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amateurgolf.com Livermore Valley Final Results

LIVERMORE, CALIFORNIA (January 8, 2006) -- On his ride home from the course, odds are Bob Niger was thinking about his drive into the hazard on No. 18, or his two three-putts on hole Nos. 1 and 5. Never mind the six stroke margin of victory or the three straight birdies that were sandwiched between his front nine three putts. Niger, the 2005 NCGA Stroke Play Champion from El Dorado Hills, is a hard working perfectionist who sets goals for his game and puts in the hours to achieve them.

At the start of Sunday's final round of the amateurgolf.com Livermore Valley Championship, Niger found himself tied with high schooler Austin Hurt of Bainbridge Island, Washington after the two players shot 1-over-par 73's on Saturday over a rain-toughened Course at Wente Vineyards. The first round average score? Well over 80.

Niger's three straight early birdies against Hurt's three bogey start made him the clearcut leader of the final group, which was rounded out by Jerry Ledzinski of Carmel and Jon Dechambeau of Fresno -- neither of which could get anything going early. But Niger knew there was a lot of golf left.

"I knew I was in good shape," said Niger. "But I didn't get too caught up with the numbers. I just knew that if I kept playing well I would be in good shape."

Niger continued his excellent ball striking through the 9th, up the crooked cart path mountain drive known as "Lombard Street," and around the tricky stretch of early holes on the back nine until a lone bogey on the par-5 15th and the 8-stroke-lead double bogey at 18 (in other words, one that won't hurt a thing) caused his final round total to wind up at 73 instead of the 70 or 71 it might have been. You can't argue with a 6-stroke victory, especially in difficult conditions, and Niger was very pleased with the start to his season.

Runner-up was long baller Freddy Wolfe of Piedmont, who added a 74 to his first round of 78 for a two round total of 152. Erick Thorson of Westlake Village, Wolfe's teammate at Cal, tied Jon Dechambeau for third at 155.

In the Senior Division, Lou Alvarez played steady golf and stayed focused as one of his playing companions, Frank Abbott, had to disqualify himself after realizing he signed an incorrect scorecard on Saturday. Abbott, a decorated senior player who reached the finals of the USGA Senior Amateur two years ago, briefly had the apparent lead as Bob Schoenherr (the first round leader after a 73) got off to a birdie-triple bogey start.

Despite Schoenherr's shaky start on the back nine, where the leaders of the Senior Division started, he managed to shoot 4-over-par 40 and held a 3-stroke lead over Alvarez heading up the hill to the first tee, where Abbott decided to disqualify himself. A drive into the vineyards on No. 1 cost Schoenherr a double-bogey, but he still had a one stroke lead as the players matched pars on Nos. 2 and 3.

Alvarez birdied the 4th to tie for the lead, but bogeyed the 5th, and Schoenherr's lead was 1 with 3 to play. Alvarez closed with three straight pars to finish with a back nine 36, a final round of 75, and 152 tournament total. Schoenherr made bogeys at the par-3 7th and par-5 8th but finished with a solid par on the uphill 9th to wind up tied with Marshall Raymer of Castlewood Country Club at 154.

The Net Division was 34 players strong, and spiced up by entries such as Tim Morrissey from Tacoma, Washington and Michael Retter from New Milford, Connecticut. Morrissey finished 10th, and Retter at 12th, but neither player could wipe the smile off their face as they thought of the weather at their respective home courses, which have been pelted by rain and snow respectively.

Tom Silva, who traveled to the event with a small contingency from Turlock who found out about amateurgolf.com through the Christmas Classic event, posted the only sub-70 round of the tournament to finish the tournament at 5-under-par 139 net. Thurman shot a gross 78 in Saturday's first round with a course index of 8, to tie for the first round lead, but slid to an 81 on Sunday as Silva, who also was playing off a course index of 8, shot 77. Silva's round included natural birdies on the par-4 2nd hole and the par-5 12th.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:

- Special thanks to tournament sponsors Bridgestone Golf and UST Golf Shaft. Mike Moxie of Bridgestone, and Jamie Pipes of UST teamed up to whip together some cool J33 Hybrids with UST iRod shafts just in time to give out as bonus prizes to the winners. Look for more of these special prizes at upcoming events, and chances to demo various models of clubs and shafts through reps from both companies and partners like Leith Anderson of Palo Alto's Golf Lab, who will unveil his 'tour van' at the Silicon Valley Amateur (which is, incidentally, our next event on January 21-22 if you haven't signed up).

- Thanks to everyone for playing, and especially for helping to shave 1/2 hour off the pace of play on Sunday. With Friday's overnight rains, thick rough, and many players seeing 'The Course' for the first time, Saturday's pace was the result of a 'perfect storm' of conditions, finding balls, keeping carts on the path, and more.

