BOULDER CITY, NV (July 12, 2009)--32 of the top players from Southern and Northern Nevada pulled into the majestic grounds of Cascata Golf Club on Friday morning in anticipation of finishing Sunday’s match as the 2009 State Match Play Champion.
These 32 players had earned the right to compete in this year’s Championship and were now entitled to pristine fairways and greens that rolled as smooth as a glass tabletop.
Two separate (morning & afternoon) matches were played on Friday and Saturday with many of the opponents fighting it out to the 17th or 18th holes before a winner could be determined. Three players persevered in extra holes, but two of those competitors were taken out in their next match. The third player’s grinding panned out as he advanced to the finals on Sunday morning.
Kevin Noto, the young gun with a compact and aggressive swing, was up against smooth swinging Dave Nelson, a veteran of Nevada golf and four time State Match Play Champion over the past 27 years.
The scent of freshly mown grass and the soothing sound of a stream, welcomed the two opponents to the first tee for a grueling match slated for 36 holes in what would be known as the “battle of the generations”.
The veteran, Dave Nelson, took an early lead, but was soon answered back by the young gun Noto, who brought the match back to all square.
An errant tee shot on #6 by Noto and a treacherous hole location once again put Nelson 1 up in the match.
The next few holes had the opponents trading wins until the 11th hole when Nelson stuck a wedge shot and dropped the putt for a birdie making him 2 up on Noto. The par three #12 also proved to be difficult for Noto as Nelson won it causing Noto to be 3 down.
A par for a win on #14 for Noto and his stellar tee shot, which led to a birdie and a win on #15, prove to be good enough for Noto to start chipping away at the mountain he put in front of himself and the Championship trophy.
Now at only 1 down, Noto won #16 & #17. His amazing stretch of 4 wins in a row turned the match to 1 up in his favor as he teed off on #18.
Nelson, never one to give up, flags his third shot on #18 putting the pressure on Noto. The opponents both make 5 and finish #18 with Noto 1 up.
The afternoon match began with scorching temperatures and not a breath of wind. Nelson took control on the first hole and squared up the match. The duo continued to trade off wins until Noto stiffed wedges on #5 & #6 making both birdies and taking command of the match at 2 up.
Nelson’s experience and patience paid off as Noto hit errant tee shots on #9 & #10 opening the door for Nelson to square up the match once again.
Not until #13 did the stance of the match change when Nelson’s chip shot was tracking towards the cup and just fell short of going in. Noto answered by draining his 30 footer for birdie giving him the privilege of being 1 up.
Noto’s astonishing shot into #14 left him with a tap in birdie and a win to go 2 up on Nelson.
The two opponents tied #15 & #16 where as; Noto became dormie, 2 up with two holes to go.
Pars by both opponents on #17 ended the match with Kevin Noto as the 2009 State Match Play Champion.
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