GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (Sept. 10, 2012) -- The CGA Senior Stroke Play Championship, which seldom features a tight finish, got one and then some on Friday.
The event not only produced its first sudden-death playoff in the new millennium, but it was of the three-man variety. David Delich of the Broadmoor Golf Club made a 4-foot birdie on the third extra hole at Haymaker Golf Course in Steamboat Springs to overcome Tom Musselman of Cornerstone Club for the title.
Harry Johnson of Eagle Ranch Golf Course was also in the playoff, but dropped out with a bogey on the first extra hole. Johnson likewise placed second in last year's CGA Mid-Amateur Championship.
Since 2000, only three previous Senior Stroke Plays have been decided by fewer than three strokes -- and only one by a single shot. The average margin of victory in the event from 2000 to 2011 was 4.5 strokes.
But Friday was anything but a runaway, with the top three players finishing at 2-over-par 218.
Both Delich and Musselman parred each of the first two playoff holes before Delich nestled a wedge shot from 125 yards close to the pin on No. 3. After Musselman missed a 30-foot birdie attempt, Delich drained his short birdie putt for the victory.
For Delich, it was his second straight week in contention at a major Colorado senior tournament. Last Friday, the 55-year-old finished second in the HealthOne Colorado Senior Open, the highest showing by an amateur in that event since 1999.
Friday's victory marked the fourth CGA championship for Delich, who's also captured two CGA Senior Match Play titles and the 1997 CGA Mid-Amateur, in addition to the 2012 Southern California Senior Amateur.
"This feels pretty good," Delich said while driving home Friday. "It's been a long time since I won a stroke-play event in Colorado -- since the (1997) Mid-Am. It's a different style of golf. That felt really good. The Southern Cal (win) was also stroke play, though, so I knew I had it in me."
Delichmissed an 8-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole that could have won it in regulation, but both he and Musselman birdied the par-5 to earn a spot in the playoff. In fact, after making a double bogey on No. 12, Delich played his final six holes in 3 under par to post a 71. For Musselman, it was his third consecutive day of carding a birdie on No. 18, this time leaving him with a 73. Johnson shot the same score after playing his final 12 holes of regulation in 2 under par.
Delich, a former Colorado College hockey standout, made five birdies in his final 10 holes of regulation, then the tournament winner in the playoff. That gives him state senior titles in both California and Colorado in the last two-plus months, in addition to low-amateur honors in last week's Colorado Senior Open.
"This was a long, hard-fought week, especially on heels on last week." said Delich, who works in commercial real estate. "But I can't complain about the summer I've had."
Robin Bradbury of the Heritage at Westmoor almost made it into the playoff at Haymaker as he tied the low round of the tournament with a bogey-free 4-under-par 68. That left him at 219, one shot behind Delich, Johnson and Musselman.
The next-best finisher was Kelly Crone of Highlands Ranch Golf Club, who posted a 223 total after a final-round 77.
Second-round leader Guy Mertz of The Fox Hill Club, who went bogey-free on Thursday, struggled on Friday, shooting an 81 and dropping back to share sixth place at 224.
View results for Colorado Senior Amateur Championship