WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA (June 2, 2009)--In what could be considered his biggest senior win, Chula Vista's Howie Knodt won a three-hole aggregate playoff between two other players tied at 4-over 148 to be crowned champion of the 32nd SCGA Senior Amateur Championship at North Ranch CC.
Knodt, 56, was the only player to break par in the 36-hole event for ages 55 and older, shooting a 1-under 71 in the final round (and a 77 in the first round) to put him in a three-way playoff with Simi Valley's Mitch Voges (the 1990 SCGA Mid-Amateur and 1991 U.S. Amateur champion; 73-75) and Coto de Caza's Monte Mahan (74-74).
"I was smarter today, I knew where I wanted to hit it and what to avoid," said Knodt, also the 2008 SCGA Senior Player of the Year. "Most of it is course knowledge at that point."
The playoff was perhaps Knodt's most exciting set of holes on the day, in which he went par-birdie-bogey for an even-par 11. On the par-4 16th, he hit a low punch-shot two feet above a bunker to land his ball on the upper tier of the green, while Voges three-putted for a bogey and Mahan parred. On the par-3 17th, Knodt hit a 12-foot downhill putt for birdie while Voges hit a tree to collect a 5 and Mahan again parred. On 18, Mahan hit his approach shot into a green-side lake to collect an eventual 6, while Voges collected par. Knodt hit a crisp shot to the water's edge, but managed a bogey-5 for a two-stroke win. Mahan shot 2-over-par 13 over the three holes, while Voges shot 14.
"The putt on 17 was key," Knodt said. "I had that same putt in an earlier round but from the other side, so it was just a matter of the putt read."
Knodt, who has a longtime family business in Chula Vista, had a string of golf accomplishments in 2008. He won the 2008 San Diego Senior City Championship, took third place at the CGA Senior Amateur, played in the U.S. Mid-Amateur, made the Round of 32 at the U.S. Senior Amateur, and tied for third place in December's SCGA Tournament of Club Champions.
James Myers of Oceanside, the 1984 SCGA Mid-Amateur champion, took sole possession of fourth place at 73-76--149; he collected six bogeys and two birdies in his final round. There was a five-way tie for fifth place at 6-over 150: two-time U.S. Senior Open champion Kemp Richardson of Laguna Niguel (77-73), 1999 CGA Senior Amateur champion Tom Eastlack of Prescott, Ariz. (76-74), 2008 SCGA Senior Match Play champion Boyd Martin of Corona del Mar (76-74), Patrick Rohan of San Diego (74-76), and first-round leader Jim Hartley of Carlsbad (72-78).
"I definitely have something to be happy about while sitting in traffic on the way home to Chula Vista tonight," Knodt said. "It feels good."
View results for Southern California Senior Amateur Golf Championship