Oct. 4, 2016
They’re the dynamic duo of Poppy Hills.
Olympic Club members and pals Jason Anthony and Randy Haag had another special moment at the NCGA owned course on Tuesday, shooting a final round 6-under 65 to come from behind and win the 13th annual NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship by one over the tandem of Steve Woods and Jeff Gilchrist. Last December, Anthony and Haag earned medalist honors in a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball qualifier at Poppy Hills after posting a 9-under 62.
The duo finished the two-day event with a total of 12-under 130.
“This course is difficult, but it fits our games well,” Anthony said.
For the 33-year-old Anthony, it marks his first NCGA victory after a number of runner-up finishes.
“I finally broke through,” a smiling Anthony said. “Hopefully this opens the floodgates.”
The 57-year-old Haag, meanwhile, notched his 15th NCGA victory (non-Senior), moving him to within one of Casey Boyns on the career NCGA wins list. Back in April, Haag picked up his first NCGA Senior win by teaming up with amateur great Chip Lutz to win the NCGA Senior Four-Ball title. It’s his third NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball title, tying Terry Foreman and James Hay for most Mid-Am Four-Ball titles by a single player. Foreman and Hay won the first three (2004-2006) events in a row. Haag also won in 2010 and 2011 playing with then-partner Darryl Donovan.
“We complement each other really well. If one guy is out of the hole the other guy steps up,” Haag said. “It’s great to be out here. A lot of people can’t do this. At the end of the day, it’s about having fun.”
Following four straight opening pars, the duo got revved up after Anthony nearly aced the 333-yard par-4 5th hole. Anthony never would putt out though, as Haag went on to sink a 30-footer for his own eagle. After that, the two were quickly off to the races. They’d ring up four more birdies within their next six holes to get to a total of 11-under.
Woods and Gilchrist, meanwhile, who were leading Anthony and Haag by two to start the day, played their first 11 holes at only 2-under. In the same stretch on Monday, the two went 5-under en route to a 63.
“We just didn’t get it going today,” Gilchrist said. “It’s just one of those things. It’s hard to back up yesterday’s round.” The two finished with a 68.
Haag and Anthony, who capped their run with one more birdie on the par-4 16th, had started the championship off on shaky footing. In Monday’s opening round, Anthony arrived late and missed the team’s 8:30 tee time. Haag teed off on his own, opening with a bogey before Anthony arrived to join him on the 2nd tee. Haag himself nearly missed the tee time due to being stuck in Monterey traffic.
“Jason’s first shot of the tournament was on the second hole,” Haag said with a laugh.
Finishing in third place at 132 following a 68 was the tandem of Mark Miller and Garett Wagner. The team of Mike Stieler and Danny Paniccia were fourth at 133.
Next up for Haag and Anthony? Maybe a match against one another on their home course. The duo are in different brackets in Olympic Club’s annual Match Play Championship, which concludes this weekend.
Oct. 3, 2016
A familiar duo is again making noise at the annual NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Steve Woods and Jeff Gilchrist, who won the title in 2013, took the lead Monday in this year’s championship, posting a first round score of 8-under 63 at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course.
The two 44-year-olds made their big move on Poppy’s back-nine, posting a 5-under 30 thanks to four straight birdies on holes No.10 through No.14. They’d also later tack on another birdie on the closing par-5 18th. On the front-nine, Woods and Gilchrist, who play out of San Jose CC and E-Club Sacramento, respectively, shot 33.
Just a stroke back in second place following an opening 64 is the tandem of Mark Miller and Garrett Wagner. The two posted eight birdies to go against just one bogey.
Five teams are tied for third at 65, just two behind the leaders. Among the five are the tandems of Randy Haag/Jason Anthony, Nick Moore/Matt Cohn and Mike Stieler/Danny Paniccia. Haag and Anthony were medalists in a U.S. Amateur Four-Ball qualifier held last December at Poppy Hills, while Moore and Cohn were runner-ups at this year’s NCGA Four-Ball Championship. Stieler and Paniccia won both the 2013 and 2014 NCGA Four-Ball titles.
With a win, Woods and Gilchrist would become just the third team to win the title more than once. Terry Foreman and James Hay (2004-2006) won a record three times, while Haag and then-partner Darryl Donovan won twice (2010-2011).
The 36-hole championship scoring record is also in jeopardy. The low 36-hole mark is 128 held by three teams including 2015 champions Scott Olds and Yaughn.