October 9 – 10, 2017
Poppy Ridge GC
October 10, 2017
Mark Hill and Brandon Toll made the biggest move in regulation, but it was longtime pals Danny Paniccia and Mike Stieler who came out on top when it mattered the most.
Paniccia and Stieler, good friends who formerly worked together at Riverbend GC (now Dragonfly GC) in Fresno, made birdie on the first hole of a three-team sudden-death playoff to capture the annual NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball championship at par-72 Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. The 40-year-old Paniccia and Stieler, 50, who won the 2013 and 2014 NCGA Four-Ball Championships, held off the formidable tandems of Hill and Toll and Brett Viboch and Rick Reinsberg.
“It’s always nice to win,” Stieler said. “You never know how the ball is going to bounce.”
In Monday’s opening round, Paniccia and Stieler, who finished with a two-day total of 14-under 130, opened with a 64 that left them a shot behind Nick Moore and Matt Cohn. Moore and Cohn fell back to a tie for fifth after a final round 69.
“In the opening round we putted well but hit the ball like crap. Today, we hit the ball a lot better but couldn’t get the putts to drop,” Stieler said.
With Moore and Cohn going backwards, the door opened for everyone else. Paniccia and Stieler were again solid, posting six birdies with zero bogeys. Over their 37 holes, the pair carded only one bogey.
In the playoff, Stieler hit his approach shot to within 6 feet of the flagstick while Paniccia’s second ball stopped within 10 feet of the cup. Paniccia, who had the same putt earlier in the round, made his putt to apply pressure to the other teams. Viboch had a 9-footer to extend the playoff but his putt missed.
“Going into the playoff was fun,” Stieler said. “Converting in the playoff was even more fun.”
Hill and Toll had shot a tournament record 10-under 62 featuring 10 birdies to get into the playoff. Viboch and Reinsberg had also made a big second round move, carding a bogey-free 63 that featured nine birdies.
October 9, 2017
Matt Cohn and Nick Moore have done this before. At the 2016 NCGA Four-Ball Championship, the duo combined to shoot a record-tying 10-under 62.
On Monday at Poppy Ridge GC, they again had their sights on the NCGA record books, as the two opened this week’s annual NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship with a record-tying 9-under 63. The score matches a 63 shot by 2005 winners Terry Foreman and James Hay.
Starting on the back-nine, Cohn and Moore ignited with a birdie on the 14th. They’d birdie their next three holes in a row. They’d close out their round with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 and 8 and an eagle on the par-5 9th.
Also going low was the tandem of Mike Stieler and Danny Paniccia. Stieler and Paniccia, who won the 2013 and 2014 NCGA Four-Ball titles, opened with an 8-under 64 that featured nine birdies and just one bogey. They’d also have a back-nine run, carding three straight birdies from holes No.16 to No.18.
Five teams are tied for third at 67, including the tandem of seniors Casey Boyns and Jim Knoll and the team of Brett Viboch and Rick Reinsberg. Viboch won the 2016 NCGA Four-Ball crown playing with partner Bobby Bucey.
October 6, 2017
First played in 2004 at Poppy Ridge, the NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship is a two-person, better-ball scratch event for NCGA members 25 years of age and older (from 2004-2015 it was called the NCGA Master Division Four-Ball Championship for players 40 and older). The duo of Terry Foreman and James Hay won the first three championships, and in 2008 Hay won a fourth championship with partner Mark Hill. Since 2009 the event has been played at Seaside’s Bayonet/Black Horse GC. The first year at the new venue was shortened to one round due to inclement weather, but years following no such misfortune has occurred. In 2012 for the first time both courses were used in the championship with the first round on the Black Horse 18 and the final round taking place on the Bayonet. In 2014 the event returned to Poppy Ridge. The tourney record for low 36-hole score is 128, shared by 2014 winners Scott Anderson and Mark Pavletich and runner-ups Jon Peterson and Eddie Davis, who lost in a playoff. 2015 champs Scott Olds and Kip Yaughn tied the 128 record.