NCGA Four Ball at Spyglass Hill: Looper/Smith Win by 1

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA (May 14, 2006) -- Cliff Smith and Jaime Looper came from behind  in dramatic fashion Sunday to capture the Four-Ball Championship at Spyglass Hill.

Stevinson Ranch's Smith and Oakdale's Looper stood on the 10th tee thinking a 32 on the back side would put them in contention. The duo decided to leave nothing to chance by birdieing six of nine remaining holes to card a six-under-par 66 and one stroke victory. Smith started the barrage with birdies on Nos. 10,11, 12, 14 and 15, the highlight coming on the par-3 15th.
"I told Jamie on the tee it was a hole-in-one opportunity," Smith said. "With the right distance you could spin it back into the hole." A pure pitching wedge from 125 yards left Smith only inches shy of an ace. The two friends joked and smiled after the near hole-in-one demonstrating they were clearly in control and enjoying the competition.
An ensuing bogey on the 476-yard par-4 16th dropped the group back to eight under for the tournament. Looper responded with a smooth drive on 17th that left him with only 77 yards to the hole. A perfect lob wedge to six inches and a par save on the closing hole gave Smith and Looper the clubhouse lead at 9-under.   

Meanwhile, the Niger/Wagner and Breland/Ashlock teams, who started tied for the lead, were either scrambling to save par or narrowly missing birdie opportunities. After making the turn at six-under for the tournament, neither pair was able to string together a run on the back nine. The five-under-par 31 back nine score for Smith and Looper closed the door to all other challengers. What proved to be a much closer battle was for third place.

Smith and Looper shared the low round of the day with Kevin and Steven Wolf and 2000 Four-Ball champions Randy Haag and Darryl Donovan. The six-under-par 66 catapulted the Wolf duo into second place, while Haag and Donovan tied for third. Five other groups tied for third place with respective 201 totals, including first and second round leaders Bob Niger and Garett Wagner and last years champions, Rick Reinsberg and Scott Hardy. The importance of winning a championship filled with the top players in Northern California was not lost on Smith.

"This is absolutely huge for us." said Smith. "This is something you dream about. Our goal was to each have five birdies today and we were able to do that. I never worry about Jamie, because he is always consistent and we compliment each other very well."

For the third day in a row players enjoyed perfect weather conditions. A combination of firm greens and tough hole locations on the 6,938 yard layout helped keep the majority of scores over par.

* * * *

Final results from the NCGA Four Ball Championship, played at thge 6938 yard, par-72 Spyglass Hill Golf Club:

Team Rd1 Rd2 Rd3 Tot
Clifford Smith, Oakdale GCC and Jamie Looper, Stevinson Ranch GC 70 71 66 207
Kevin Wolf, Woodbridge GCC and Steven Wolf, Woodbridge GC 71 71 66 208
Randy Haag, Cordevalle GC and Darryl Donovan, The Olympic Club 69 75 66 210
Scott Hardy, Moraga CC and Rick Reinsberg, Amateurgolf.com 70 73 67 210
Christopher Johnson, Ancil Hoffman GC and Scott Watson, Green Tree GC 69 71 70 210
James Hill, Tulare GC and Kevin Starr, Tulare GC 73 65 72 210
Bob Niger, Serrano CC and Garett Wagner, Discovery Bay CC 67 70 73 210
Tim Breland, Stockton GCC and John Ashlock, Forest Lake GC 68 69 73 210
Jeff Gilchrist, Ancil Hoffman GC and Joe Moulton, Cherry Island GC 72 69 70 211
James Hay, Diablo Grande Resort GC and Joseph Bramlett, Olympic Club 74 70 68 212
Steve Pacheco, De Laveaga GC and Steve Argo, Seascape GC 71 70 71 212
Mike Mulhearn, Poplar Creek GC and Taylor Travis, Golf Club at Fremont Park 73 71 69 213
Jeremy Harris, Serrano CC and David Leuterio, El Macero CC 72 69 72 213
Greg Loosigian, Kings River GCC and Tom Moshier, Fort Washington GCC 74 66 73 213
Jon Dechambeau, Riverbend GC and Michael Stieler, Riverbend GC 74 68 72 214
John Enright, The Olympic Club and Gary Vanier, The Olympic Club 74 71 70 215
Jon Bettencourt, Sunnyside CC and Matt Fagundes, Fort Washington GCC 73 72 71 216
Gary Young, Amateurgolf.com and David Rathjen, The Golf Club.com 70 71 75 216
Jason Anthony, Green Valley CC and Mark Modglin, Riverbend GC 70 71 75 216
Steve Carter, Caddy Club of Pebble Beach and Timothy Tipton, Caddy Club of Pebble Beach 72 72 72 216
Daniel Donovan, De Laveaga GC and George Downing, SDG Tour 74 71 72 217
John Pate, Scratch Players GC and Steve Lass, Scratch Players GC 73 72 73 218
Michael Vera, Roddy Ranch and Mark Miller, Lone Tree GC 75 70 73 218
Todd Barsotti, San Joaquin CC and Jeff Wilson, Green Valley CC 74 72 72 218
Brady Myers, Colusa GCC and Jim Wilson, Butte Creek CC 73 73 72 218
Steve John, Pasatiempo GC and George Kelley, Mayacama GC 70 75 74 219
Joel Robert Carlson, Redding GC and Tyler Brown, Scratch Players GC 73 72 74 219
Donnie Buchanan, Riverside GC and Jeffrey Hollis, Brighton Crest CC 73 71 75 219
Barry Silva, Hidden Valley Lake CC and John Dunn, Hidden Valley Lake CC 73 74 72 219
Jerry Ledzinski, Quail Lodge GC and Robert Cayton, Pasatiempo GC 76 71 72 219
Brian Ruiz, De Laveaga GC and Trent Tessler, Crystal Springs GC 69 77 74 220
Jeff Weiss, Pinole Mens GC and Jay Weiss, Diamond Oaks GC 74 74 72 220
David Hiebert, Cordevalle GC and Wayne Kumagai, Silver Creek Valley CC 73 72 76 221
John Desantis, Corral de Tierra CC and Tommy Koster, Corral de Tierra CC 77 71 73 221
Mike Phillips, Gold Hills CC and George White, Showboat GC 77 70 74 221
David Nelson, SDG Tour and Todd Palmaer, Ancil Hoffman GC 77 70 75 222
Mark Maguire, Claremont CC and Garrett Larson, University Club of Palo Alto 72 76 74 222
Kevin Kobalter, Meadow Club and Geoff Couch, Monterey Peninsula CC 72 74 80 226
Ted Martinez, Creekside GC and Jeff Coffey, Creekside GC 77 71 78 226
Richard Petit, Sharon Heights GCC and Douglas Mackenzie, Stanford University GC 75 73 78 226


The NCGA Four-Ball Championship began in 1967 at Spyglass Hill golf course and has been played the Robert Trent Jones layout ever since. The 54-hole competition consists of two-man teams in which both players play their own ball and the lowest score of the two is counted on each hole.

18 holes qualifying four-ball stroke play. The championship proper will be 54 holes of four-ball stroke play, 18 holes per day. After 36 holes, the field is cut to 40 teams and ties. Both partners must meet eligibility requirements, holding a handicap index of 5.4 or less.

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