Match Play Pairings
August 19, 2016
It took a while for record six-time NCGA Player of the Year Randy Haag to finally fully join the senior ranks.
The 57-year-old isn’t just getting more used to it, he’s quickly becoming a force.
On Friday, Haag claimed his third big senior title of the year, defeating Orinda CC member Jim Williams, 4 and 3, in the 18-hole final of the 10th annual NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship at Spyglass Hill. Haag also won this year’s NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship and the San Francisco City Senior.
“It’s a great win. We all have to get comfortable to our graduation to the older levels,” Haag said. “Some guys can’t wait, and some guys go begrudgingly. I’m getting used to the forward tees. This is the first time I didn’t have applications for both the NCGA Match Play and Senior Match Play in front of me.”
With the win, Haag joined Casey Boyns as the only players to have won both the NCGA Amateur Match Play and Senior Match Play crowns. Overall, the victory was Haag’s 16th career title, second only to Boyns.
“Getting wins in both events is special. I’m only getting started,” Haag said.
With a par on the first hole, the 60-year-old Williams took a 1-up lead through the first three holes. After that though, it was all Haag. Three straight pars and a birdie from holes No.4 through No.7 gave Haag a 3-up lead. With another birdie later on the par-5 14th, Haag went 4-up.
Following an opening bogey, the No.2 deeded Haag went 1-under over the rest of the 14 holes. Williams, meanwhile, never really could get his putter to cooperate.
“I know Jim, he’s a tough competitor,” Haag said. “He’s got great shot-making capability. In match play, you always expect the other guy to make the putt.”
At this year’s S.F. City, Haag beat Williams, the No.12 seed, in the semifinals. The two also tangled at this year’s NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship, where Haag and partner Chip Lutz prevailed over Williams and his brother, Doug, on the fifth hole of a sudden-death playoff.
“Randy’s really good. That’s now three times he got me this year,” Williams said. “I just wasn’t as sharp as I was the previous days.”
Super Senior Match Play Championship
Monterey Peninsula Country Club member and Aptos resident Frank Pieper had already won an NCGA title when he and partner Mike Staskus captured the 2014 Senior Four-Ball crown.
Never before though had the 66-year-old Pieper won an individual NCGA title. Until now.
Pieper, the son of amateur legend Ernie Pieper, Jr, got the win in the inaugural Super Senior Match Play Championship, defeating Bob Thomason, 1-up.
“This is a big deal,” said the 66-year-old Pieper. “I’ve been playing in these things since around 1966.”
Holding a 1-up lead on the 18th tee, it looked like Pieper would maybe lose his opportunity when he pulled his approach shot right of the green into the bunker while Thomason hit his second shot within 12 feet of the pin. Pieper, however, made a great up-and-down to halve the hole and claim the victory.
“That was the highlight shot,” Pieper said. “I’d hit a good putt earlier on 17, but it didn’t go in.”
Thomason, the men’s basketball coach at University of Pacific for 25 years, fell behind by three holes and couldn’t make up difference, even though he birdied three holes on the back-nine.
“When I was down early, I just reminded myself to stay focused on what I had wanted to do, and not what I had done,” Thomason said. “Frank just played very consistent golf.”
August 18, 2016
Back in the spring, Randy Haag defeated Jim Williams in the semifinals en route to winning the San Francisco City Senior Amateur.
The two also met in this year’s NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship, where Haag and partner Chip Lutz beat Williams and his brother, Doug, in an epic duel that finally ended on the 5th hole of a sudden-death playoff.
They’re going to go at it again.
Haag, the No.2 seed and Williams, the No.12 seed, both earned spots in the finals of this year’s NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship after getting semifinals wins Thursday at Spyglass Hill. Haag, a record six-time NCGA Player of the Year, defeated No.19 Rich Gleghorn, 3 and 2. Williams, meanwhile, earned his spot via a 5 and 3 win over No.25 Robert Miller.
Playing his first full season as a senior, Haag has not trailed in a match since the Round of 32. With a win in Friday’s championship finale, the Olympic Club member would notch his 16th career NCGA title, second only to all-time leader Casey Boyns (23). He’d also join Boyns as the only players to record a double-double: that being wins in both the NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship and Senior Championship.
On the flip side, Williams will be looking for her first NCGA crown. In each of the last two NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championships, Williams and his brother, Doug, have finished as runner-ups.
Like Haag, Williams also has had a dominant run through the brackets, having never trailed in any of his four matches.
The 18-hole finale is slated to tee off at 7:15 a.m.
Super Senior Championship
The inaugural championship final will feature Frank Pieper going against Bob Thomason.
Pieper advanced with a 6 and 5 win over over Ron Johnson, while Thomas defeated No.1 seed Herb Jensen, 3 and 1.
Pieper’s father, Ernie Jr., is an amateur legend in the Golden State, having won among other events the California State Amateur Championship (both in 1941 and 1944). In 2014, Pieper won his first NCGA title, capturing the Senior Four-Ball title with partner Mike Staskus.
