August 7-8, 2017
Del Rio CC
August 8, 2017
Green Valley CC member Jason Anthony notched his first NCGA victory by winning last year’s Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Randy Haag.
This time, he went solo.
The 34-year-old Anthony, who hails from Fairfield, shot 5-under 67 for the second day in a row to come from three shots back and win the annual NCGA Valley Amateur at par-72 Del Rio Country Club in Modesto. His two-day total of 10-under 134 was three shots better than runner-up Daniel Connolly of San Francisco.
Connolly, who was coming off a win at the recent NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship, slipped to a 73 a day after opening with a sizzling 64.
“It’s about time. It feels good to get my first individual title,” said Anthony, who regained his amateur a few years back after competing on the Canadian Tour. “I had to work hard.”
Anthony, who entered the event leading in the points standings for NCGA Player of the Year honors, was flawless. He’d card five birdies with zero bogeys. Connolly, meanwhile, never got going, posting two birdies but also three bogeys. In the first round, the Southern Methodist University sophomore torched Del Rio for seven birdies and an eagle.
“It was probably the smartest round of golf I’ve ever played,” Anthony said. “I really got myself out of trouble and at the worst saved par. When you’re playing someone as good as Daniel, you can’t make mistakes.”
Anthony’s 134 total was just one stroke off the 36-hole championship scoring record of 133, co-held by 2014 winner Trevor Clayton and 2009 winner Steven Chung. The win also took the monkey off his back. At June’s NCGA Mid-Amateur Championship, he had a chance to win but lost in a playoff to eventual champ Bobby Bucey. Other close calls this year have come at the San Francisco City and Alameda Commuters championships.
“To be in the hunt in tournaments says a lot, but to finally break through means that much more,” Anthony said.
Third place went to Del Rio CC member Matt Robinson, who moved up the standings with a 68 that left him with a 36-hole total of 139. Devin Hua of E-Club East Bay (72) and Christian Banke of Poplar Creek GC (75), who were four back entering the finale, fell to fourth and a tie for seventh, respectively.
Senior Valley Amateur
Jeff Hoffman waited only six months to become an NCGA champion. The Granite Bay GC member, who turned 55 in February, went wire-to-wire in the Senior Valley Amateur, shooting a final round 75 to finish at 1-over 145 for a two-shot win over co-runners-up David Halvorson and John Rotteveel.
Coming off a first round 70 that included a 32 on the front-nine, Hoffman eagled the par-5 7th for the second day in a row en route to an opening 35. After making the turn, he’d quickly birdie the 10th to get a total of 4-under. The Folsom resident bogeyed five of his final eight holes, but no one was able to catch him.
“It feels great. I haven’t played much so it’s very gratifying,” said Hoffman, who won this year’s Senior Alameda Commuters. “To win was a fun surprise.”
Halvorson. a member of Del Rio CC, got within two strokes of Hoffman with a birdie on the 15th but immediately bogeyed the 16th. Playing out of Yolo Fliers Club, Rotteveel also got within striking distance but was slowed by bogeys on No.13 and 17.
Jim Knoll, a two-time winner of the event, slipped back to fourth place after a 75.
August 7, 2017
San Francisco resident Daniel Connolly is looking to make it two in a row.
Fresh off his first NCGA victory at July’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship, Connolly grabbed the first round at this week’s annual NCGA Valley Amateur, posting a sizzling 8-under 64 Monday at par-72 Del Rio Country Club in Modesto. The 64 is only two shots off the all-time NCGA lowest competition score record of 10-under 62, set by Trevor Clayton during the 2014 NCGA Valley Amateur at The Reserve at Spanos Park.
A sophomore at Southern Methodist University, Connolly was on pace for a 62, Starting on the back-nine, he’d open with a 5-under 31 that featured an eagle on the par-5 15th, four birdies and a bogey. After making the turn, he’d Del Rio’s front-nine at 3-under with zero bogeys.
Also coming out hot was Green Valley CC member Jason Anthony. The leader in the NCGA Player of the Year points standings, Anthony posted a solid 67 that featured seven birdies and just two bogeys, leaving him just three behind Connolly.
Poplar Creek GC member Christian Banke and E-Club Easy Bay member Devin Hua are both tied for third at 68. Lurking just five shots behind Connolly is Monterey’s Nick Moore, who has won the event a record three times. Moore, the NCGA’s Player of the Year in 2015, is two-time defending champion and has won the Valley Am three of the last four years.
The 36-hole championship scoring record is 133, co-held by Clayton and 2009 winner Steven Chung.
Senior Valley Amateur
Granite Bay GC member Jeff Hoffman is a round away from a grand entry into the NCGA Senior ranks.
Hoffman, who turned 55 in February, took the lead in the Senior Valley Am, posting a 2-under 70 despite three bogeys. On the front-nine, he’d card a 32 that featured three birdies, an eagle on the par-5 7th and a bogey.
In second place at 72 is Del Rio CC member Gil Wymond. Three players—Jim Knoll, Frank Pieper and John Rotteveel–are just three shots back after opening with matching 73’s. Knoll, who entered the event leading in the NCGA Senior Player of the Year points standings, is a two-time champion (2008, 2011).
August 4, 2017
There’ll be a favorite when this year’s annual NCGA Valley Amateur Championship tees off Monday at Del Rio CC in Modesto.
Monterey’s Nick Moore, who won NCGA Player of the Year honors in 2015, has in recent years literally owned the event. Following his first Valley Am win at Riverbend GC in 2013, the two-time defending champion Moore has since won the event two more times—in 2015 at Dragonfly GC and in 2016 at Morgan Creek.
In his win at Dragonfly GC, Moore would have his mettle tested. He had to win the event to earn Player of the Year honors. He did win, but only after surviving a grueling, nine-hole playoff in nearly 100 degree heat.
As per others to keep an eye on at Del Rio CC, there’s Jason Anthony and Josh McCarthy. Anthony currently holds the No.1 spot in the standings for 2016-2017 NCGA Player of the Year honors. McCarthy, a former Player of the Year on the Junior Tour of Northern California, is coming off a quarterfinals run at June’s California Amateur at the Olympic Club.
Being held at the same time as the Valley Amateur will be the Senior Valley Amateur. Also a 36-hole, two-day event, those slated to tee off in the Senior Valley Am include two-time champ Jim Knoll (2008, 2011), 2012 winner Jeff Burda and 2014 champ Joey Ferrari. Knoll currently holds the No.1 spot in the standings for 2016-2017 NCGA Senior Player of the Year.