April 3, 2019
Eat your hearts out, whippersnappers.
Vanier and Anderson, who at age 68 and 64, respectively, combined to be the oldest team in the Senior field, shot a final round 3-under 68 Wednesday at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course to run away with a three-shot victory at the annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship.
The two, who finished with a three-day total of 14-under 199 and practice together at Dana Jetter’s private range in Pleasanton, posted five birdies to go against just two bogeys to hold off the co-runners-up teams of Randy Haag and John Watson (69) and Corey West and Eric Smith (70).
Among the winners’ key stats–accuracy off the tee. Over their first 36 holes, Vanier and Anderson only missed two fairways. They’d also get assistance from Spyglass Hill caddie Al Spallino.
“We kind of mixed it up each day,” said Anderson, who plays out of Bridges GC. “Gary played really well today. Al was big, too.”
With the win, Vanier became the all-time leader in NCGA Senior victories with 10. He had previously been tied with Jim Knoll. Jeff Burda and Jim McMurtrey.
The team of Andrew Gabelman and Jeff Britton (T-4) were for a time the leaders in the clubhouse after shooting a dazzling 63. Vanier is now a two-time winner of the event, having also won with Mark Miller in 2013.
The shot of the tournament went to Iain MacDonald, who aced the par-3, 189-yard 11th hole in the final round.
Super Senior Championship
In the Super Senior Championship, the team of fellow 70-year-olds Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff carded a final round 5-under 66 to come in at 5-under 208, defeating the runner-up tandems of Jim Knoll and Kemp Richardson and Hunter Nelson and Frank Pieper by a shot.
Loman and Sheff, who began the day five shots behind leaders Mark Miller and Michael Harding, also won the title in 2016. The champions each spent long careers in the golf industry. Sheff worked for PING for 30 years, while Loman worked for Callaway for three decades.
Knoll and Richardson, who were hoping to become the first Super Senior repeat champs, had a final round 69. Nelson and Pieper, the son of amateur legend Ernie Pieper, also had a closing 69. Miller and Harding slipped to T-6 after a 75.
April 2, 2019
California Golf Hall of Famer Gary Vanier and partner Scott Anderson went deep again to take control of this week’s annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship.
Vanier and Anderson shot a 6-under 65 Tuesday at par-71 Poppy Hills GC to get to a total of 11-under 131. A day after a 68, the two posted eight birdies to go against two bogeys. They’d close out the back-nine by birdying five of their final six holes, including four in a row from hole Nos. 13-16.
Alone in second place at 133 after a second round 68 is the tandem of Corey West and Eric Smith.
First round leaders Randy Haag and John Watson, who opened with a sizzling 63, fell back a day after to a 71 for a two-day total of 134. Haag is looking to become just the fourth player to win the event three times.
Two teams are T-4 at 136, including the tandem of Todd Barsotti and 2018 U.S. Senior Amateur and California Senior Amateur champ Jeff Wilson.
In the Super Senior Championship, the team of Michael Harding and Mark Miller took the lead at a total of 5-under 137 after carding a second round 68. While Miller is a three-time winner of the Senior, he has never won the Super Senior title.
Lurking just three shots behind the leaders at 140 are three formidable tandems: defending champs Kemp Richardson and Jim Knoll, Hunter Nelson and Frank Pieper and Jack Anthony and Joe Zanassi. Knoll recently won the Senior title at the annual San Francisco City.
The cutline for the Senior Championship came at even-par 142.
April 1, 2019
Olympic Club member Randy Haag has a new partner, but so far the results are very familiar.
Haag and San Francisco GC member John Watson charged to the top of the leaderboard of this year’s NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship in Monday’s first round at par-71 Poppy Hills after carding an opening round 8-under 63. The duo’s 63, which featured six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 18th, was just one shot shy of the tournament record (62) for low round, co-held by 2014 winners Frank Pieper and Mike Staskus and 2018 teammates Mark Hill and James Hay.
In both 2016 and 2017, Haag won the title playing with partner Chip Lutz. The list of players who have won the event three times is the team of Robert Berg and Rob Thompson (2005, 2007 and 2008) and Mark Miller, who has won the event three different times with three different partners: Herb Jensen (2006), Casey Boyns (2012) and Gary Vanier (2013).
Alone in second place at 65 is the team of Corey West and Eric Smith. West and Smith’s big move also came on the 18th, where they holed out for a double-eagle 2.
In a tie for third at 66 are the teams of Vanier and Scott Anderson and David Oas and Robert Funk. Also in the immediate mix is the duo of Joey Ferrari and Boyns. Ferrari and Boyns teamed up in 1994 and 1996 to win the NCGA Four-Ball Championship.
Defending champs Steve Donnelly and James Camaione opened with a score of 71.
In the Super Senior Championship, the team of Lane Nonnenberg and Dave Baskins took the lead with a score of 3-under 68.
The teams of Green Valley CC members Jack Anthony and Joe Zanassi and Mark Miller and Michael Harding are tied for second at 2-under 69. Anthony is the father of 2017 NCGA Player of the Year Jason Anthony.
Following Tuesday’s second round a cut will be made with the low 20 teams and ties in the Senior Flight and low 10 teams and ties in the Super Flight advancing to Wednesday’s final round.
March 28, 2019
First played in 1999, the NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship is a two-person, better-ball scratch event for senior golfers. The tournament expanded from two rounds to three rounds in 2006. Joe Dudley and Bob Pipkin won the inaugural event, while the team of Robert Berg and Rob Thompson have the most titles, three, winning in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Mark Miller has won the event three different times with three different partners: Herb Jensen (2006), Casey Boyns (2012) and Gary Vanier (2013).
Miller and Jensen hold the record for lowest 54-hole score, 196, set in 2006. Miller and Vanier hold the 36-hole record with a score of 128 at Silverado Resort in 2013. 2014 winners Frank Pieper and Mike Staskus hold the record for lowest round, a 10-under 62 the pair shot at Saddle Creek.In 2018, Mark Hill and James Hay tied that mark with a 62 at Poppy Hills.
In 2015, a Super Senior Four-Ball Division was added to the event.