COTA DE CAZA, CA (August 23, 2016) -- Jeff Burda has won most of the senior amateur golf titles in California, yet this one has yet to go his way. This year may be the year.
After trailing the whole match against Michael Turner in the quarterfinals Tuesday of the 2016 SCGA Senior Match Play Championship, Burda was able to win holes 17 and 18, with a par and birdie respectively, to steal the match away and remain in the running for the title.
"He played really well and didn't leave me any real chances to catch him until he three-putted 17," said Burda.
On 18, Burda hit an incredible second shot, sticking his approach to about two feet, looking to take his first lead of the afternoon. Turner couldn't match it, leaving his second shot on the par-4, 18th hole about 18 feet below the hole, missing the putt and giving Burda the opportunity for the win.
"Even if you're down you just have to play one shot at a time, I know it's a cliche," said Burda. "I felt good, I felt comfortable, never felt anxious."
Burda played the quarterfinal round in 1-over par, besting Turner by just one stroke and winning by just 1 up. In the morning, Round of 16 match, Burda beat out four-time SCGA Amateur Champion Craig Steinberg 3 and 2. The La Quinta resident has won the California Senior Amateur, SCGA Senior Amateur, NCGA Senior Amateur and NCGA Senior Match Play, needing just this title to complete the sweep and become the only man to win all five of the state's major senior amateur championships.
Burda will face Daniel Sivadge of El Cajon in the semifinals, which will tee off at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday. Sivadge cruised through his quarterfinal match, dominating Rick Oldach of Laguna Hills 7 and 6. Sivadge had defeated 2013 Dan Pouliot in the Round of 16 earlier, and defending champion James James Camaione 4 and 3 in the opening round, meaning he hasn't seen holes 16-18 at all this week.
On the other side of the bracket, Jeffrey Thomas of Costa Mesa will face Craig Calkins of Manhattan Beach. Thomas cruised through both of his matches Tuesday, winning 5 and 4 and 6 and 4, while Calkins had a close 2 and 1 win over Steve Bogan in the Round of 16 before dominating former U.S. Senior Amateur Champion Kemp Richardson in the quarters. Those two will open play Wednesday at 7:30 a.m PST.
View results for Southern California Senior Match Play Golf Championship