- The only woman in the field, Shannon Yocum of Pacific Palisades, shot a very respectable 162 in the championship division playing off the white tees. Yocum, who plays on the Cal Women's Golf Team, finished tied for 17th.

- The Course at Wente Vineyards Club Champ Brian Baer, who lives just two miles away, shot a pair of 79's to finish tied for 7th.

- Special thanks to Wente Vineyards' Tournament Coordinator Mickey Draughon and the entire staff for their hospitality and assistance in pulling this event off. This year's field, at 120 players, was our biggest ever.

- The Course at Wente Vineyards is Hosting the Nationwide Tour in late March and early April -- and Tournament Director Chris Conway stopped by on Sunday to talk to us about The Inaugural Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship. The event already has a full field of talented pros registered. There are opportunities to volunteer, sponsor, or just get tickets and see the event in person. Check out the website at: www.lvwcc.net

* * *

Final results from the amateurgolf.com Livermore Valey Championship, played at The Course at Wente Vineyards follow.

- Championship Division: Par 72, 6956 yards
- Senior Division: Par 72, 6263 yards
- Net Division: Par 72, 5722 yards

  CHAMPIONSHIP        
Pos Player Name, Hometown   R1 R2 Tot
1 Bob Niger, El Dorado Hills, CA   73 73 146
2 Freddy Wolfe, Piedmont, CA   78 74 152
T3 Erick Thorson, Westlake Village, CA   77 78 155
T3 Jon DeChambeau, Clovis, CA   75 80 155
T5 Austin Hurt, Bainbridge Island, WA   73 83 156
T5 Phillip Hall, Atherton, CA   78 78 156
T7 Andrew Biggadike, Palo Alto, CA   78 80 158
T7 Brian Baer, Livermore, CA   79 79 158
T7 Jerry Ledzinski, Carmel, CA   75 83 158
T7 Taylor Hobin, Antioch, CA   79 79 158
T11 Elliot Wainwright, Palo Alto, CA   79 80 159
T11 Harlan Karnofsky, Sacramento, CA   80 79 159
T11 Jake Yount, Danville, CA   80 79 159
T14 David Staszko, San Jose, CA   80 80 160
T14 J.R. Becko, Pleasanton, CA   80 80 160
16 Ross Vilinskas, Lodi, CA   82 79 161
T17 david hawkins, rancho santa margarita, CA   83 79 162
T17 Joe Johnson, Carlsbad, CA   81 81 162
T17 Kris Butkys, Thousand Oaks, CA   77 85 162
T17 Shannon Yocum, Palos Verdes Estates, CA   83 79 162
T21 David Leuterio, Sacramento, CA   81 82 163
T21 Jack Allen, Granite Bay, CA   79 84 163
T23 Hans Olson, Bainbridge Island, WA   81 83 164
T23 Patrick Pernice, Oakland, CA   82 82 164
T23 Wesley Leith, Davis, CA   82 82 164
T26 Andrew Bowdish, San Jose, CA   81 84 165
T26 Brian Robinson, Pleasanton, CA   76 89 165
T26 Jeff Stewart, San Ramon, CA   87 78 165
T26 Mat Miller, Pleasanton, CA   82 83 165
T30 Jason Melvin, Carmel, CA   86 80 166
T30 Kent Yamane, San Jose, CA   82 84 166
T32 Dean Pournaras, Livermore, CA   83 84 167
T32 Ryan de la Motte, Turlock, CA   80 87 167
34 Michael Tobin, Turlock, CA   81 87 168
35 Leigh Silver, Henderson, NV   84 85 169
36 Stan Morrison, San Francisco, CA   81 89 170
T37 christian larsen, Newport Beach, CA   88 83 171
T37 James Neill, Bainbridge Island, WA   87 84 171
T37 John Allison, Santa Maria, CA   80 91 171
40 Nick White, Sacramento, CA   92 80 172
T41 Jeff Lerner, Sunnyvale, CA   85 88 173
T41 Kalani Delima, long beach, CA   87 86 173
43 Sean Wickersham, Napa, CA   85 89 174
44 Tony LaMontagne, San Marcos, CA   91 84 175
45 Brian Zimmerman, Hanford, CA   87 91 178
46 Daniel Neben, Walnut Creek, CA   88 92 180
47 Thomas Duensing, Petaluma, CA   94 88 182
T48 Albert Conceicao, San Jose, CA   91 92 183
T48 Steve Lico, Menlo Park, CA   86 97 183
50 Gary Meek, San Jose, CA   97 87 184
T51 Eric Steichen, San Francisco, CA   91 94 185
T51 Glenn Matthews, Livermore, CA   87 98 185
T51 Ricky Ulloa, Bainbridge Island, WA   94 91 185
54 Kevin Hartsoch, Playa del Rey, CA   92 94 186
55 Harald Vaernes, Honolulu, HI   96 92 188
56 Curtis Abbey, Portola Valley, CA   99 93 192
T57 Craig King, Santa Barbara, CA   90 WD WD
T57 Erik Hallgrimson, Los Gatos, CA   NC WD WD
T57 John Gomez, San Jose, CA   93 WD WD
T57 Mike Murphy, OAKLAND, CA   86 WD WD
T57 Scott Gilgallon, San Francisco, CA   NC WD WD
           
