NCGA Master Four-Ball: Gilchrist, Woods prevail
-- NCGA Photo
-- NCGA Photo

SEASIDE, Calif. (Oct. 8, 2013) -- When you have golfing resumes like Steve Woods and Jeff Gilchrist do, winning an age specific four-ball event likely isn’t the apex of either player’s respective amateur careers. However, you couldn’t make such a claim without an inkling of doubt, after the duo came away victorious to win the 10th Annual NCGA Master Division Championship at Bayonet/Black Horse GC on Tuesday.

2013 Master Division Four-Ball Champions: Steve Woods and Jeff Gilchrist.“When you’re 40-plus-years-old and [still] winning golf tournaments it feels great,” said Woods, the 1994 California State Amateur champion. “We know that no matter what the event is if it says NCGA in front of it, it’s going to be a strong field and we want to come out on top.”

Added Gilchrist, the 1995 NCGA Amateur Match Play champion: “The competition is always very, very good in these events and it gives you a lot of pride when you come out on top.”

Well, come out on top they did after starting the day one shot off the lead. Playing in the final group with first-round leaders Jon Peterson and Gary Deblaquiere, Woods and Gilchrist overtook the leaders to win by a single shot with a 36-hole score of 132, 12-under-par. The duo’s final round of 5-under 67 on the Bayonet 18—after a 7-under 65 on the Black Horse 18 on Monday—tied for the low score of the day as scores were noticeably higher Tuesday.

2013 Master Division Four-Ball Winners: Steve Woods and Jeff Gilchrist (champions), Jon Peterson and Gary Deblaquiere (runner-ups), and David Bartman andAfter nine holes Woods and Gilchrist were in a tough position, trailing their fellow-competitors by three strokes. In fact, the tandem had just closed the gap and tied Peterson and Deblaquiere when Woods chipped-in for an eagle-3 on the par-5 eighth before both players countered it with a double bogey on No. 9, while the two Granite Bay members made birdie. Instead of getting down and overly frustrated with a change of momentum, Woods and Gilchrist shook it off and had a stellar back-nine.

“We were just playing the golf course,” said Gilchrist. “We weren’t worried about them too much.”

Said Woods, “we never lost our composure or focus to Jeff’s point. We were just really sticking to our process and what we could control.”

Peterson and Deblaquiere’s lead actually widened to four strokes after Woods and Gilchrist bogeyed No. 12, but that’s when Woods caught fire and birdied four of the final six holes himself. The first two birdies on Nos. 13 and 15, Woods claimed to make “two improbable putts that went in,” while his birdie on No. 16 was an 8-foot putt and his birdie on the par-5 18th was an up-and-down from just off the green.

Peterson and Deblaquiere failed to birdie the par-5 18th hole, capping off a disappointing final stretch, where the duo went 1-over-par over the final six holes. However, their 36-hole total of 133, 13-under-par with rounds of 64 and 69 was good enough to earn second place. Taking third place with a score of 134, 10-under-par were Greg Edwards and David Bartman. Edwards and Bartman, who started in a three-way tie for fourth place to begin the day after opening with a 6-under 66, fired a final round score of 68 to earn outright third place.

ABOUT THE NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball

Two-person, better-ball scratch event for NCGA members 25 years of age and older. FORMAT: 36 holes of four-ball stroke play, 18 holes per day. ELIGIBILITY: Players must have reached their 25th birthday by the start of the tournament and have a numeric handicap index listed on their club’s Master Report of 5.4 or less on the date of registration. Partners need not be members of the same club.

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