VENTURA, Calif. (June 26, 2011) -- Former Westlake High standout Marshall Colby and ex-Oak Park golfer Tyler Schwanz have both been trying to work through some issues with their golf games. But based on their play in Sunday's final round of the Ventura City Golf Championship, both players appear to be moving in the right direction.
Colby fired a 4-under 68, including a key birdie on the final hole, getting him to 6-under 136 for the two-day event and earning the victory. He sat back over the final 20 minutes of the tournament and waited to see if his score would hold up. It did when Schwanz missed his own birdie putt on No. 18 that would have tied him with Colby at 6 under. Instead Schwanz settled for second place with a score of 5-under 137. Ventura College standout Brett Silvernail, who played at Buena High, finished third with a 36-hole score of 139.
Dennis Martin and Jeremy Sanders tied for fourth at 140. Justin Edwards and Brennan Amirkhizi were next at 141, followed by Jacob Gralitzer and Robin Kang at 142.
The win was a little bit of payback for Colby, who finished second at the same event last year when Aaron West made an eagle on the final hole to rally from behind to beat him. This time around it was Colby who rallied to earn the victory. He was five shots behind former Westlake teammate Edwards when the day began, but Colby's steady play throughout the final round, and a little help from Edwards who shot 78, helped him overcome the deficit and claim the win.
"I've been going through some swing changes and also some changes with my putting stroke," Colby said. "But I hit the ball really solid both days and gave myself a lot of chances. I had a lot of putts lip out, but that's golf.
"I made a lot of two-putt pars and that allowed me to play pretty consistently over the two rounds. Today, I made an eagle on the second hole and that kind of got my round started, and from there I just played steady golf."
Colby has spent the last two years at the University of Oregon, where he was part of the Ducks golf program. But this spring Colby decided he was tired of the cold, wet weather in Eugene, so he decided to transfer.
He has found a new home at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he can play in the sunshine of Southern California.
"I started looking around late in the season, even after the spring signing period, but I was lucky to find a spot at Santa Barbara," Colby said. "I am really excited about coming back here to play. This was only about my third tournament in the last year, so I'm still a bit rusty. So I am really happy to win."
While he was a little disappointed he wasn't able to at least make a birdie on the final hole to force a playoff, Schwanz was still very pleased with his performance and his second-place finish.
Schwanz played last season at College of the Canyons, but late in the season, he was forced to deal with some medical issues, and ultimately had to have a minor heart procedure. Now healthy, Schwanz has been working to get his game into shape.
"Even though I didn't win, I will take a lot of positives from this." Schwanz said. "I'm excited about playing well and hopefully continuing to see my game get better.
"I hit the ball good today. I had a few three putts that hurt me. I was never comfortable with my putting stroke all day, but early in the round I was hitting the ball well enough that it did not hurt me."
Silvernail was in the mix until making two bogeys late. While he finished third and played well, the competitive ex-Bulldog was still disappointed.
"You play in these events to win," Silvernail said. "It's nice to play well and hit good shots, but the goal is to win."
In the A flight, Brian Tiffany, a senior Ventura Senior Deputy Sheriff, finished with a 1-under 141 to beat Delbert Terrell and Scott Carlin by three strokes.
"It was tough but I hung on," Tiffany said. "Normally my short game is a strength but I struggled with that a bit today. I had two chip-ins the first day that really helped me. Today I bogeyed the first four holes, but then I settled down and played pretty solid. I made a big par save on No. 16 that really helped."
Robert Cavazos of Bakersfield won a card-off with Greg Spies to win the B flight at 131. "The course played difficult, but luckily my putter was on fire," Cavazos said. "I had a lot of one putts that really helped. I made a 15-foot par putt on 16 that was huge."
In the C flight, Elwood Webster finished first at 132, four shots ahead of Scotty Wells.