Northern California 4-ball: Sloane, Travis win by 4

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (May 11, 2008)--Four-ball partnerships generally take several events or even years to develop into winning teams.

But NCGA Four-Ball champions Ryan Sloane and Taylor Travis dispelled that theory, winning the 41st playing of the tournament by four shots at Spyglass Hill in their first championship together.

Sloane, of the Fifth Major GC, and Travis, of Castlewood, followed a time-tested map perfected by Tiger Woods in winning tournaments – seize the lead with aggressive play in the early rounds then hold on in the final round with conservative play and make your competitors chase you. The duo turned in stellar rounds of 65 (the low round of the championship) and 66 in building a four-stroke lead going into the final round, and closed the door on any close competition on the back nine when Travis hit both par 5s (nos. 11 and 14) in two shots and converted for birdie each time.

“We feed off each other really well,” said Sloane, the 2007 Palo Alto City champion. “To win a four-ball you have to have that.” The champions met for the first time in November playing in the same group in the final round of the Palo Alto City – Travis defending his 2006 championship and Sloane on his way to winning. The partnership sprang from that event and debuted in qualifying for NCGA Four-Ball where the duo won medalist honors at Coyote Creek.

At age 17, Travis has come close several times in NCGA events including last year’s Four-Ball and Junior, but the UCLA-bound senior at American High in Fremont has a preternatural calmness on the course that belies his age. “We just go out and play our normal game. We don’t want to make any bogeys,” he said. Indeed, the champions produced only one bogey over the course of the 54-hole event – on #8 Sunday that shrank their lead to two, the slimmest margin they would face.

“We have similar games. Taylor is such a terrific player that it gives me confidence in my game,” Sloane said regarding the poise displayed as the twosome played their final nine in 32 shots, putting the tournament title out of reach.

Brett Viboch of Moraga and Brandon Harkins of Orinda made a run in the final round, turning in the low score of the day at 66, but were unable to get any closer than four strokes. Current NCGA Player of the Year Casey Boyns and partner Bill Moore of Monterey Bay GC took third, seven shots off the lead.

Full results follow from the 6,862-yard, par-72 Spyglass Hill:

Name/Club Score
Taylor Travis, Castlewood CC / Ryan Sloane, Fifth Major 65-66-69—200
Brett Viboch, Moraga CC / Brandon Harkins, Orinda CC 69-69-66—204
William Moore, Monterey Bay GC / Casey Boyns, Monterey Bay GC 70-66-71—207
Scott Hardy, amateurgolf.com / Rick Reinsberg, Moraga CC 70-70-68—208
Dean Menante, Plumas Pines GR / Steve Sear, Scratch Players GC 68-68-72—208
Eddie Davis, Green Valley CC / Jon Peterson, The Olympic Club 70-70-69—209
Randy Haag, The Olympic Club / Darryl Donovan, CordeValle GC 68-69-72—209
Jon Bettencourt, Sunnyside CC / Matt Fagundes, Fort Washington GCC 67-68-74—209
Jeremy Harris, Serrano CC / David Leuterio, El Macero CC 72-68-70—210
Scott Watson, Green Tree GC / Christopher Johnson, Ancil Hoffman GC 71-70-70—211
Tim Breland, Stockton GCC / John Ashlock, Forest Lake GC 72-68-71—211
Steve Woods, Coyote Creek GC / Jeff Gilchrist, Sunset Whitney CC 71-67-73—211
John Enright, The Olympic Club / Gary Vanier, The Olympic Club 71-71-70—212
Michael Stieler, Riverbend GC / Jeffrey Hollis, Brighton Crest CC 70-72-70—212
Clifford Smith, Turlock GCC / Jamie Looper, Oakdale GCC 73-69-70—212
Mark Miller, Roddy Ranch GC / Michael Vera, Roddy Ranch GC 67-72-73—212
Kirk Thornhill, Green Valley CC / Jimmy Cacho, Green Valley CC 69-72-72—213
Mark Mance, The Olympic Club / Paul Balatti, Mayacama GC 69-71-73—213
John Mack, Scratch Players GC / Gary Havro, Scratch Players GC 69-71-73—213
Brian Ruiz, De Laveaga GC / Trent Tessler, Burlingame GC 72-70-72—214
Dennis Elgin, Rancho Murieta CC / Don Thames, Rancho Murieta CC 71-70-73—214
Grant Doverspike, Riverbend GC / Brian Hogan, NCGA Association Member 72-68-74—214
Todd Barsotti, San Joaquin CC / Jeff Wilson, Green Valley CC 74-66-74—214
Ian Dahl, University of California GC / Jeff Hamm, Blackhawk CC 71-71-73—215
Joseph Woo, San Geronimo GC / Larry Salk, San Geronimo GC 72-72-71—215
Kevin Wolf, Woodbridge GCC / James Watt, Lockeford Springs GC 73-72-70—215
Phillip Huff, The Olympic Club / Rob Martin, Rancho Murieta CC 72-68-76—216
Ricky Stockton, Salinas Fairways GC / Anthony Stockton, Salinas Fairways GC 72-72-72—216
Clayton Davis, Atascadero GC / Jeremy Gearhart, Links at Vista Del Hombre 73-72-71—216
Nick Webb, Turlock GCC / Andrew Moren, Stevinson Ranch GC 70-70-77—217
Tory Sherman, San Joaquin CC / Michael Facciani, Fort Washington GCC 74-71-72—217
Steven Chung, Morgan Creek GCC / Jasper Gill, Wildhawk GC 69-77-73—219
Kevin Kobalter, Meadow Club / Jonathan Carlson, Adams Springs GC 75-69-76—220
David Baskins, El Macero CC / Lane Nonnenberg, Stanford University GC 75-70-75—220
Mark Hill, Diablo Grande GC / George Grauer, Callippe Preserve GC 76-70-74—220
Donn Berdahl, Reserve GC at Spanos Park / David Capel, Stevinson Ranch GC 77-69-75—221
Brent Pottenger, North Ridge CC / Josh Twist, Rancho Murieta CC 73-73-75—221
Coleman Sanders, Spring Creek GCC / Jared Rankins, Spring Creek GCC 72-74-76—222
David Ujihara, Atascadero GC / Gary Wing, Atascadero GC 73-72-79—224
Michael Wiechers, Granite Bay GC / Erik Pilegaard, Granite Bay GC 72-74-78—224
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