SEASIDE, CA (April 5, 2017) -- Randy Haag and Chip Lutz left no doubt this time around.
A year after surviving a five-hole sudden death playoff to win, Haag and Lutz put an exclamation point on the 2017 NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship at par-72 Bayonet Golf Course in Seaside. The duo, who first met at the Coleman Invitational at Seminole GC around 15 years ago, fired their second straight 65 in Wednesday’s final round to roll to a six-shot victory over runner-ups Scott Anderson and Gary Vanier..
Haag and Lutz’ 54-hole total of 16-under 200 was just four off the championship record of 196, set by Mark Miller and Herb Jensen in 2006 on the original Poppy Hills. They’re the first repeat champions since Robert Berg and Rob Thompson in 2007-2008.
The duo, whose combined resumes include among many other things a record six NCGA Player of the Year crowns and a U.S. Senior Amateur and Senior British Open title, said it’s the competition that keeps them going.
“We love the game. We’re amateurs, and this is an important event for us,” said Haag, who notched his 18th career NCGA title (three Seniors, 15 Championship).
“I had butterflies in my stomach walking down the first fairway,” Lutz added. “That’s why we play the game.”
While there may have been hints of drama early, by the time it was over it was a cakewalk. A day after carding a 32 on the back-nine, Haag and Lutz went deeper with a closing nine-hole score of 30. The charge was fueled by an opening Lutz eagle on the par-5 10th and four birdies—two by Lutz and two by Haag. Their only blip on the radar screen was a bogey on the par-3 6th, which was playing at 227 yards.
Haag, an Olympic Club member, and Lutz, an AmateurGolf.com member, were so on that they’d both hit every green in regulation except for the 17th.
“We played great together from the tee to the green for three days,” said Lutz, who lives in Pennsylvania and in part plays in the event so he can come visit family in Sacramento. “It’s all good.”
Anderson and Vanier, who began the day four strokes behind the leaders, did their best to keep up, posting a mistake-free 67 that featured five birdies to finish at 206. But Haag and Lutz never took it off full throttle.
Third place went to the tandem of 2016 NCGA Senior Valley Amateur champ Mark Morgan Todd Palmaer at 210 following a 70.
SUPER SENIOR DIVISION
Chuck Richesin and Bob Thomason took advantage when second round leaders Sherman Haggerty and Michael Davis fell apart.
Richesin and Thomason shot a final round 2-under 70, while Haggerty and Davis had an 80, to come in at even-par 216 and defeat runner-ups Bruce Loman and Dave Sheff by three shots.
For Richesin, the winner of last year’s NCGA Super Senior Championship, it’s his second straight Super Senior crown. Thomason, meanwhile, got his first NCGA victory.
“We played really solid,” said Thomason, who coached men’s basketball at University of Pacific for 25 years. “We helped each other all the time.”
Richesin and Thomason, who are both members at Woodbridge CC and met through their wives, made their move with five birdies.
Loman and Sheff had a 71 to come in at 219. Third place went to Rich Gleghorn and David Hemrick at 220 following a 75.
View results for Northern California (NCGA) Senior Four-Ball Championship