MONTEREY, Calif. (June 9, 2014) -- Record six-time NCGA Player of the Year Randy Haag broke out of a slump, and added yet another accomplishment to his already shiny NCGA resume.
The Burlingame resident claimed a record fourth NCGA Master Division title last year, shooting identical scores of 72–at tough Spyglass Hill and even tougher Bayonet GC in Seaside nonetheless–to finish at even par 144 and win edge co-runner-ups Casey Boyns, Jamie Looper and Russell Humphrey by two strokes.
For Haag, it was his first NCGA major victory since the 2011 Master Division Four-Ball. It was also his fourth Master Division (age 40 or over) win, with the others coming in 1999, 2002 and 2009.
“It never gets old winning this event,” Haag said. “It’s almost like this one is more important than the others.”
Haag’s route to the top wasn’t easy. He not only entered the final round at Spyglass Hill two shots off the lead, but was surrounded by a gang of other NCGA big names.
The key for Haag would be a bogey-free, front-nine 34 with two birdies that pushed him into a tie for the lead with Humphrey.
But even the 34 hardly didn’t come easy. On the par-5 7th, Haag found the water hazard but saved par by draining a long putt. On No.8, he somehow hit the green in regulation despite pushing his drive right into a cluster of trees.
“I was really making some pars where I probably deserved some bogeys,” Haag said. “It wasn’t a very clean round of golf.”But it was another win.
Starting Monday, Haag, who has since joined the senior ranks by turning 55, will begin his quest for Master Division win number five when this year’s championship gets underway at Spyglass Hill.
Just like last year, he’ll have some solid company chasing him, too.Among some of those who’ll look to dethrone Haag are Boyns (who’s a four-time NCGA Player of the Year), Humphrey, recent NCGA Senior Championship winner and three-years running NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll, Jerry Ledzinski, recent NCGA Senior Four-Ball co-winner Frank Pieper and five-time Alameda Commuters champion Rick Reinsberg.
Following Monday’s first round, play will shift to historic par-72 Del Monte Golf Course in Monterey.