August 10th – 14th
Poppy Hills GC & Spyglass Hill GC
(Pairings will be available on August 3rd)
August 14, 2020
Rich Petit is an NCGA champion.
The No.24 seeded Petit, a 61-year-old member at Sharon Heights GC, won the NCGA Senior Amateur at Spyglass Hill in his championship debut, defeating Thomas Ansbro on the 20th hole. On the hole (par-4 2nd), Petit’s second shot embedded in the front greenside bunker. He’d get relief, drop in the fringe, and make par. Ansbro, who was on the green in regulation, had a downhill putt for birdie that he hit a tad too much. His ball rolled past the flagstick and down the hill, leading to a bogey.
“This is a very big win for me,” said Petit, who hadn’t tasted victory in over five years. “This is a really big one.”
An investment banker for Morgan Stanley, Petit had barely made it through the Monday qualifier.
“I played well after that first day,” said Petit, whose other big amateur win came at the 1987 San Francisco City. “As the week went on, I got better.”
The No.6 seed, Ansbro raced out to a 3-up lead through the first five holes. By the time the two reached the 11th tee, Petit had clawed his way back to tie the match. On the par-5 11th, he took his first lead with a birdie win. Ansbro, a software salesman in Silicon Valley, later won both the 15th and 16th holes to regain a 1-up lead. But Petit again didn’t quit, winning the 17th with a par to again tie things up.
“I really had a rough start,” said Petit of the early deficit. “At the time, I just wanted to hang in there and keep things going. I figured if I could get to the last few holes, something good could happen. That is when things started happening.”
Ansbro had his own chances, but wasn’t able to convert.
“The golf course was magnificent,” said Ansbro, who was only making his second appearance in the event. “It was a treat to have the course to ourselves.”
— NCGA (@ncga1901) August 14, 2020
August 13, 2020
One of the two will become an NCGA champion for the first time.
Rich Petit, the No.24 seed and Thonas Ansbro, the No.6 seed, will meet in the finals of this week’s NCGA Senior Amateur Championship after the two churned out victories in Thursday’s semifinals at Spyglass Hill.
Petit, who plays out of Sharon Heights GC and is making his championship debut, knocked out No.4 Terry Foreman, 4 and 3. The 61-year-old Petit grabbed a 2-up lead with a birdie win on the 10th and later took a 3-up lead when Foreman double-bogeyed the 13th. Two holes later on the par-3 15th, Petit sealed the victory by draining a 9-foot uphill putt for birdie.
“It feels good to have made it this far,” said Petit, an investment advisor for Morgan Stanley. “In Monday’s qualifier, I was right on the bubble of getting in. Ever since then I’ve been playing really well.”
Petit and Ansbro were paired together in Monday’s qualifier. As for Ansbro, the 61-year-old Morgan Hill resident eliminated No.16 Craig Calkins, 2-up. Still tied through 16 holes, on the par-4 17th Ansbro took a 1-up lead when he sank a 9-foot birdie putt. A hole later on the 18th, Ansbro stuck his approach shot to within 7 feet of the flagstick. Calkins’ birdie try missed, and he conceded the hole to Ansbro.
“This course really puts a premium on putting,” said Ansbro, a software salesman in Silicon Valley. “It’s hard to get to the finals. I think other than some of the Hall of Fame guys, anyone would be pleasantly surprised.”
The Senior finals will tee off 7:15 a.m. on Friday.
August 12, 2020
The semifinals are set for this week’s NCGA Senior Amateur Championship.
After a busy day at Spyglass Hill, Terry Foreman, Rich Petit, Thomas Ansbro and Craig Calkins all took a big step towards winning the title.
The No.4 seed and a former winner of the event, Foreman moved on with a tight 1-up win over No.12 Scott Anderson Sr. Holding a 5-up lead through 11, Foreman looked to be a lock to advance, but Anderson kept chipping away. By the time the two reached the 15th tee, Foreman’s lead was 3-up. After that hole, it fell to only 2-up. Following yet another Anderson win on the 16th, the lead dropped to only 1-up.
