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Final Four is Set at NCGA Senior Match Play
16 Aug 2017
by Yianni Gogonas of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Northern California Senior Match Play Championship, Spyglass Hill Golf Course

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Jim Knoll (left) and Randy Haag (photos courtesy of NCGA)
Jim Knoll (left) and Randy Haag (photos courtesy of NCGA)

PEBBLE BEACH, CA (August 16, 2017) — With the Round-of-16 and the Quarterfinal Round both on the docket for Wednesday, play ramped up.

In the morning, a pair of Round-of-16 matches went to extra holes, with Ray Kong of Bayonet / Blackhorse GC forcing a playoff on No. 18 and winning it outright on the 21st hole over Thomas Ansbro of E-Club South Bay, and Ray Camaione also of Bayonet / Blackhorse GC came all the way back after being 4 down through nine to win it in 19 holes against Jeff Britton of Tehama GC.

In the afternoon Quarterfinal matches, David Games of E-Club Monterey Bay became the last remaining qualifier after defeating Ray Kong 8 & 7.Olympic Club’s Randy Haag needed an extra hole to complete his comeback against James Camaione. He will face Casey Boyns of Nicklaus Club – Monterey, who won 6 & 5 over Jeff Hoffman of Granite Bay GC.

The final four is rounded out by Jim Knoll of Rooster Run GC who defeated Kimble Cater of Corral de Tierra CC. Semifinal matches begin Thursday at 7:44 a.m.

Thanks to the NCGA for this recap

Round-of-32

2015 NCGA Match Play Champion Jim Knoll proved his top-seeding was no fluke on Tuesday, defeating Greg Olson in a blowout by a score of 7&6. Knoll, who was the first to leave the tee at 7:30 this morning at Poppy Hills Golf Course, made a tone-setting par to win the first hole as his opponent stumbled out with a double-bogey. Olson seemed to get back on his feet with a par on 2, but Knoll is a former NCGA player of the year and was simply playing too well to be bested. The 65-year-old Knoll did his damage on the par fives, going a total of four under par on the three they faced before the match ended early on number 12.

Other lopsided victories included defending champion and six-time AmateurGolf.com player of the year Randy Haag defeating Mike Benham 7&5, and a 6&5 win for Kenneth Noonan over Ron Collet.

The morning did provide a few nail-biters as well. Jeff Britton squeaked out a win on the twenty-first hole of his match with Clayton Davis, and he didn’t lead in the match once until that point. Britton followed up a winning par on the par-3 15th with a birdie 3 to tie the match on 16. The pair would halve holes until reaching their third playoff hole, where Britton would make a 5 to win the match.

Despite leading for the first fourteen holes of his match, Kevin Kobalter was forced into extra holes by his opponent Rick Dollarhide. Dollarhide in fact could have won the match on No. 18 with a halved hole, but instead made bogey 6 giving Kobalter one more chance to get a hold of the match that he controlled for so long earlier. Another 6 for Dollarhide on the 19th would put an end to his comeback.

The field will move on Wednesday to Spyglass Hill Golf Club for the remainder of the championship. Round-of-16 tee-times begin at 9:40 AM with the finals and semifinals to be played on Thursday.



ABOUT THE NCGA Senior Match Play

The NCGA Senior Match Play Championship was historically an invite-only event in which the top 16 players on the NCGA Senior points list were invited to participate in the Senior Match Play Championship, held concurrently with the NCGA Amateur Match Play at Spyglass Hill, over a three- day period. However, beginning in 2012 the event was modified to a 32-player match play field, still allotting 16 spots to the top 16 of the NCGA Senior points list, while allowing the other half of the field to qualify.

Senior players must have a handicap index of 7.4 or less. There is no handicap limit for super seniors.

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