Thomason formerly was the head men’s basketball coach at University of Pacific for 25 years.
August 17, 2016
That was the sound of the brackets as the match play Round of 16 and quarterfinals moved over to Spyglass Hill on Wednesday.
In what was a day of upsets, No.1 seed Dale Bouguennec fell. So too did No.3 Steve Wilson. Ditto No.4 seed and former two-time champ Casey Boyns.
Meanwhile, No.2 seed Randy Haag kept cruising along. Haag, playing in his first fulll season as a senior, opened with a 3 and 2 win in the morning and followed that up with a comfy 6 and 5 victory in the afternoon quarterfinals. The record six-time NCGA Player of the Year already has wins this season at the San Francisco City Senior and the NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship, where he teamed up with recent British Senior Amateur winner Chip Lutz.
In both of his matches, Haag never trailed. The last time he’s trailed was on the second hole in the Round of 32.
In Thursday’s semifinals, Haag will take on No.19 Rich Gleghorn of De Laveaga GC. Gleghorn began his day by knocking out Wilson with a par on the 20th hole. He later defeated No.11 Ken Noonan, 2 and 1.
The other semifinals match will pit No.25 seed Robert Miller of San Jose CC against No.12 Jim Williams of Orinda CC.
In Tuesday’s Round of 32 at Poppy Hills, Miller knocked out defending champ and record five-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll. He’d continue to be a wrecking ball, eliminating No.9 Mark Morgan, 1-up, in the Round of 16 and defeating Bouguennec, 2-up, in the quarterfinals.
In beating Morgan, Miller came up with a clutch birdie on the 18th hole. In eliminating Bouguennec, who survived an early morning bout with No.17 Jeff Burda, he again birdied the 18th.
Williams also came up big, defeating Boyns 2 and 1 in the quarterfinals. The runner-up to Haag and Lutz at the NCGA Senior Four-Ball playing with his brother, Doug, Williams took a 1-up lead over Boyns with a birdie on the 2nd hole and never gave it up. With a birdie on the 11th and a par on No.12, Williams’ lead mushroomed to 5-up.
Boyns, the winner of this year’s NCGA Senior Championship, got it back to 2-up with victories on three of the ensuing four holes, but the two halved the 17th.
Super Senior Championship
No.1 seed Herb Jensen marched on, defeating No.9 Richard Brown in the quarterfinals, 3 and 2.
In Thursday’s semifinals, Jensen will face No.5 Bob Thomason, who dispatched No.4 Mark Miller thanks to a birdie on the 20th hole (No.2). Thomason formerly was the head men’s basketball coach at University of Pacific for 25 years.
In the second semifinal, No.7 Ron Johnson will take on No.3 Frank Pieper. Johnson moved on with a 1-up win over No.15 Rob Thompson, while Pieper advanced with a 4 and 3 win over No.6 Jay Guerin.
August 16, 2016
Each of the top four seeds advanced, but there were also a few upsets as the brackets opened Tuesday at this week’s NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship.
Playing at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course, No.1 seed Dale Bouguennec of Contra Costa CC got off to a solid start, dispatching No.32 Jim Himler, 5 and 4. Bouguennec, the winner of lat year’s NCGA Senior Valley Amateur, birdied the tough opening 1st hole to take a 1-up lead and never looked back. With a par on the par-5 4th, his lead quickly grew to 3-up. Bouguennec closed out the match with a final birdie on the 14th.
Also moving on was No.2 seed Randy Haag of the Olympic Club. Haag, who’s coming off an appearance at last week’s U.S. Senior Open, got by No.31 Dan Bieber with a 2-up victory. Bieber, a two-time winner of the event (2010, 2014), held Haag to at least all-square through the first four holes until Haag took a 1-up lead with a par on the 5th. A birdie on the 10th and a par on the 15th gave Haag a 3-up lead, but Bieber didn’t give in, winning both the 16th and 17th holes. Haag, however, closed the door for good with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
No.3 seed Casey Boyns, also a former two-time champ (2011, 2013) and No.4 seed Steve Wilson also punched their tickets to the Round of 16, earning 6 and 5 and 5 and 3 wins, respectively.
Boyns, who defended his title at this year’s NCGA Senior Championship, was boosted in part by back-to-back birdies on the par-5 9th and 10th holes. Wilson, who led the NCGA Senior Championship in both the first and second rounds, never trailed in his match. The former Roddy Ranch member was also powered by a pair of back-to-back birdies, his coming on the 12th and 13th holes.
Defending champion and record five-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll, the No.8 seed, didn’t fare as well falling 3 and 2 to No.25 Robert Miller of San Jose CC. Also getting upended were No.5 seed Dean Prince, who lost 4 and 2 to No.28 Joey Ferrari and No.6 Greg O’Malley, who fell 3 and 1 to No.27 David Ujihara.
