboch and Bucey were again in a groove, posting an 8-under 64 to win the 50th NCGA Four-Ball Championship by five strokes on a beautiful Mother’s Day at Spyglass Hill.
The pair, who in two weeks will take their game to the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in New York, finished the 54-hole championship with a record score of 21-under 195. The previous record was 197, set in 2003 by Todd Barsotti and Jeff Wilson and matched in 2004 by Jason Boyd and Scott Gordon.
“This is awesome,” said Viboch, a former professional who regained his amateur status in 2014. “The best part is getting to share a win with family and friends and a partner. When you’re a pro, you’re out there by yourself.”
“It feels so good to play a difficult golf course so well,” said Bucey, who afterwards told his mom that the victory was her Mother’s Day present. “We stayed patient and positive early on. Then we just lit it up coming in.”
Viboch and Bucey, who met each other through a mutual friend at Oakhurst CC , had entered the final round with a comfy three stroke lead. After the first seven holes, however, the formidable duo of Olympic Club members Jason Anthony and partner Randy Haag had sliced the lead down to just a stroke.
After making the turn though, Viboch, 32, and Bucey, 27, again caught fire, posting a 6-under 30 with six birdies. Both former standouts at Chico State, the two played their final 36-holes to the tune of 18-under, going bogey-free.
“It’s a great stepping stone for Winged Foot,” Viboch said. “We wanted to prepare, but at the same time we wanted to get results.”
Despite an early push, Anthony and Haag, who battled back spasms throughout the day, couldn’t get a sustained charge going. Their chances would unravel with a crippling double-bogey on the par-5 14th.
“We just didn’t do it today,” said Anthony, who’ll get another shot with Haag at Winged Foot. “They got it going, and we didn’t.”
Coming in to the finale, Viboch and Bucey, who had his father, Bob, on the bag as caddie, had Anthony and Haag on their minds. Anthony was runner-up in the 2014 NCGA Player of the Year race, while Haag, who’s won a record six NCGA Player of the year crowns, was looking to become the first player to win both the NCGA Senior Four-Ball and Four-Ball titles in the same year.
“Jason is as good as it gets and Randy’s resume is second to none,” Viboch said. “We knew what we were up against. It makes the win that much more special. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it helps with our confidence.”
With Anthony and Haag fading to a 69 and fifth place finish, the door temporarily opened for Nick Moore and Matt Cohn. Moore, the reigning NCGA Player of the Year, and Cohn, who captured the recent NCGA Public Links Championship, were for a time the leaders in the clubhouse at 16-under 200 after posting their own record-tying 62.
Like Viboch and Bucey a day before, they’d go bogey-free, carding an eagle to go with eight birdies. They’d also do it in team fashion, with Moore carding four birdies and Cohn adding four birdies and the eagle. The surge moved them into second place.
“It was a lot of fun,” Moore said. “The first two days we birdied the first hole and went kind of stale. Today we made par on the first hole, so I was like, ‘Hey, we didn’t make a birdie, I think we’re going to have a good day. After that first hole today we went birdie-birdie-birdie. So the key was making par on the first hole.”
Finishing in a tie for third at 202 were the teams of Ryan Knop and Jesse Bratz (64) and Daniel Ragsdale and Satch Hermann (65).
May 7, 2016
It’s one way of putting yourselves instantly into contention.
Brett Viboch and Bobby Bucey took over the top spot at this weekend’s NCGA Four-Ball Championship at Spyglass Hill on Saturday by posting a record-tying 10-under 62.
The 62, which tied the mark set by R.C. Orr and Scott Doak in 2011, pushed Viboch and Bucey to a two-day total of 13-under 131, giving them a three stroke lead entering today’s final round.
On a day where teams looked to make a move, Viboch, who played in last year’s U.S. Amateur, and Bucey, winner of the 2014 NCGA NCGA Stroke Play Championship, were electric.
The pair, who will be at Winged Foot in two weeks for the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, went bogey-free, collecting an eagle on the par-5 7th to go with eight birdies.
They’d also do it while defining team effort. Bucey, a former standout at Chico State, had four birdies and the eagle while Viboch, who hails from Moraga, had four birdies of his own.
There’s still, however, more work to be done.
Just three strokes off the lead is the tandem of Jason Anthony and Randy Haag. The two Olympic Club members, who are at 134 after a 68, also are headed to Winged Foot. Anthony was runner-up in the 2014 race for NCGA Player of the Year, while Haag is coming off a win at the NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship. With a win on Sunday, Haag, who’s won a record four NCGA Four-Ball titles, would become the first player to hold both titles in the same year.
