Humphrey and Watt win NCGA Four-Ball in sudden death

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif (May 13, 2012)  – Just as they did two years ago Russell Humphrey and James Watt found themselves in a sudden death playoff at the end of 54 holes of play, but this time the outcome worked in their favor. “I tell you one thing, winning a two-hole playoff is a lot better of a feeling than losing a two-hole playoff,” said Humphrey. “When we found out we were going to a playoff, Russ said to me ‘well we have done this before’ and that’s a huge advantage,” said Watt.

The new four-ball champions had to square off against Casey Boyns and William Moore, the team they were paired with for the final 18 holes, as both teams came in with a 54-hole score of 11-under par 205. Humphrey and Watt felt in control of their own destiny after the 14th hole when they made birdie-4 to remain three shots up on Boyns and Moore, but that’s when their fellow competitors made their move. Boyns and Moore, who also were coming off of a birdie on 14, birdied 15 and then incredibly made an eagle-2 on the 17th hole. Moore, who hit his drive to just 55 yards away from the pin on the short par 4, knocked in his second shot to tie the lead going into the 18th. “That made the 18th really tough to play, it was the first time all day where I really felt any nerves,” said Watt, where both teams parred to force a playoff.

Runner-ups: William Moore and Casey Boyns. Champions: Russell Humphrey and James Watt

After swapping pars on the first playoff hole (No. 10), Boyns and Moore got themselves in trouble off the ninth tee (the second playoff hole) as neither player had reasonable shots at the green. Moore drove his tee shot in the bunker, while Boyns hit his drive right of the cart path, forcing both players to layup well short of the green. Humphrey and Watt both had shots into the green, but Humphrey hit his approach over, while Watt hit his approach on the green 30 feet left of the hole and pin high. After Boyns and Moore both missed their par putts from about 10 and 15 feet, respectively, Watt tapped in the two feet left he had for par for the win and let out a big cheer.

Third Place: J.R. Becko and Jason Higton

“We played like we wanted to win today,” said Watt. “We had a good game plan and we didn’t get ahead of ourselves.” The two were also very happy to lead throughout the three-day event as they became the first wire-to-wire winner since Taylor Travis and Ryan Sloane in 2008. On the other hand Boyns and Moore couldn’t have felt good about the outcome as now they have a second place, third place and two fourth place finishes in the last five years.

Finishing in third were 2011 champions J.R. Becko and Jason Higton, who shot a 4-under 68 today to get to 10-under 206, one stroke shy of a playoff. A bogey-6 on the 14th hole spoiled their chances of successfully defending their title, despite an eagle on the 11thand finishing off with three birdies in their last four holes for a back nine of 32. Randy Haag and Darryl Donovan finished alone in fourth also posting a 4-under 68 to finish at 9-under par 207. Teams of Eddie Davis and Jon Peterson and Scott Hardy and Rick Reinsberg round out the top five as the two both finished at 8-under par 208. Davis and Peterson had the round of the tournament with a 7-under 65 to vault into a tie for fifth.


The NCGA Four-Ball Championship began in 1967 at Spyglass Hill golf course and has been played the Robert Trent Jones layout ever since. The 54-hole competition consists of two-man teams in which both players play their own ball and the lowest score of the two is counted on each hole.

18 holes qualifying four-ball stroke play. The championship proper will be 54 holes of four-ball stroke play, 18 holes per day. After 36 holes, the field is cut to 40 teams and ties. Both partners must meet eligibility requirements, holding a handicap index of 5.4 or less.

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