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NCGA Valley Am: Hardy, Abbott Earn Titles in Fresno

FRESNO, CA (Sept 27, 2005) -- Scott Hardy finished his tournament season just like it started, with a victory.

The 29-year-old head coach at St. Mary's College claimed the NCGA Valley Amateur Championship with a 4-under-par, two-round score of 140 (71-69) at San Joaquin Country Club. The par 72, 6,776-yard course yielded only two 36-hole, under-par scores. Hardy started 2005 with a win (with partner Rich Reinsberg) at the NCGA Four Ball in May. After taking some time off in the summer due to a shoulder injury, the 2004 NCGA Stroke Play champion finished with quite a hot streak.

Over the weekend, Hardy blew away the field at the Antioch City Championship, shooting an incredible 13-under-par (67-64) to win by seven strokes at Lone Tree Golf Club. Then on Monday and Tuesday, the Scratch Players member cranked out two more under par rounds (71-69) at San Joaquin. "I knew coming in I was playing pretty well," the champion said in an obvious understatement, "and to play so well four days straight feels great."

The two victories earned Hardy 600 NCGA points (500 for the Valley and 100 for the Antioch City) propelling him up the standings and earning him an exemption into the 2006 State Amateur field, his goal coming into the two tournaments.

Three strokes back was runner-up John Bettencourt (72-71), playing in just his fourth amateur event after regaining his amateur status August 1st. Bettencourt played as a touring professional for five years, competing in Nationwide Tour tournaments among other events. Third place went to Mike Stieler of Riverbend at even-par 144 (73-71).

The senior division was claimed by a player whose playing record was complete save for one thing, an NCGA title. Silverado's Frank Abbott possessed numerous club championships as well as the distinction of playing in four USGA national championships (Amateur, Mid-Amateur, Senior Amateur, and Senior Open) in 2004 due to a runner-up finish in the 2003 U.S. Senior Amateur. But the Valley Amateur title completed his resume. "It's great to be on an NCGA trophy" the champion said.

Abbott's even par score reflected one outstanding round, a 4-under-par 68 in the first round that left him tied for the lead, and one "ugly 74," where the computer consultant, "missed some putts." At age 62, Abbot has built his schedule more around national events, planning mini vacations along with golf tournaments. This schedule has not allowed him more time for local tournaments because of his work.

After a one-hole playoff, first round co-leader Ronald Johnson of Diablo CC claimed second place over Jim Welsh of Spring Valley. Both Johnson and Welsh finished two strokes back of the champion.

Championship
140 -- Scott Hardy, Scratch Players GC; 71-69
143 -- Jon Bettencourt, Sunnyside CC; 72-71
144 -- Mike Stieler, Riverbend GC; 73-71
146 -- David Capel, Stevinson Ranch GC; 74-72
146 -- Terry Foreman, Antioch GC; 71-75
147 -- David Smith, Fort Washington G&CC; 75-72
147 -- Casey Boyns, Monterey Bay GC; 71-76
148 -- Mark Gardner, Scratch Players GC; 71-77
149 -- Jim Wilson, Butte Creek CC; 78-71
149 -- Scott Terry, Summitpointe CC; 73-76
150 -- George McKean, Riverbend GC; 76-74
150 -- A.J. Shiffert, Valley Oaks GC; 70-80
151 -- Jud Spencer, Silver Creek Valley CC; 74-77
152 -- Brad Bulcock, Gleneagles Intl GC; 76-76
152 -- Jon Dechambeau, Riverbend GC; 75-77
152 -- Brady Myers, Colusa G&CC; 73-79
153 -- Sean McNamara, Los Altos G&CC; 74-79
153 -- Rob Adolph, San Joaquin CC; 73-80
154 -- Jon Kosier, Empire Ranch GC; 77-77
154 -- Brandon Harkins, Orinda CC; 75-79
154 -- John Balfanz, Scratch Players GC; 73-81
155 -- Kevin Starr, Tulare GC; 79-76
155 -- Ryan Collins, C and C GC; 72-83
156 -- Sean Demeter, Walnut Creek GC; 76-80
156 -- Will Johnson, North Ridge CC; 85-71
157 -- Brandon Lamonica, San Joaquin CC; 79-78
157 -- Matt Oehlschlaeger, Sunnyside CC; 77-80
158 -- Martin Renaud, The Ranch at Silver Creek; 74-84
159 -- Andy Nevin, Roddy Ranch GC; 79-80
159 -- Jeremy Harris, Serrano CC; 76-83
160 -- Matt Cripe, Lockeford Springs GC; 78-82
160 -- John Driver, Palo Alto GC; 77-83
160 -- John Corrigan, Wildhawk Players Assoc; 80-80
160 -- Matt Fagundes, Fort Washington G&CC; 79-81
160 -- Keith Postler, Copper River CC; 80-80
160 -- Mark Casey, Roddy Ranch GC; 83-77
161 -- Ken Sisler, Sierra View CC; 80-81--161
164 -- Jeff Coffey, Creekside GC; 80-84--164
164 -- Stefan Von Seeger, Rancho Murieta CC; 83-81
165 -- Steve Donnelly, Salinas G&CC; 80-85--165
165 -- Brent Washer, Brookside GC; 82-83--165
165 -- Rick Shumate, Blackhawk CC; 81-84--165
166 -- Travis Falany, Sierra Meadows Ranch GC; 85-81
169 -- Mark Swenson, Pacific Grove GC; 80-89
172 -- Charles Richardson, Riverside of Fresno GC; 87-85
172 -- Scott Morris, Lake Chabot GC; 88-84

Senior

142 -- Frank Abbott, Silverado CC; 68-74
144 -- Ronald Johnson, Diablo CC; 68-76
144 -- Jim Welsh, Spring Valley GC; 71-73
147 -- Dennis Younglove, El Macero CC; 75-72
147 -- Rob Thompson, Merced G&CC; 70-77
148 -- Bob Rowland, Castlewood CC; 73-75
148 -- Lou Alvarez, Black Oak GC; 71-77
149 -- Herb Jensen, Del Paso CC; 74-75
149 -- Merton Goode, Lake Merced GC; 74-75
150 -- Terry Ackerman, Oakhurst CC; 73-77
150 -- Terry Coffee, Winchester CC; 73-77
150 -- Jim White, Bayonet/Black Horse GC; 70-80
151 -- Robert Olds, Brentwood GC; 76-75
151 -- Dave Parsons, Club Shakespeare Napa Vly; 71-80
151 -- Thomas Lyons, Castlewood CC; 72-79
153 -- Bruce Olin, Teal Bend GC; 77-76

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