  SENIOR DIVISION        
Pos Player Name, Hometown   R1 R2 Tot
1 Lou Alvarez, Auburn, CA   77 75 152
T2 Bob Schoenherr, San Jose, CA   73 81 154
T2 Marshall Raymer, Pleasanton, CA   79 75 154
T4 Bob Olds, Brentwood, CA   79 76 155
T4 Rob Thompson, Merced, CA   74 81 155
6 Shelton Washburn, Novato, CA   80 76 156
T7 Carl Selkirk, Chico, CA   80 77 157
T7 Joe Zanassi, Martinez, CA   80 77 157
9 Robert Rowland, Danville, CA   81 77 158
10 Ron Johnson, Walnut Creek, CA   82 77 159
11 Tom Lyons, Pleasanton, CA   80 80 160
T12 Earl Stewart, Fairfax, CA   82 80 162
T12 Tony Wilmer, San Mateo, CA   81 81 162
T14 David Hemrick, Aptos, CA   83 80 163
T14 Terry Ackerman, Piedmont, CA   79 84 163
T16 Jeff Early, Pleasanton, CA   80 85 165
T16 Kevin Gaughan, Danville, CA   84 81 165
T16 Nigel Peck, San Ramon, CA   89 76 165
19 Robert Alves, Sacramento, CA   84 82 166
20 Bill Foley, San Ramon, CA   87 83 170
21 Jim McKnight, Alamo, CA   87 85 172
22 Larry Vaughn, Livermore, CA   85 90 175
T23 Bruce Olin, Sacramento, CA   83 NC NC
T23 Frank Abbott, Napa, CA   75 DQ DQ
T23 Greg Saiki, Sanger, CA   82 WD WD
           
  NET DIVISION        
Pos Player Name, Hometown   R1 R2 Tot
1 Tom Silva, Turlock, CA   70 69 139
2 Jim Thurman, Clayton, CA   70 73 143
3 Joe Morais, Turlock, CA   71 73 144
4 Philip Hacker, Martinez, CA   74 72 146
T5 Rick Pittenger, San Jose, CA   74 72 146
T5 Daniel Kuper, Sunnyvale, CA   75 75 150
7 Vincent Steele, Concord, CA   78 72 150
T8 Charles Balisha, Turlock, CA   77 74 151
T8 Morrie Birnbaum, Concord, CA   76 75 151
10 Tim Morrisey, University Place, WA   75 79 154
11 Todd Knapp, Salinas, CA   78 77 155
T12 Michael Retter, New Milford, CT   75 81 156
T12 Al Richardson, Santa Clara, CA   84 73 157
T12 Don Jordan, Modesto, CA   84 73 157
15 Mike Sly, Los Altos, CA   78 79 157
16 Jeff Kier, San Jose, CA   83 76 159
17 Kevin Smith, Richmond, CA   82 77 159
T18 Scott Schaller, Emerald Hills, CA   80 79 159
T18 Jeff traweek, Auburn, CA   82 78 160
T18 Korsen Yu, Sunnyvale, CA   82 78 160
T21 Bob Fagan, Pleasanton, CA   83 78 161
T21 James Grensted, Belmont, CA   81 81 162
23 Charles Mazzola, Oakland, CA   75 87 162
24 Robert Contreras, Sacramento, CA   78 84 162
25 Steve Herndon, Modesto, CA   89 74 163
26 I. Joe Ceniceros, La Mirada, CA   83 80 163
27 Andrew Brooks, San francisco, CA   92 72 164
28 Simon Tao, San Francisco, CA   81 83 164
29 Axel Gomez, Turlock, CA   83 83 166
30 Shane Davis, Livermore, CA   84 82 166
T31 Larry Hanback, San Francisco, CA   83 86 169
T31 Del Hocker, San Jose, CA   90 82 172
T33 Lucas Heller, Piedmont, CA   NC WD WD
T33 Mark Schaller, Rocklin, CA   77 DQ DQ
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