SCGA Sr. Four-Ball: Tolly, Martin win by a stroke

BEAUMONT, Calif. (Nov. 28, 2007)--"Crazy," "challenging" and "brutal" were among the frequent descriptions of today's final round in the SCGA Four-Ball Championship as cold, fierce winds raked the PGA of Southern California Golf Club. In the end, however, Rich Tolly of Laguna Niguel and Boyd Martin of Corona del Mar had the last word: champions.

Despite cool temperatures and winds that gusted up to 50 mph, the 57-year-old Tolly, who won the SCGA Senior Amateur title last month, and his 56-year-old partner fired a 1-over-par 73 today and finished the 36-hole event at 1-under-par 143.

That was good for a one-shot margin over Steve Bogan of Placentia and Don Yavorsky of Capistrano Beach, who slipped from an opening round 69 to a 75 today to finish at even-par 144. Former two-time USGA Senior Amateur champion Kemp Richardson of Laguna Niguel and Rich Logan of Rancho Santa Fe finished third at 145, while Jim Lovell of Yorba Linda and Allen Belknap of Alta Loma were another shot back in fourth place.

Bob Tyler and Ray Salberg of Helendale won the net division by three shots over Sherrill Hampton of Beaumont and Patrick Blair of Helendale with a two-round net total of 134 (62-72).

Martin and Tolly had two birdies and just three bogies on a day when everyone's first comments were about the weather, particularly the strong winds.

"This was the most difficult round of golf I've every played," said Tolly after their round. "I can't every remember grinding so hard for 18 holes."

Martin concurred.

"Our strategy," he said with a chuckle, "was to hit it as low to the ground as possible while still getting it in the air somewhat. We cherished every par we made today."

Their ultimate margin came when Tolly made a birdie 4 on the 516-yard 16th hole; ironically, it was the only birdie of the day for Tolly as he and Martin each shot 77 on their individual balls.

This was the first tournament in which Martin and Tolly have played together and it was Martin's first SCGA championship.

"I don't know why we've never paired up before," said Martin. "We both play the same sort of strategic game and think the same way on the golf course."

They needed all of their skill today. "The winds were gusty and kept changing direction," said Martin, "so even short putts were treacherous."

Tolly added: "I had a 15-inch putt that the wind blew three inches offline. That was the sort of day it was for everyone."

Not so fortunate were the co-first-round leaders. Kerry Booth of El Cajon and Warren Shafer of San Diego went from 67 to 81 today, while David Bianch and Fred Artim of Palmdale skidded to an 87 today

ABOUT THE SCGA Senior Four-Ball

This event is open to two-person teams (partners are not required to be from the same club) with each member having a handicap index of 7.4 and below. All players must be the age of 55 and above. The championship is a 36-hole event, there is no qualifying as all entries are on a first come, first served basis.

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