October 12, 2021
Rich Gleghorn found himself being tested by three brutes in the finale of the annual NCGA Super Senior Championship. A strong field, gusty winds and a challenging course.
The 69-year-old Santa Cruz took them all on and came out on top.
Gleghorn shot his second straight 2-over par 73 at Los Altos CC on Tuesday to come in at 4-over 146, winning the title by three shots over co-runners-up Jim Knoll and Scott Anderson. It’s the first individual NCGA title for Gleghorn. Earlier this year, he won the NCGA Super Senior Four-Ball title with partner and good friend Frank Pieper.
“It’s really exciting to beat such a great field,” Gleghorn said. “There’s obviously some great NCGA players. But there’s also some really good SoCal players in the field, too. I’m just thrilled.”
On a day where low scores were again rare, Gleghorn managed a second 73 where he most importantly played his final eight holes at 1-under with a birdie and seven pars. The stretch kept both Knoll, a record-seven time NCGA Senior Player of the Year winner, and Anderson, who was also looking for his first individual title, at bay. Knoll also shot a 73 but played his final nine at 1-over due in part to a closing bogey on the 18th. Anderson made a charge with a front nine 34 but shot a 40 on the back-nine. Knoll would be awarded second place in a card-off.
“The back nine was really key for me,” Gleghorn said. “The competition is really high. I’m like several of the guys. If we’re having a good day, we can play with anybody. It’s just a matter of catching lightning in a bottle.”
And avoiding big blow-ups. During his 36 holes, Gleghorn never penciled in anything higher than a bogey.
“The way the wind was going, and the course was playing, a double-bogey was lurking around the corner on a lot of holes,” Gleghorn said. “I was really fortunate to get a break or two when I needed it.”
Ron Johnson (below) was the champion of the Legends division (ages 75-over) with a two-day score of 12-over 154.
October 11, 2021
Santa Cruz resident Rich Gleghorn already picked up a title this year when he won the NCGA Super Senior Four-Ball title with good friend Frank Pieper. Now, Gleghorn, who plays out of De Laveaga GC, has a shot at a solo title.
On Monday, Gleghorn jumped into the lead at this week’s NCGA Super Senior Championship at par-71 Los Altos CC with a first-round 2-over 73. Gleghorn would post two birdies to go against four bogeys in the wind.
Alone in second place at 75 is Scott Anderson. Anderson too has a team NCGA title, having won the 2019 NCGA Senior Four-Ball title with recent NCGA Hall of Fame inductee Gary Vanier.
A pair of Jims—Jim Knoll and Jim McNelis—are T-3 at 76. Knoll, a record seven-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year, has never won the Super Senior.
Defending champion Jeff Burda opened with a 78 and is tied for eighth. The event, in its 12th year, has never seen a repeat champion.
The Super Senior Championship was created to give golfers 65 and older their own championship. The first championship was held in 2010 with Gene Ackerman winning the inaugural event, firing a 36-hole score of 147 at Merced GCC. The championship is a 400-point event for the Senior Player of the Year race. Dennis Younglove set the single round championship record in 2014, shooting a 5-under 67 at Valley Hi CC. 2016 winner Chuck Richesin set the 36-hole scoring record of 139. There is also a Legends champion for players 70-plus.