Brett Viboch (left) and Bobby Bucey (NCGA)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif (May 8, 2016) -- Brett Viboch and Bobby Bucey got the warm-up for Winged Foot they wanted and picked up some gifts for their moms along the way.
A day after carding a championship record-tying 10-under 62, Viboch and Bucey were again in a groove, posting an 8-under 64 to win the 50th NCGA Four-Ball Championship by five strokes on a beautiful Mother’s Day at Spyglass Hill.
The pair, who in two weeks will take their game to the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in New York, finished the 54-hole championship with a record score of 21-under 195. The previous record was 197, set in 2003 by Todd Barsotti and Jeff Wilson and matched in 2004 by Jason Boyd and Scott Gordon.
“This is awesome,” said Viboch, a former professional who regained his amateur status in 2014. “The best part is getting to share a win with family and friends and a partner. When you’re a pro, you’re out there by yourself.”
“It feels so good to play a difficult golf course so well,” said Bucey, who afterwards told his mom that the victory was her Mother’s Day present. “We stayed patient and positive early on. Then we just lit it up coming in.”
Viboch and Bucey, who met each other through a mutual friend at Oakhurst CC , had entered the final round with a comfy three stroke lead. After the first seven holes, however, the formidable duo of Olympic Club members Jason Anthony and partner Randy Haag had sliced the lead down to just a stroke.
After making the turn though, Viboch, 32, and Bucey, 27, again caught fire, posting a 6-under 30 with six birdies. Both former standouts at Chico State, the two played their final 36-holes to the tune of 18-under, going bogey-free.
“It’s a great stepping stone for Winged Foot,” Viboch said. “We wanted to prepare, but at the same time we wanted to get results.”
Despite an early push, Anthony and Haag, who battled back spasms throughout the day, couldn’t get a sustained charge going. Their chances would unravel with a crippling double-bogey on the par-5 14th.
“We just didn’t do it today,” said Anthony, who’ll get another shot with Haag at Winged Foot. “They got it going, and we didn’t.”
Coming in to the finale, Viboch and Bucey, who had his father, Bob, on the bag as caddie, had Anthony and Haag on their minds. Anthony was runner-up in the 2014 NCGA Player of the Year race, while Haag, who’s won a record six NCGA Player of the year crowns, was looking to become the first player to win both the NCGA Senior Four-Ball and Four-Ball titles in the same year.
“Jason is as good as it gets and Randy’s resume is second to none,” Viboch said. “We knew what we were up against. It makes the win that much more special. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it helps with our confidence.”
With Anthony and Haag fading to a 69 and fifth place finish, the door temporarily opened for Nick Moore and Matt Cohn. Moore, the reigning NCGA Player of the Year, and Cohn, who captured the recent NCGA Public Links Championship, were for a time the leaders in the clubhouse at 16-under 200 after posting their own record-tying 62.
Like Viboch and Bucey a day before, they’d go bogey-free, carding an eagle to go with eight birdies. They’d also do it in team fashion, with Moore carding four birdies and Cohn adding four birdies and the eagle. The surge moved them into second place.
“It was a lot of fun,” Moore said. “The first two days we birdied the first hole and went kind of stale. Today we made par on the first hole, so I was like, ‘Hey, we didn’t make a birdie, I think we’re going to have a good day. After that first hole today we went birdie-birdie-birdie. So the key was making par on the first hole.”
Finishing in a tie for third at 202 were the teams of Ryan Knop and Jesse Bratz (64) and Daniel Ragsdale and Satch Hermann (65).
View results for Northern California (NCGA) Four-Ball Championship