COTA DE CAZA, CA (August 22, 2016) -- The first day of the SCGA Senior Match Play Championship has come to a close and as usual, the unexpected became the norm.
Four-time SCGA Amateur Champion Craig Steinberg advanced to the Round of 16 with a 2 and 1 victory over Mel Collins. Steinberg bounced back from a slow start to go 1 up at the turn, and then played steadily down the stretch to seal the victory. On hole No. 17, with the match still in limbo, Steinberg flushed a wedge to 8 feet, all but slamming the door shut. After Collins missed a long birdie attempt the hole and match were conceded, with Steinberg moving on. After a double bogey on No. 1, Steinberg birdied No. 2 and No. 4 to make back the strokes and then proceeded to par out, finishing even-par for the match.
"I try to just continue to play my own game," said Steinberg, when asked how the match play style affects his mentality. "From my experience, the guy who shoots the lower round typically wins, so I just go out there and try to play the better round of golf."
John Pate, the championship's No. 1 seed and reigning SCGA Senior Player of the Year, was stunned by No. 32 William Nardi in 20 holes. Pate went 2 up after 2 holes, but Nardi bounced back to square the match at the turn. With the match still tied after regulation, a extra holes were needed before Nardi pounced on the second hole when Pate couldn't get up and down for par.
Defending Champion James Camaione was unable to move past the first round of action as he fell to Daniel Sivadge 4 and 3. The match remained all square through five holes but a birdie on No. 6 jumpstarted Sivadge, who went 3 up by No. 12 and never looked back.
Former two-time U.S. Senior Amateur Champion Kemp Richardson took out Bruce Loman to earn a spot in Tuesday's second round. After a birdie on No. 1, Richardson never relinquished the lead and increased his margin to 4 up after No. 11. Loman showed signs of life and battled back to take No. 13, before Richardson shot down any comeback opportunity with a birdie on No. 15.
Former California Amateur Champion Casey Boyns beat Gary Urtiaga 1 up. A see-saw match, Urtiaga went 2 up after No. 7 but let Boyns back in the picture as they were all square at the turn. Boyns held a slight 1up lead until No. 14 when the match was once again all squared up. However, the final blow came on No. 17 as Boyns par sealed the match.
David Delich, who won the event back in 2014 at Red Hill CC, dominated Jeff Johnston 5 and 4 to advance.
SCGA stalwart Jeff Burda survived his match with John Fuller but not before it went 19 holes. Burda parred the first playoff hole to sneak into tomorrow's Round of 16.
Round of 16 action begins tomorrow at 7:30 a.m PST.
View results for Southern California Senior Match Play Golf Championship