PEBBLE BEACH, CA (August 16, 2016) -- Each of the top four seeds advanced, but there were also a few upsets as the brackets opened Tuesday at this week’s NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play Championship.
Playing at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course, No. 1 seed Dale Bouguennec of Contra Costa CC got off to a solid start, dispatching No. 32 Jim Himler, 5 and 4. Bouguennec, the winner of lat year’s NCGA Senior Valley Amateur, birdied the tough opening 1st hole to take a 1-up lead and never looked back. With a par on the par-5 4th, his lead quickly grew to 3-up. Bouguennec closed out the match with a final birdie on the 14th.
Also moving on was No. 2 seed Randy Haag of the Olympic Club. Haag, who’s coming off an appearance at last week’s U.S. Senior Open, got by No. 31 Dan Bieber with a 2-up victory. Bieber, a two-time winner of the event (2010, 2014), held Haag to at least all-square through the first four holes until Haag took a 1-up lead with a par on the 5th. A birdie on the 10th and a par on the 15th gave Haag a 3-up lead, but Bieber didn’t give in, winning both the 16th and 17th holes. Haag, however, closed the door for good with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
No. 3 seed Casey Boyns, also a former two-time champ (2011, 2013) and No. 4 seed Steve Wilson also punched their tickets to the Round of 16, earning 6 and 5 and 5 and 3 wins, respectively.
Boyns, who defended his title at this year’s NCGA Senior Championship, was boosted in part by back-to-back birdies on the par-5 9th and 10th holes. Wilson, who led the NCGA Senior Championship in both the first and second rounds, never trailed in his match. The former Roddy Ranch member was also powered by a pair of back-to-back birdies, his coming on the 12th and 13th holes.
Defending champion and record five-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year Jim Knoll, the No. 8 seed, didn’t fare as well falling 3 and 2 to No. 25 Robert Miller of San Jose CC. Also getting upended were No. 5 seed Dean Prince, who lost 4 and 2 to No. 28 Joey Ferrari and No. 6 Greg O’Malley, who fell 3 and 1 to No. 27 David Ujihara.
Wednesday’s play will feature both the Round of 16 and quarterfinals at Spyglass Hill. In the Round of 16, Bouguennec will take on No. 17 seed Jeff Burda. Burda, who’s won eight NCGA senior major titles and was the medalist in qualifying, opened play with a 5 and 4 win over Mike Parnow.
SUPER SENIOR DIVISION
No. 1 seed Herb Jensen advanced through the opening Round of 16, defeating No. 16 David Hemrick, 2-up.
Jensen, the defending NCGA Super Senior Player of the Year, twice trailed 1-up. After bringing the match back to all-square with a par on No. 11, the Del Paso CC member rattled off two straight wins on holes No. 12 and No. 13 to take a 2-up lead.
Also advancing through the Round of 16 at Poppy Hills were No. 2 seed Mark Miller and No. 3 seed Frank Pieper.The big upset came at the expense of No. 2 seed Chuck Richesin, who fell 2-up to Merced G&CC’s Rob Thompson.
The quarterfinals will be Wednesday at Spyglass Hill.
View results for Northern California (NCGA) Senior Match Play Championship