NCGA Master Division: Jerry Ledzinski gets first NCGA Title
16 Jun 2015
by Northern California Golf Association

see also: , Jerry Ledzinski II Profile

NCGA Master Division winner Jerry Ledzinski (right)<br>with runner-up Terry Foreman (NCGA)
NCGA Master Division winner Jerry Ledzinski (right)
with runner-up Terry Foreman (NCGA)

When Jerry Ledzinski posed for his winning trophy shot, Terry Foreman gently pointed out that the Ernie Pieper Jr. Trophy was facing the wrong way.

“Hey, this is the first time I’ve won one of these!” defended Ledzinski.

Ledzinski looked the part when it counted, playing the back nine at Spyglass Hill in even par to make up a three-stroke deficit and catch Foreman, before winning the first playoff hole with a par to capture the NCGA Master Division (40 and older) Championship on Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve made the papers a few times, but not because I’m Randy Haag,” said the 42-year-old Ledzinski, who finished at even-par 143 after a 1- under 71 at Spyglass Hill. “I’ve led tournaments for the first or second round, but I haven’t been able to finish them off. But I’ve got one now. You have to have one before you get two.”

Ledzinski may not be confused with Haag, but he held off a valiant charge from the four-time Master Division champion and six-time NCGA Player of the Year. Haag shot a closing 2-under 70 at Spyglass Hill to finish third, two shots out of a playoff.

“The NCGA does such a great job running its championships,” Ledzinski said. “You get to play Spyglass? I mean, come on. It doesn’t get much better than that. I’m ecstatic to add my name to a trophy that has a lot of great names on it, and hopefully you’ll see my name going forward.”

Ledzinski opened with a 1-over 72 at Poppy Hills, and got back to even for the championship with a birdie on No. 8 at Spyglass. He finished with eight straight pars, winning the title with a wedge on No. 10 that was safely placed to the middle of the green, leading to a two-putt par for the win. Foreman tugged his drive on the first playoff hole left into the trees, where he was stymied, and had to punch back out to the fairway. His wedge shot finished 20 feet left of the hole, and the tying par putt slid just right.

“Both days my ball-striking was really good,” Ledzinkski said. “I hit 15 to 16 greens both days. I hung in there pretty good.”

Ledzinski actually had a chance to win in regulation after he stuffed his approach on No. 18 to within 5 feet. But the winning birdie putt lipped out, sending Ledzinski and Foreman to a playoff.

“I’m just trying to get a little more consistent,” Ledzinski said. “I did that this tournament, and next week is State Am, so hopefully I can parlay this into next week.”

Foreman had an outstanding first 30 holes, shooting an opening 3-under 68 at Poppy Hills that was four clear of the rest of the field. He followed that up with three birdies in this first 11 holes at Spyglass to reach 4 under for the championship. But bogeys on Nos. 13, 15, 16 and 18 dropped him back to even and into a tie with Ledzinski.

“I was 1-under par for most of the day,” said Foreman, who shot 68-75-143. “I’m disappointed. I hit it good, except for the last three holes. You just go on to the next one.”

Then Foreman paused with a smirk before asking, “What’s my next one? Oh yeah, the U.S. Senior Open.”

Foreman will join Haag, Jim Knoll and Jeff Wilson and local amateurs who qualified for the U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso CC in two weeks.

“I’ve been playing really good,” Foreman said. “I’ve been hitting it good. I’m starting to score. My confidence level is really good. My rounds that I’ve been playing away from tournaments have been really good. I’m very pleased, especially going into the Open.”

After making a quadruple-bogey 8 the very first hole of the tournament on his way to an opening 77 at Poppy Hills, four-time NCGA Player of the Year Casey Boyns fought all the way back to 2 over for the championship with five birdies in his first 13 holes at Spyglass Hill. Boyns had a chance to move to 1 over for the championship with a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 14, but missed, taking the wind out of his sails. Boyns finished 77-71-148 to tie for fifth with Gary Vanier and Jon Peterson. 2010 Master Division Champion Dan Sullivan finished fourth at 74-73- 147.

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