So Cal Super Senior: Matsumoto wins

SOLVANG, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2008) — Mas Matsumoto of Monterey Park rolled in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the 9th SCGASuper Senior Amateur Championship at The River Course at The Alisal.

The 69-year-old Matsumoto, who bettered his age by a shot yesterday with a 4-under-par 68, posted a 74 today in the tournament for golfers ages 65 and older. His total of 142 was a shot better than Peter Daley of Newport Beach, who shot 72-71 — 143.

Marty Temple of Anaheim and 1998 SCGA Senior Amateur champion Frank Merhar of La Jolla tied for third at 145, two shots ahead of Ken Kirkpatrick of Whittier, whose 2-under-par 70 was the best gross round today.

Matsumoto also finished with the best score in the net division, an 8-under-par 134, but Terry Fail of Santa Maria took home the champion’s plate with after shooting net 68-68 — 136. Bob Tyler of Helendale finished third at 138, a shot ahead of Daley and Kirkpatrick. Golfers could win plates in only one division and gross took precedence.

Although Matsumoto began the day with a three-shot lead, he bogeyed two of his first seven holes, while Merhar and Daley each rallied to share the lead at that point. Matsumoto played the next eight holes in 1 under par and appeared to be in command, before bogeying the 16th and 17th holes to see his lead cut to one shot.

“I choked a little on those holes,” admitted Matsumoto afterwards.

On the 354-yard 18th hole, which was playing downwind, Matsumoto drove in the fairway but left his 103-yard sand-wedge shot 30 feet from the hole before draining the putt.

“We [he and Merhar] hung in there until 18,” said Matsumoto, a member at California Country Club. “And I made a big putt to win.”

Daley played steady golf in the warm, windy conditions, making two birdies and a bogey on the front nine and a birdie and a bogey on the backside.

Merhar had a birdie and eight pars on the front side but a double-bogey 6 on the 411-yard 10th hole and his final-hole bogey proved too much to overcome. Temple made a strong back-nine charge with three birdies against a lone bogey but could not overcome a 2-over-par 38 on the front side.

This was the first year that the event was played as a stand-alone championship; in the first eight years, it was a division of the SCGA Senior Amateur.

--Story by Robert D. Thomas, SCGA


This championship is open to SCGA members who are age 65 and above and have a USGA handicap index of 10.4 or below. The championship is a 36- hole individual stroke play event, there is no qualifying as all entries are on a first come, first serve basis. For eight years this championship was incorporated into the SCGA Senior Amateur as a separate division. Starting in 2008 the Super Senior Division was removed from the Senior Amateur Championship into its own 36-hole championship.

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