September 1, 2020
Jason Anthony, the NCGA’s defending Player of the Year, hasn’t played much at all this season. Along with getting married, the 37-year-old Anthony became a dad. And with COVID-19, he’s opted to not play as much to protect his newborn.
In what was a rare appearance, Anthony still showed he’s one of the best amateurs in NorCal. The Green Valley CC and Olympic Club member shot a final-round even-par 71, sealed with a clutch up-and-down for birdie on the par-5 18th hole, to defeat runner-up Garrett Wagner by a stroke and win the annual NCGA Valley Amateur at Schaffer’s Mill in Truckee. The win marked not only Anthony’s return to NCGA play, but also his second Valley Am title in four years.
“It’s pretty cool to be back out here competing,” said Anthony finished with a two-day total of 4-under 138. “I missed the guys and the competition. It felt amazing to be back out there under the gun. Feels even more amazing to win with my wife and child here. I really had to battle today. I made some mistakes. I was rusty mentally. To perform on the last hole like that was special. It’s something I’ll always remember.”
Also the winner of the title in 2017, Anthony had to earn it. A day after opening with a solid 67, he found himself not only dueling with Wagner but also first-round leader Jacob Westberg. Playing in the group ahead, Wagner, a member at Discovery Bay GC, made birdie himself on the 18th for a final round 68 to take the clubhouse lead at 3-under 139. Westberg, meanwhile, who had opened with a 66, briefly re-entered the fray despite a final round 75 after a birdie on the 17th. The UC Davis freshman would have to settle for a par on the 18th, however, dropping him into third place at 141.
In making his up-and-down, Anthony said it was all a matter of trusting himself. “I have a flop shot that I really trust. You have to just believe in yourself and hit the shot,” he said. “It’s rewarding to execute under the gun like that.”
The low round of the day came from San Francisco resident Matt Cohn, who carded a 65 to finish in a tie for fourth at 142 with Granite Bay’s Jon Peterson. Three-time champ Nick Moore, who was looking to add a record-extending fourth Valley Am crown, shot a final-round 77 to finish T-9.
Despite their finishes, both Cohn and Moore are still in play for 2020 NCGA Player of the Year honors. Both came into the event trailing leader Alexander Chin by 350 points or less. Chin did not play. Domingo Jojola, who finished T-9, also could be in the mix. The Valley Amateur was worth 500 points. The points season ends Sept. 30.
— NCGA (@ncga1901) September 2, 2020
Garrett Wagner putting for eagle on the 18th at Schaffer’s Mill..he’s in at 139 pic.twitter.com/s0P7iLeErD
— NCGA (@ncga1901) September 2, 2020
Jeff Wilson went low to come from behind and take the title. Wilson, the NCGA Senior Player of the Year in 2018, shot a second-round low 5-under 66 to come in at 4-under 138, defeating Mark Morgan by a stroke.
The 57-year-old Wilson, who plays out of Green Valley CC, was flawless through his first 14 holes posting four birdies and 10 pars. He’d slip backwards with a bogey on the par-4 15th, but responded with back-to-back birdies on holes Nos. 16 and 17. A par on the final hole helped secure the victory.
“I shot 72 yesterday with six bogeys, so I mean it really wasn’t that bad…it could’ve been a lot better. Today I eliminated the bogeys and it was all good,” Wilson said. “The last year I haven’t played very well. It was tough coming down the stretch. You feel the jitters again. I managed to slide in a putt on 17 that kind of helped out quite a bit.”
Morgan, who was the two-time defending champion, had a final round 68 to finish at 139.In search of his fourth title in five years, Morgan had a chance at tying Wilson but could only make par on the closing 17th and 18th holes.
Scott Anderson Sr. and Chris Miller finished T-3 at 14- after identical final round scores of 70. First round leader Tony Padilla, who’d opened with a 68, fell back to a T-8 finish after a final round 78.
August 31, 2020
Could another NCGA title be headed to a UC Davis? Just a few weeks after Lucas Carper won the NCGA Amateur Championship, Aggies teammate Jacob Westberg took the lead at this week’s NCGA Valley Amateur Championship, carding a first-round leading 5-under par 66 Monday at Schaffer’s Mill in Truckee.
Westberg, a freshman from Sacramento, had five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 8th to offset just one big blemish–a double-bogey on the par-4 4th.
In second place, just one stroke back at 67, are a pair of former champions–Nick Moore and Jason Anthony. Moore, who is in the hunt for his second NCGA Player of the Year crown (2018) in three years, had six birdies and four bogeys. The Monterey resident is looking to add to his Valley Am record. Moore entered the event as the only player to win the Valley Amateur three times. Anthony, the defending NCGA Player of the Year, was solid in one of his few appearances of the season. The Green Valley CC member’s wife delivered their first child earlier this year, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic Anthony has opted to not compete as much.
In a tie for fourth at 68 are Jason Herrera and Tanner Makimoto. Domingo Jojola, who is also in the chase for Player of the Year honors, is in sixth place at 69.
Defending champion Jason Melvin opened with an 81.
The Valley Amateur is a 500 point event.
In the Senior Championship, Winchester CC member Tony Padilla grabbed the first-round lead with a score of 3-under 68. Padilla, a referee who has worked the NCAA FInal Four and a former winner of the NCGA Senior Championship, carded five birdies to go against just two bogeys. He’d play the back-nine bogey-free for a 33.
In second place at 70 is the trio of Scott Terry, Mike Staskus and record five-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll. Two-time defending champ Mark Morgan is just three shots behind Padilla at 71.
Knoll, Morgan and Scott Anderson Sr. (T-6, 72) all are in the running for 2020 NCGA Senior Player of the Year honors. Casey Boyns was the leader in the points standings entering the event. Boyns opened with a 76
The Senior Valley Amateur is worth 300 points.
August 28, 2020
Played for the first time in 2004 as a replacement for the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valley championships, the NCGA Valley Amateur has become a staple in the tournament season. This year’s championship is at Schaffer’s Mill in Truckee.
Drawing exceptional players during the late summer, the Valley Amateur has 500 points up for grabs to the champion at a time when the Player-of-the-Year race is coming to a close.
A senior division is also held with past champions including several Senior Player of the Year honorees: Carl Selkirk, Gary Vanier, Jim Knoll and Jeff Burda. Vanier is the only three-time winner of the senior division having won in 2006 at Elkhorn CC and in 2007 and 2013, both at Riverbend GC. Knoll is the only other multiple-time winner, winning in 2008 at Winchester CC and again in 2011 at Riverbend GC.
Trevor Clayton set the single round championship record in 2014, shooting a 10-under 62 at Reserve at Spanos Park. Clayton’s 36-hole total of 133 tied 2009 winner Steven Chung for low 36-hole total. In 2015, Nick Moore defeated Blake Hathcoat in a 9-hole sudden death playoff. With his win in 2016, Moore became the first player to win the Valley Am three times.