Santa Cruz City: Peters Pays Tribute to Father After Win
Ben Peters won by two shots at DeLaveaga GC<br>(photo Lucjan Szewczyk -- Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Ben Peters won by two shots at DeLaveaga GC
(photo Lucjan Szewczyk -- Santa Cruz Sentinel)

By Jim Seimas, Santa Cruz Sentinel

SANTA CRUZ, CA (August 13, 2017) - Ben Peters was introduced to DeLaveaga Golf Course as an 11-year-old. Playing with his father, Brian, Peters remembers his round vividly: He shot a 123 with a few mulligans.

He wasn’t allowed any mulligans Sunday at the 27th annual Santa Cruz City Amateur. Then again, he didn’t need any.

Peters, a 33-year-old who played tennis at Serra High and Sonoma State, closed with a 2-under-par 68 for a 137 total and three stroke margin of victory.

It was a far cry from his last City Am outing six years ago, when he shot back-to-back rounds of 78 with his father in attendance. Brian died three years ago at the age of 52 from pneumonia.

“It means everything,” Peters said of his win. “I feel like my dad was watching today, helping me out.”

Both were treated to an amazing round. Even other members of leaders’ group were impressed.

“He played beautifully,” said Santa Cruz’s Neil Ostermann, a former standout at Harbor High and Cabrillo College.

Ostermann opened with 68 Saturday for a one-shot lead on Peters and Belmont’s Alex Hom, but the local favorite was unable to retain the lead and closed with 76. His 144 total was good for sixth place.

“A couple of loose shots cost me,” said Ostermann, pointing to a penalty and double bogey-7 he took on the dogleg 10th hole.

Santa Cruz’s Tim Terhorst overcame sloppy first round by posting a 6-under 64 for a 140 total and second place. Santa Cruz’s Peter Wood took third at 141 after finishing with 71. Billy Moon of East Garrison shot 70 for a 142 total and fourth place, and Hom’s 74 brought him to 143 for fifth.

Peters took took a double bogey-5 on the third hole after launching his 7-iron shot over the green.

“I was pretty down on myself right there and plugged away,” he said.

A scorching, 3-under 32 on the back nine paved the way to his win. He earned birdie on holes Nos. 13, 14, 17, and 18.

“I hit a lot of greens and played smart,” he said, crediting instruction he has received from mental coach Lisa Mitzel.

Peters put himself in position to score on several holes. He hit his approach to 3 inches on No. 13, 10 feet on No. 14 and 5 inches on No. 17. He made all three putts for birdie.

“I hit a lot of really good wedges today,” he said.

And when he didn’t — his approach was one the upper tier on No. 18 — he made a meaningless 27-foot downhill putt for birdie.

Peters heads into the 114th annual NCGA Amateur Match Play Championship at Spyglass Hill Golf Course riding high.

“This is probably one of my best tournament wins,” he said, again paying tribute to his father. “I was using this a warmup for NCGA Match Play. ... It was a good field, it was tight, it was very close. I had to play well.”

Senior Championship >> Carmel’s Frank Pieper (140) posted a four-shot margin of victory over Sunnyvale’s Jim Knoll and Clayton’s Mike Donnelly.

Super Senior Championship >> Santa Cruz’s Rich Gleghorn (130) dominated, Santa Cruz’s Jeff Newkirk (136) took second and Fresno’s Doug Johnson (142) was third.

Ladies Championship >> Palo Alto’s Kayshree Sarathy (142) beat Bakersfield’s Macey Mills and Turlock’s Bergen Benedict by two strokes for the title.

Ladies Net >> Santa Cruz’s Stacy Brown (137) rallied for the win, Santa Cruz’s Nancy Lagestee (141) jumped into second and Santa Cruz’s Michele Thiltgen (145) took third.

1st flight (NET) >> Corralitos’ Jose Espinoza (137) rallied for the win and Santa Cruz’s Scott Byrum (139) took second. Santa Cruz’s Mike Gomes and Capitola’s Mark Holguin shot 140 to tie for third.

2nd flight (NET) >> La Selva’s Stephen Perez (140) finished with the win, san Jose’s Kevin Kim (142) took second and Santa Cruz’s Mark Mesiti-Miller was third.

3rd flight (NET) >> Aptos’ Rainbow Rosenbloom (132) was the wire-to-wire winner in convincing fashion. Santa Cruz’s Wayne Sparks (139) took second and Santa Cruz’s Kyle Wade (144) was third.

Results: Santa Cruz City
1CABen PetersRedwood City, CA7569-68=137
2CANeil OstermannSanta Cruz, CA50140
T4CAAlex HomBelmont, CA25143
3CASerge KirilukSonora, CA25142
T4CAMike O'DonnellChico, CA25143

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