Ed Fryatt dusted the field at Las Vegas National
(SNGA, LVNGC photos)
LAS VEGAS, NV (December 11, 2017) - Ed Fryatt (Championship), Doug Pool (Senior) and Frank Abbott (Silver) posted victories in the season-ending 2017 Southern Nevada Championship. The two-day event was held Dec. 9-10, 2017 at Las Vegas National Golf Club. Michael Godfrey, Martin Azzolina and Jim Burger picked up net championships.
Ed Fryatt, 69-67—136
Lorenzo Gillenwater, 74-71—145
Mitchell Abbott, 73-73—146
Fryatt, who also won the crown in 2016, ended the opening day with a four-stroke lead and breezed to a nine-shot victory. He birdied three of the final four holes on the opening day and wound up with 10 birdies over the two days.
“I always thought that par is a good score at Las Vegas National,” Fryatt said. “The par 3s are as much of a challenge as you want. I just come out and try to make pars. When things go your way and you have a birdie putt, you’ve got to take advantage.”
Fryatt added working his way around at a course like National is the key. “This is one of these courses you have to manage your game and hit your driver well,” he said. “You’ve got to drive it between the trees and make those 10 footers.”
He noted the opening day final stretch definitely helped his cause. “I had a couple of 3-4 footers to end the round and managed to get them in the hole,” he said. “Then I got off to a good start (Sunday) with birdies on two of the first three holes (10 and 12) and just tried to leave myself with full shots into the greens.”
Doug Pool, 70-71—141
Todd Roberts, 75-69—144
Gary Carpendale, 72-74—146
For Doug Pool, it was a little bit of a roller coaster ride en route to a three-stroke victory in the Senior Division.
“(Saturday) was pretty solid but I did need a couple of chip-ins to score,” Pool said. “(Sunday) was much better. I chipped and putted well.”
Pool said the scoring for players can be a little deceptive at Las Vegas National. “I’m happy with those scores,” he said. “This is one of the better courses we play. You’ve got to keep your wits about you and execute a lot of shots.”
He also said he’s thankful it was just a 36-hole event. “Todd Roberts was coming on strong,” Pool said. “He probably would have caught me if he had a couple more holes. I would have had tire tracks on my back.”
It was Pool’s second SNGA win in 2017 out of the three events he entered.
Frank Abbott, 74-70—144
Steven Fink, 77-73—150
Kevin Parrish, 81-73—154
Frank Abbott kept his hot streak going, winning for the 11th time in the 2017 SNGA year. Abbott’s three-birdie second round helped him post a six-stroke victory over Steven Fink. It was Abbott’s fifth straight SNGA championship.
“(Saturday) I didn’t play well and just kind of hung in there,” Abbott said. “(Sunday) I hit the ball really well…finally.”
He said his overall play was consistent, with one exception. “I had a hiccup on the 16th (a double bogey on the par-3) but other than that I played real solid,” he said.
Abbott added his double-digit victory total in 2017 was the result of his competition. “When you have guys like Steve Fink, Kevin Parrish and the rest of the guys in the field, it really forces you to play good golf,” he said. “Luckily today I did that.”
Michael Godfrey, 74-72—146
Nate Ross, 75-74—149
Gary McCollum, 75-77—152
Michael Godfrey, who just started playing competitive golf a year ago, came away with a three-stroke victory in the Net Division. It was Godfrey’s first win in SNGA events.
“I’m proud to win with this excellent field of competitors and it’s nice to win where Tiger Woods won his first event,” Godfrey said. Woods played one round at Las Vegas National, firing a 70, in winning his first event, the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational.
“I just played solid,” Godfrey said. “Everything was working. My short game was really good and my putting was reasonable. It was just my day.”
Martin Azzolina, 71-73—144
James Corey, 73-74—147
Ron Siskey, 75-77—152
Martin Azzolina is making the most of his annual Las Vegas trip. He won the Senior Net title, his first SNGA win.
“My wife and I usually make a trip to Vegas every year in December,” the Connecticut resident said. “I love to play golf but I usually wind up playing by myself.”
That changed about six years ago. “I joined the SNGA and try to play at least once a year in an event,” he said. “It’s definitely more fun than playing alone.”
Winning the event wasn’t even on his radar when he teed it up. “I played a practice round (at Las Vegas National) but really didn’t have any big expectations,” he said.”I just went out to have fun. I hit the ball pretty well off the tee and putted OK. It all worked out well.”
Jim Burger, 74-73—147
Larry Keever, 75-73—148
John Kelley, 71-77—148
Jim Burger has definitely found a course that fits his game. Burger won his second SNGA event in 2017 with both victories coming at Las Vegas National.
This time it was a one-stroke win in the Silver Net Division.
“I think I’m really starting to like this course,” he said with a laugh. “I didn’t really feel like I played that well but I didn’t have any blowup holes.”
In the end, it was his finish that sealed the deal. “I still shot a couple of strokes over my handicap but I finished with a couple of pars and that really helped,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I played well enough to win, but then, low and behold, they came up and handed me a trophy. But, that’s the game of golf. It can be kind of fickle.”