Grady Smith and Cole Nygren maintain NCGA Four-Ball Lead
Cole Nygren <br>(Cal Poly Athletics Photo)
Cole Nygren
(Cal Poly Athletics Photo)

PEBBLE BEACH, CA (May 13, 2017) - Cole Nygren and Grady Smith aren’t just shaking off the blustery weather at this weekend’s annual NCGA Four-Ball Championship. The two are also leaving the rest of the field in their dust.

Teammates at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Nygren and Smith barely missed a beat in Saturday’s second round, posting a 6-under 66 at Spyglass Hill for a two-day total of 130 and a comfy seven-shot lead entering the final round. A day after opening with a stellar 64, the two kept the heat on, carding an eagle and five birdies to go against just one bogey.

They’d start slowly, shooting a 34 on the front-nine courtesy of a Nygren eagle on the par-5 7th. On the back-nine, however the two again caught fire after making birdies on five of their final eight holes.

While the two have a ton of breathing room, they still can’t take afford to pull back on the throttle. Among their nearest pursuers is a group of veterans.

Fellow Olympic Club members Jason Anthony and Randy Haag, who won last year’s NCGA Mid-Amateur Four-Ball title, are seven shots back after a 66. Should Anthony and Haag come back to win it, Haag would tie Casey Boyns’ record (16) for the most career NCGA wins (non-Senior events).

Alone in third place at 138 following a 67, meanwhile, is the tandem of Jeff Gilchrist and Steve Woods. Woods and Gilchrist won the 2013 NCGA Mid-Am Four-Ball crown.

Thanks to their hot start, Nygren and Smith will be chasing more than the title. Should they shoot at least a 65 in the final round, they’d tie the championship 54-hole scoring record (195), set by defending champions Bobby Bucey and Brett Viboch last year.

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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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