NCGA Master Four-Ball: Hoffman/Humphrey win
SEASIDE, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2012) -- The best word to describe the winning team of the 2012 NCGA Master Division Four-Ball Championship is comfortable—at least that’s how Jeff Hoffman and Russell Humphrey would define their four-ball partnership. Having played with one another in about five four-ball tournaments prior to this event and no victories to show for, the duo knew that something good was bound to come their way. With a final round of seven-under 65, Hoffman and Humphrey shot up to the top of the leaderboard to win by a single stroke, putting together a 36-hole total of 134, 10-under par.

“This is just awesome. It’s an awesome way to cap off the year,” said Hoffman, explaining how it felt to come away victorious.

Hoffman and Humphrey, who came into the day three strokes off the lead, got off to a quick start by birdieing six of the first 11 holes. After birdieing the opening hole, the duo ran off four straight pars, but then really got on a tear by birdieing Nos. 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11. Hoffman and Humphrey got stalled though over the final stretch, making six straight pars before birdieing the par-5 18th.

“The Hoff really carried the load,” said Humphrey, crediting his partner for making all five birdies over that six-hole stretch. “That really changed the round because we were only one-under through five holes.”

Going into the day, Humphrey said they knew that they’d need to get to at least 10-under par to have a chance and sure enough, his thinking proved to be correct. Coming in right behind them at 135, nine-under par were Chris Cuttone and Ron Ewing, who started the day in a four-way tie for second. Cuttone and Ewing got off to a shaky start bogeying the opening two holes, but then got on a roll, making three birdies and an eagle to make the turn at 33. On the back nine the duo would make two birdies and a bogey to come in with a 35 and post a final round 68.

In a three-way tie for third were the teams of Casey Boyns and Bill Moore, Jeff Wilson and Todd Barsotti, and Kevin Kobalter and Frank Pieper. Boyns and Moore, who held the outright 18-hole lead continue to look snake bit, when it comes to capturing a four-ball title. After losing this championship in 2011 and losing the NCGA Four-Ball Championship in May (2012), both in playoffs, it looked as if the duo might finally break through. However, a final round 70, which included five birdies and three bogeys wasn’t enough to close the deal. Wilson and Barsotti, who were in the final group with Boyns and Moore, also took a step back following their first round 67, with a final round 69. Kobalter and Pieper showed consistency, matching their first round 68 with another on Tuesday.

ABOUT THE NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball

Two-person, better-ball scratch event for NCGA members 25 years of age and older. FORMAT: 36 holes of four-ball stroke play, 18 holes per day. ELIGIBILITY: Players must have reached their 25th birthday by the start of the tournament and have a numeric handicap index listed on their club’s Master Report of 5.4 or less on the date of registration. Partners need not be members of the same club.

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