Paniccia/Stieler win NCGA Four-Ball
Paniccia, Stieler celebrate after their win
Paniccia, Stieler celebrate after their win

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (May 12, 2013) -- Danny Paniccia and Mike Stieler came away victorious on Sunday, winning the 47th Annual NCGA Four-Ball Championship with a 54-hole score of 200, 16-under par. The 36-hole leaders followed rounds of 68 and 65, with a 67 on Sunday to edge out Randy Haag and Jim Knoll at 201, 15-under par.

On Friday and Saturday it was Paniccia, who did most of the heavy lifting, accounting for all but two of the better-ball scores over the first 36 holes. However, on Sunday, it was Stieler who came through in a big way. Teeing off No. 1 at 9:00 a.m. Stieler got hot right out of the gate making birdies on Nos. 1, 2 and 4 to quickly expand their lead and give them the separation they would eventually need.

“I came out feeling really good and really confident,” said Stieler. “After two days of banging it around out here, I finally felt like I had a good feel and rhythm.”

Paniccia would then add birdies on the next two par-5s, Nos. 7 and 11, while Stieler would add another birdie on the final par-5 No. 14, getting them to six-under on the day. A bogey on the par-4 16th, their first and only team bogey over the entire 54-hole event would prove not to matter as Stieler knocked in a two-foot par putt on the 18th hole for a one-stroke victory.

“That was the only hole I was nervous on all day, was No. 18,” said Stieler, who knew they had a one-stroke lead with one to play.

The Riverbend GC employees’ 54-hole score of 200 marks a tie for fourth lowest score in tournament history, and the first time a team has reached that total since Taylor Travis and Ryan Sloane in 2008. Both players are thrilled to be in such elite company and to have won this event in the fashion that they did.

“That’s teamwork,” said Paniccia, referring to the rotating good play between one another. “That’s the only way you can win out here.”

Leapfrogging into second place, Haag and Knoll, the six-time NCGA Player of the Year and two-time NCGA Senior Player of the Year, fired a final round score of six-under par 66, Sunday. Beginning the day in a tie for fourth place at 135, nine-under par, the formidable duo had their second straight bogey-free day consisting of four birdies and an eagle. After making a pair of birdies on Nos. 3 and 6, the tandem would roll off seven straight pars until an eagle on the par-5 14th. Then to close out their round and put some pressure on the leaders, Haag and Knoll birdied the 17th and 18th.

In a tie for third place at 203, 13-under par were Jon Peterson and Eddie Davis, and John Sawin and Robert Grube.

Peterson and Davis had a mistake-free day as far as not making any bogeys, but only were able to capitalize on three holes, Nos. 4, 7 and 17, making birdies on each of them. Sawin and Grube, who began the day in a tie for second with Peterson and Davis were able to convert more birdies, but yielded strokes with bogeys on Nos. 6 and 8. Playing in the final group, Sawin and Grube scored their birdies on Nos. 1, 4, 7, 14 and 15.

Tied for fifth at 204, 11-under par were the teams of Mark Sear and Steve Sear, and Cameron Champ and Gary Dunn. The Sears carded a third straight round of 68, while Champ and Dunn got progressively worse each day, going 67-68-69.

The round of the day was by Matt Cohn and Neil Summers, who fired an eight-under par 64 to finish tied for seventh at 206, 10-under par with Sebastian Crampton and Michael Decker.

Defending champions Russell Humphrey and James Watt finished tied for 22nd at four-under par 212.


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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