Wednesday’s play will feature both the Round of 16 and quarterfinals at Spyglass Hill. In the Round of 16, Bouguennec will take on No.17 seed Jeff Burda. Burda, who’s won eight NCGA senior major titles and was the medalist in qualifying, opened play with a 5 and 4 win over Mike Parnow.
Super Senior Match Play
No.1 seed Herb Jensen advanced through the opening Round of 16, defeating No.16 David Hemrick, 2-up.
Jensen, the defending NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year, twice trailed 1-up. After bringing the match back to all-square with a par on No.11, the Del Paso CC member rattled off two straight wins on holes No.12 and No.13 to take a 2-up lead.
Also advancing through the Round of 16 at Poppy Hills were No.2 seed Mark Miller and No.3 seed Frank Pieper.
The big upset came at the expense of No.2 seed Chuck Richesin, who fell 2-up to Merced G&CC’s Rob Thompson.
The quarterfinals will be Wednesday at Spyglass Hill.
August 15, 2016
In a betting parlor, he would’ve been a popular choice.
Del Rio Country Club’s Jeff Burda finished first in Monday’s stroke play qualifying for this year’s NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship, posting a solid 1-over 72 at Poppy Hills Golf Course. Burda, along with 16 other players, earned spots in the championship brackets, where they will join the 16 players who were exempt from qualifying due to their position in the NCGA Senior Player of the Year points standings.
An eight-time NCGA senior major winner, including the 2009 NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship, Burda had three birdies to go against four bogeys. He’ll enter match play, which begins with Tuesday’s first round at Poppy Hills, as a potentially lethal No.17 seed. Regarded as one of the best senior amateurs anywhere, Burda finished seventh at last year’s California Senior Amateur Championship.
Others turning in solid rounds and advancing were E-Club East Bay member John Mack and De Laveaga’s Rich Gleghorn, who posted scores of 73. Rob Adolph and Jeff Britton were T-4 at 74.
The cut line for advancing was 7-over 78.
The No.1 seed for match play is 2015 NCGA Senior Valley Amateur champion and current points leader Dale Bouguennec of Contra Costa CC. The No.2 seed is Olympic Club member Randy Haag, who is coming off an appearance at last weekend’s U.S. Senior Open.
Super Senior Championship
La Rinconada CC member Richard Brown earned the No.9 seed, posting a solid 1-over 72 to finish first in Monday’s stroke play qualifier at Poppy Hills.
Brown and seven other players advanced through the qualifier. They’ll join the top eight seeds, which were determined by the NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year standings, in Tuesday’s first round of match play at Poppy Hills.
Finishing second in qualifying, and earning the No.10 seed after a 75, was AmateurGolf.com member Bruce Loman.
The No.1 seed will be defending NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year Herb Jensen. Gary Vanier, the current leader in the NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year standings, is not competing.
This marks the first year that the NCGA has hosted a Super Senior Amateur Match Play Championship.
August 9, 2016
It’s going to play a major role in determining the NCGA Senior Player of the Year.
Entering this year’s 10th NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship, Contra Costa Country Club member Dale Bouguennec and record six-time NCGA Player of the Year Randy Haag have been dueling for the top spot in the points standings.
As of August 9, Bouguennec, who won last year’s NCGA Senior Valley Amateur, was leading in the points standings at 1,808. Haag, meanwhile, was at 1,505. That could change before the Senior Match Play Championship tees off though. This week, Haag is competing at the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto CC in Ohio. Should Haag just make the cut, he’ll receive 500 points.
The two aren’t the only ones in the hunt. Being a 400 points event, a win at the Senior Match Play Championship would also be huge for Steve Wilson (1,287) and four-time NCGA Player of the Year Casey Boyns (1,146).
Wilson, Boyns and Haag all dueled at this year’s NCGA Senior Championship at Poppy Hills before Boyns walked away with his second straight title.
At last year’s NCGA Senior Match Play Championship, Boyns, a two-time winner of the event (2011, 2013) had a shot at becoming the first player to win the title three times. He’d lose on the 19th hole in the finals, however, to Jim Knoll, who proceeded to claim his record fifth straight NCGA Senior Player of the Year crown.
The championship will begin with 18 holes of qualifying to be held Monday at Poppy Hills. Sixteen players will advance through the qualifier, joining the 16 players who are exempt (Top 16 in the points standings).
Tuesday’s first round of match play will also be held at Poppy Hills, with play shifting to Spyglass Hill Wednesday through Friday’s finale.
At the same time, the inaugural NCGA Super Senior Match Play Championship will also be going on.
There, Olympic Club member Gary Vanier leads in the Points standings at 1,271. Thing is, Vanier will not be playing in the championship.
A 300 points event, that will slightly open the door for defending NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year Herb Jensen (940 points), Charles Richesin (795 points) and Frank Pieper (730 points).
The Super Senior Match Play Championship will begin Monday with 18 holes of stroke qualifying at Poppy Hills. Eight players will move on from the qualifier, joining the eight players (Top eight in the points standings) who received exemptions. The first round of match play will be Tuesday at Poppy Hills, with play then moving over to Spyglass Hill.