SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Aug. 6, 2012) -- The fastest way to climb up the SCGA Senior Match Play points list is to win the SCGA Senior Amateur, which is exactly what Jeff Burda (pictured) and Dave Delich have done in the past two years, respectively, earning them an invitation to this week's championship at Sandpiper. It was no surprise, then, when they won their matches Monday in the Rd. of 16 to open the Senior Match Play Championship. Burda defeated Greg Grohs of Arcadia 6 & 4, while Delich topped John Hoffman of San Diego 3 & 2.
Burda, who makes a good case for being the top senior amateur in the state, had the most dominant victory of the day Monday, winning holes 8 through 14 to clinch victory and move on to Tuesday's quarterfinal. The 2011 SCGA Senior Amateur Champion will face Delich, who defeated him in a playoff earlier this summer at the 2012 SCGA Senior Amateur Championship, ending Burda's quest for a repeat. The two will face off at 7:30 a.m. in the first match of the day Tuesday.
Despite finding himself 5 up through five holes Monday, Delich allowed his opponent, Hoffman, back into the match and the two were only separated by two at the turn. Delich steadied the ship, however, on the back half, only losing one hole and ending the match after 16.
The SCGA Match Play and Senior Match Play championships began in 2008 as a means of bringing new credence and incentive to the SCGA points program. The SCGA points program awards points to golfers who give strong performances in SCGA, USGA, CGA and other selected outside tournaments. In 2008, specially created Match Play and Senior Match Play Points Lists were developed. The top 32 players on the Match Play Points List plus the top 16 players on the Senior Match Play Points List earn invitations to compete in this elite SCGA championship.