March 29, 2017
San Jose’s Jim Ono Becomes Oldest to Win NCGA Points Event
San Jose resident Jim Ono described it like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. It was certainly darn impressive.
Ono, who’ll turn a spry 81 in July, took it to his younger senior brethren at the San Mateo County Senior Championship at Poplar Creek GC. Playing his home course, he’d card rounds of 73-68 to win with a two-day score of 141, defeating 51-year-old runner-up Tony Ralph—and a number of NCGA Senior studs including Jim Williams and Jim Knoll— to take the title.
“It’s the old blind squirrel finding an acorn thing. That and an old man having flashbacks,” Ono said with a laugh.
Now the oldest player to ever win the San Mateo County Senior and an NCGA Senior (age 55-over) points event, Ono even added some theatrics. The longtime attorney, who only played because it was his home course, would come back from a four-stroke deficit.
“At the time, I wasn’t thinking of winning,” said Ono, who had no idea he’d won as he walked off the 18th green. “I’d have been scared to death. I just wanted to finish in the Top Five to win some cash. I thought that’d make me happy as hell.”
For Ono, it was his first victory since 2015, when he captured the Grand Master Division title at a Society of Seniors outing (Indian Summer Classic).
As for what keeps the competitive juices flowing, Ono pointed to staying fit—and his mother.
“You have to keep in good shape, and have good genes. I got some good ones from my mother,” Ono said. “But you still have to work at it.”