July 14, 2019
As part of his duties as the NCGA’s Marketing, Membership and Communications Coordinator, Ian Dahl has spent much of the summer working on updating the Association’s trophy case.
He’s now earned the right to have his own name engraved on one of the trophies.
The 30-year-old Dahl, who played at Cal-Berkeley from 2007-2010, shot a final round 2-under 69 Sunday at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course to capture the 39th annual NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship by three shots over co-runners-up Alex Chin and Christian Banke.
It’s the first time Dahl, a native of Longview, Washington, has won an event since the 2012 Salinas Valley Amateur. It is believed that he is the first NCGA employee to win an NCGA championship.
“It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun,” said Dahl, who finished with a three-day, 54-hole total of 3-under 210. “I just kind of slowly got better each day of the tournament.”
On his final seven holes, Dahl wasn’t just good. He was great. Having started the day just two shots behind second round leader Jerry Ledzinski, Dahl went 4-under through the last seven to seal the victory.
On the par-4 12th, he stuck a 9-iron to within 20 feet of the pin and made the putt. A hole later on the par-5 13th, he knocked his third shot (from 95 yards out) to withiin 10 feet of the flagstick. That putt also fell. On the ensuing 14th, he’d drain another 10-footer for birdie. Not knowing where he stood on the scoreboard, Dahl for a security blanket penciled in another birdie after reaching the par-5 18th in two.
“I didn’t really miss a shot those last seven holes,” said Dahl, who shot a ho-hum 36 on the front-nine. “I just kind of grinded it out the other days and in the early part of the round. Scoring conditions were tough.”
Ledzinski, who was looking for his third career NCGA title, finished in sixth place at 214 following a disappointing final round 75. Among the Monterey Peninsula CC member’s woes was his tee shot on the par-3 11th, which ended up on the adjacent bridge.
Univeristy of San Francisco junior Alex Chin, who came into the day just a shot off the lead, carded a final round 73 to tie for second with Banke at 213., Banke, who was runner-up at the recent California Amateur, had a 72. Chin was awarded second after a card-off.
Chin stumbled early with a double-bogey on No.4 after going out-of-bounds. Banke, who plays at San Diego State, was slowed by a back-nine 38.
July 13, 2019
Monterey Peninsula Country Club member Jerry Ledzinski is a day away from winning his third career NCGA title. But he’s got lots of company near the top.
Ledzinski, the defending NCGA Valley Amateur champion and winner of the 2015 NCGA Mid-Amateur, will take a two shot lead into the final round after carding an even-par 71 in Saturday’s fog shrouded second round at Poppy Hills Golf Course. The 46-year-old Ledzinski, who would become one of the event’s oldest winners with a victory, has a two-day total of 3-under 139.
A day after shooting a 68 with five birdies, Ledzinski had three birdies to go against three bogeys.
As for those in pursuit, the closet is University of San Francisco junior Alex Chin. Chin who played in eight events for the Dons last season, is at 140 after his second straight 70. After carding a front-nine 31, Chin would be slowed by a pair of double-bogeys on the back-nine (No.10 and No.14).
In a tie for third at 141, just two shots back, are former Cal standout Ian Dahl and recent California Amateur runner-up Christian Banke. Both had rounds of 69.
Dahl, who carded five birdies, was also stung by a double-bogey on the 14th. A wild round for Banke featured only six pars. The San Diego State sophomore also had seven birdies and five bogeys.
Alone in fifth place at 142 following a 70 is Jason Anthony. Anthony entered the event leading the standings for NCGA Player of the Year honors. The Olympic Club member won this year’s Mid-Amateur Championship just over a month ago at Poppy Hills.
The low round of the day was a 67 by E-club East Bay member Josh Diaz. First round co-leader Ryan Grauman fell back to T-7 after a 76. The cutline came at 8-over 150.
July 12, 2019
A former winner on the Junior Tour of Northern California and an NCGA champ are on top of the leaderboard after opening day of the annual NCGA Stroke Play Championship at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course.
Ryan Grauman, now a sophomore at St. Mary’s, and Jerry Ledzinski, the defending NCGA Valley Am winner, both shot scores of 3-under 68 on an overcast Friday.
Grauman, who played in all 13 tournaments for the Gaels in his freshman season, had 34s on each nine. On the back-nine, he’d card four birdies including two straight on holes Nos. 13 and 14.
Ledzinski, who’s looking for his third NCGA crown (he also won the 2015 NCGA Mid-Amateur), had a front-nine 33 despite a double-bogey on the opening par-5 1st hole. Following the miscue, Ledzinski posted birdies on holes Nos. 2, 3, 6 and 9.
Alex Chin, a junior at University of San Francisco, is in third place at 70. The three players are the only ones who shot under par in the first round.
Defending champion Nick Moore opened with a 75. Recent California Amateur runner-up Christian Banke is at 72.
Following Saturday’s second round, a cut will be made with the low 40 and ties advancing to Sunday’s finale.
July 11, 2019
First played in 1944, the NCGA Stroke Play Championship has a special history, as the tournament has been won by the likes of Ken Venturi and Johnny Miller. But the event was canceled in 1966 when the NCGA decided to add the now-popular Four-Ball Championship.
The original championship was played over 72 holes, while the renewed format which began in 2004, is a 54-hole event staged at Poppy Hills every year. During the Poppy Hills renovation in 2013, the championship was held at Bayonet/Black Horse GC in neighboring Seaside.
Kevin Lucas and Ben Geyer share the 54-hole tournament record with a score of 11-under-par 205. Lucas posted his 54-hole winning score in 2010 at Poppy Hills GC, while Geyer fired his 205 total in 2013 at Bayonet GC. Talbert Smith has won the championship more than any other player, four times, in 1946, ’48, ’56 and ’57. Other multiple winners include Ken Venturi (’51 and ’52), Verne Callison (’58 and ’59), Scott Hardy (’04, ’11), Ben Geyer (’12 and ’13) and Robby Salomon (’15 and ’16).
Kevin Lucas and Jonathan De Los Reyes share the record for low round since the tournament was re-established in 2004 with 65’s. De Los Reyes’ 65, shot in 2015, set a course record at the time at Poppy Hills.
The sterling silver perpetual trophy was donated by the San Francisco Examiner in 1944.