But Foreman, who already knocked out Jim Knoll and 2018 champ Tony Padilla, responded. On both the 17th and 18th holes, he’d match pars with Anderson, securing the victory.
Petit, the No.24 seed, saw a similar result. Facing No.32 seed Mike Staskus, Petit held a 3-up lead through the 15th hole, but Staskus won both holes Nos. 16 and 17 to close the gap to just 1-up. They’d tie the 18th, giving Petit the win.
On the other side of the brackets, Calkins, the No.15 seed, moved on with a 3 and 2 win over No.10 Jeff Britton. In that match, the difference was a three-hole run from holes Nos. 10-12 that Calkins won. He’d never relinquish the lead from there.
Ansbro could breathe the easiest, defeating No.14 John Mack, 5 and 3, in the quarterfinals.
In Thursday’s semis, Petit will face Foreman, while Calkins will take on Ansbro.
August 11, 2020
The unpredictability of match play was in full display Tuesday at Poppy Hills Golf Course as the Round of 32 of this week’s NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship got underway.
No.2 seed and defending champion Casey Boyns was knocked out early, falling on the 21st hole to No.31 Greg Loosigian. No.1 seed Corey West also was sent home early, falling 2 and 1 to No.32 Mike Staskus. And there too was former champ Randy Haag, who lost 1-up to No.7 seed Ron Freeman.
By the time the giant slayers were done, the highest seed left was No.3 Larry Salk, who emerged unscathed with a 2-up victory over No.30 Mike Rowley. Also moving on was No.4 seed and former champ Terry Foreman, who advanced with a 1-up win over No.29 seed and record five-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll.
In knocking out West, Staskus took a 1-up lead with a par win on the par-4 12th. He’d go 2-up with another par win on the 14th and never looked back.
For Boyns, the difference was also par. On the 21st hole (par-4 3rd), he’d make bogey while Loosigian made par.
Wednesday’s action, which shifts over to Spyglass HIll, will see both the Round of 16 and quarterfinals. One of the intriguing Round of 16 matches will see Foreman taking on No.20 Tony Padilla, who won his opener, 1-up. Padilla won the title in 2018.
Other matches include Nol.10 Jeff Britton vs. Freeman, and No.28 Mark Morgan vs. No.12 Scott Anderson.
August 10, 2020
No.2 seed and defending champion Casey Boyns got to rest, while everyone else was playing for a spot in the match play brackets.
Monday’s lone round of stroke play qualifying at Poppy Hills Golf Course saw Monterey Peninsula CC member Corey West emerge as medalist–and the No.2 seed for match play—after a round of even-par 71.
Both Larry Salk and Terry Foreman also locked up top seeds after coming in with matching scores of 72. Foreman is a past champ, having won the event in 2012.
Among some of the others advancing to Tuesday’s opening Round of 32 were 2018 champ Tony Padilla (78), record five-time Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll (79) and two-time champ Randy Haag (79).
Following Tuesday’s action, again to be held at Poppy Hills, play will shift over to Spyglass Hill for the Round of 16 and quarterfinals (Wednesday). Thursday’s play will see the semifinals, with the 18-hole final set for Friday morning.
Boyns, already a record three-time winner, is looking for his fourth career Senior Amateur crown.
August 5, 2020
The NCGA Senior Match Play Championship was historically an invite-only event in which the top 16 players on the NCGA Senior points list were invited to participate in the Senior Match Play Championship, held concurrently with the NCGA Amateur Match Play at Spyglass Hill, over a three-day period. However, beginning in 2012 the event was modified to a 32-player match play field, still allotting 16 spots to the top 16 of the NCGA Senior points list, while allowing the other half of the field to qualify.
This change made the championship into a week-long event with the 18-hole stroke-play qualifying and the opening round of 32 taking place at a designated Monterey-area course Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday the tournament moves over to its traditional spot at Spyglass Hill with rounds of 16 and quarterfinals taking place that day. The semifinal round takes place Thursday morning with the 18-hole final concluding the event on Friday.
In 2016, a Super Senior division was added to the championship.