March 31, 2021
Just moments after his birdie-to-win attempt rolled around the cup and out, Mike Rowley went over to his partner Mark Morgan to give him an update.
“I told him, it’s time for you to know. If you don’t make your putt, we’re going to lose,” Rowley said.
Morgan ended up rolling in his 15-footer for a birdie, giving him and Rowley a one-shot victory at the annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship at Poppy Hills. The duo would card a 2-under 69 to come in with a three-day, 54-hole total of 12-under 201, edging the co-runner-up tandems of Andrew Gabelman and Terry Foreman and John Jaramillo and Dean Prince.
“The course really owed him,” said Rowley of Morgan’s clincher. “The biggest thing, Mark was so patient. He had a lot of putts all over the hole during the round that didn’t go in.”
The 61-year-old Morgan, the NCGA’s defending Senior Player of the Year, picked up his fourth NCGA title. For Rowley, 59 and the CEO of Straight Down Clothing in San Luis Obispo, the win marked his second NCGA crown.
The two, who finished in the top 10 playing together a few years ago, had started the final round holding a three-shot lead. At one point, the team of Casey Boyns and Jeff Britton forged a tie atop the leaderboard at 11-under but the two later lost a stroke with a bogey on the par-3 17th. Later, Gabelman and Foreman, who had a final round 66, and Prince and Jaramillo (67) both came in at 11-under. All that was left to see if either Rowley or Morgan could make birdie on 18.
“We think a lot alike out there,” Rowley said. “That makes it easy. Mark makes it easy too. When you’re loose, you hit the ball better.”
— NCGA (@ncga1901) March 31, 2021
Super Senior Championship
Frank Pieper and Rich Gleghorn came out winners in their debut as teammates. The two shot a final round 6-under 65 to come in with a three-day, 54 hole total of 11-under 202. Pieper, who lives in Aptos, and Gleghorn, who resides in Santa Cruz, tied the Super Senior record for 54-hole total score.
“Frank is too hard to beat individually, so I decided to team up with him,” quipped the 69-year-old Gleghorn.
In the final round, the two posted seven birdies to go against just one bogey. For Pieper, the son of California amateur legend Ernie Pieper, the victory marked his fifth NCGA title. Gleghorn, meanwhile, got his first victory in the Golden State. All of his previous wins had come in Missouri.
“It was great to have Rich as a partner,” said Pieper, who is 70. “It’s always nice to get another win. You never know when the next one is going to come. I’m pleased as punch.”
Second place went to the team of Jim Knoll and Kemp Richardson at 206 after a final round 67. The tandem of Dennis Younglove and Herb Jensen was third at 209.
Jensen had the shot of the championship, carding a hole-in-one on the 11th hole using a 7-iron. It was his 8th career ace.
March 30, 2001
Mark Morgan and Mike Rowley took advantage of a day where the sun brilliantly came out, setting up scoring conditions. If they can do it one more time, they’ll both add another title to their NCGA portfolios.
Morgan, the defending NCGA Senior Player of the Year, and Rowley, the CEO of Straight Down Clothing in San Luis Obispo, gave themselves a three-shot cushion heading into the final round of this week’s NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship after carding a stellar, day low 6-under 65. The two, who moved to a two-day total of 10-under 132, were fueled in part by a back nine 31 that could literally be called odd. They’d post birdies on each of Poppy Hills’ back nine odd numbered holes—Nos. 11, 13, 15 and 17. Each of the even-numbered back nine holes they played at even-par.
Rowley won the NCGA Senior Championship at Poppy Hills in 2019. Morgan won the California Senior Amateur in 2017.
In a tie for second, three shots behind the leaders, are the teams of Dean Prince and John Jaramillo and Dean Menante and Kevin Hall. The Prince/Jaramillo team had a second-round 67, while Menante and Hall shot a 66.
Both of the first-round co-leaders never got going. The team of Randy Haag and Robert Funk, who were in a prime position to open a big lead, settled for a 1-under 70 that leaves them in a tie for fourth at 13. The Weisses, Jeff and Jay, also posted a second-round 70. Both teams are currently in a tie for fourth along with the tandem of Casey Boyns and Jeff Britton, who carded their second straight 68.
The cutline for the Senior Championship came at even-par 142.
The team of Frank Pieper and Rich Cleghorn will head into Wednesday’s final round holding a two-shot lead over the field. The duo posted a 1-under 70 Tuesday to get to a two-day total of 5-under 137.
In second place at 139 are the teams of Rich Morrison and Neil Duffy and Kemp Richardson and Jim Knoll. Morrison and Duffy, who held a share of the first-round lead, slipped to a 72. Richardson and Knoll, who won the event in 2018, shot a second-round 70.
Defending champs Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff are still in the mix, just three back at 140 after a 71. The Super Senior cutline came at 2-over 144. If they come back and win it, Loman and Sheff will become the first back-to-back Super Senior champs.
March 29, 2021
Low scores were tough to come by due in part to chilly weather as the 22nd NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship got underway Monday at Poppy Hills Golf Course.
Leading the pack after the first round are the teams of Jay and Jeff Weiss and Randy Haag and Robert Funk, who both came in with matching scores of 5-under 66. The Weiss team was propelled in part by a front nine 32 that included birdies on holes Nos. 1, 3, 6 and 9. Haag and Funk penciled in 33s on both nines. Funk, an AmateurGolf.com member, is coming off a sensational 2020 at Poppy Hills that included victories at the NCGA Senior Championship and California Senior Amateur Championship. Haag won the event back-to-back in 2016-17 with then-partner Chip Lutz. With a win this week, Haag, who plays out of the Olympic Club, would join Mark Miller and the team of Robert Berg and Rob Thompson as the only three-time winners of the event.
In at 67, and just a shot back of the co-leaders, are the teams of Mark Morgan and Mike Rowley and Andrew Gabelman and Terry Foreman. Rowley won the NCGA Senior at Poppy Hills in 2019. Morgan was the 2020 NCGA Senior Player of the Year.
Three teams are at 68 including the tandem of Casey Boyns and Jeff Britton. Boyns would also become a three-time champion with a win this week.
Following Tuesday’s second round, the low 20 teams and ties in the Senior Flight and 10 teams and ties in the Super Senior Flight will advance to the final round on Wednesday.
The teams of Frank Pieper and Rich Gleghorn and Rich Morrison and Neil Duffy are tied atop the leaderboard after the first round, with both teams coming in with scores of 4-under 67. Pieper, a former NCGA Super Senior Amateur champion, had five birdies on his own ball.
Three teams are tied for third at 69 including the tandems of Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff and Jim Knoll and Kemp Richardson. Loman and Sheff are the defeinding champions. Knoll and Richardson won the title in 2018.
Last year’s event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.