Just four off the pace at 135, meanwhile, are the tandems of Jeremy Sanchez and Sean Talmadge (67) and Zachary Solomon and Blake Taylor (67).
Others in the hunt are Grady Smith and Mitchell Martin (66) and former Junior Tour of Northern California members Mikey Slesinski and Blake Hathcoat (69), who are at 136. Slesinski and Hathcoat will both begin playing for St. Mary’s College this fall.
The 54-hole championship record is 197, held by Todd Barsotti and Jeff Wilson (2003) and Jason Boyd and Scott Gordon (2004).
Sunday’s final round will begin at 7:30 a.m., with the leaders going off at 9:20 a.m.
May 6, 2016
The first round of the 50th NCGA Four-Ball Championship turned out to have a distinct City by the Bay flavor.
Ryan Wilson and Tommy Semereux, both University of San Francisco alumni, and fellow Olympic Club members Jason Anthony and Randy Haag grabbed the first round lead on a wet Friday at par-72 Spyglass Hill, coming in with matching scores of 6-under 66.
Playing in the afternoon wave, Wilson and Semereaux posted nine birdies to go against just three bogeys. In March, the two teamed up to win the Sacramento Regional Four-Ball Match Play Championship.
Anthony and Haag have also been a lethal combo before. Back in December, the two shot a medalist-earning 9-under 62 in a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball qualifier at Poppy Hills. At last year’s NCGA Four-Ball Championship, they’d card a final round 64 to finish tied for second.
Also playing in the afternoon wave, Anthony and Haag went mistake free, penciling in six birdies.
Haag, who has won a record four NCGA Four-Ball titles (1987 and 1993 with Bob Blomberg, 2000 and 2010 with Darryl Donovan), is going for a double-double. In April, he captured the NCGA Senior Four-Ball title playing with defending U.S. Senior Amateur champ Chip Lutz. No player has ever won both the NCGA Four-Ball and Senior Four-Ball titles in the same year.
The first round also saw a great showing from Granite Bay. Granite Bay GC members and teammates Gary Deblaquiere and Scott Colby are just one off the lead after a 67 along with fellow Granite Bay member Jon Peterson and Burlingame CC member Eddie Davis.
Also coming in at 67 were teens Mikey Slesinski and Blake Hathcoat, who each honed their games on the Junior Tour of Northern California circuit.
Four teams are at 68, including defending champions Scott Raber and Ben Corfee.
Following Saturday’s second round, a cut will be made with the low 40 teams (and ties) advancing to Sunday.
May 4, 2016
Longtime pals Ben Corfee and Scott Raber got it done.
Corfee and Raber, who grew up on the same street in Davis and have known each other since around age four, shot a final round 6-under 66 to thake the title at last year’s NCGA Four-Ball Championship at Spyglass Hill.
The 66 would be huge, but even bigger was a second round 64 that gave the pair a three stroke lead entering the final round. As it turned out, the cushion came in handy.
By the end of the final round, the two had managed to hold off the hard-charging tandems of Jason Anthony and Randy Haag and Matt Cohn and Nick Moore. The big difference would be a run of their own in which they played their final 10 holes at 6-under.
Overall, their 54-hole total of 199 would be just two shy of the tournament record (197).
“It’s fun,” Raber said afterwards. “Doing it with one of your good friends makes it even better.”
Starting Friday, Raber and Corfee will be back at Spyglass Hill to defend their title.
Again, they’ll face some stiff competition.
Among the other teams in the field are the tandems of Cohn and Moore and Anthony and Haag.
Cohn, who won the recent NCGA Public Links Championship, and Moore, the defending NCGA Player of the Year, recently got into the upcoming U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Winged Foot as alternates. Anthony and Haag are also headed to Winged Foot, having their earned their spot by carding a 9-under 62 in a qualifier held in December at Poppy Hills.
Haag also happens to have the most NCGA Four-Ball titles of anyone. Winner of this year’s NCGA Senior Four-Ball title with partner Chip Lutz, the Olympic Club member won the 1987 and 1993 titles playing with Bob Blomberg. He also won in 2000 and 2010 playing with Darryl Donovan.
Other squads to keep an eye on are the tandems of former champions Scott Hardy and Rick Reinsberg (2005), Danny Paniccia and Mike Stieler (2013, 2014) and James Watt and Russell Humphrey (2012).
A cut will be made following Saturday’s second round with the low 40 teams (and ties) advancing to Sunday.