Winner Gary Vanier (R) and Jim Knoll, two senior legends of Northern California golf
ALAMEDA, CA (April 20, 2018) - Gary Vanier won the inaugural Alameda Commuters Super Senior division in a three-hole playoff over Jim Knoll on the North Course at Corica Park.
Both players finished 36 holes at 5-under-par 137. In the playoff, each player parred the first two playoff holes before Vanier made birdie on the third playoff hole, clinching the title.
For Vanier, it was his 7th Alameda Commuters title across three divisions. He won the Alameda Commuters Championship three straight years from 1988-1990, then added Senior titles in 2007, 2013 and 2016.
He was the only player in the field with two rounds in the 60s, shooting 69-68 on the par-71 layout.
Knoll, himself a four-time Alameda Commuters Senior champion (2009, 2010, 2011, 2015), had the low round of the tournament, a 4-under 67, to force the playoff.
The final foursome were all former Alameda Commuters Senior champions, with Vanier and Knoll joined by Jeff Burda (2012; he also won the Championship in 1997) and Mark Miller (2008). Miller, Vanier and Burda all opened the tournament with 2-under 69s, with Knoll a shot behind at 70.
But what looked like it might be a shootout turned into a two-man duel, with Burda (72) settling for third place alone and Miller (79) falling to a tie for seventh. Other than the playoff combatants, Burda was the only other player to break par for the tournament, finishing at 1 under.
Another three-time Senior champion, Bob Olds, sat two shots behind after the first round but he too fell back with a 76 to tie for fifth with Dan Bieber. Still, the 78-year-old Olds beat his age twice, as he usually does.
Frank Pieper finished solo fourth at 2-over-par 146.
The success of the first-ever Super Senior division speaks both to the growth of the Alameda Commuters Tournament, but also the depth of senior and super senior golf in Northern California.
The Senior Championship begins Saturday, and many of the Super Senior contestants will return to Corica Park to compete.
Next year, the Commuters will return to the South Course at Corica Park, which is undergoing a renovation by Rees Jones and will have an Australian Sandbelt feel. Many of the newly-renovated holes are visible from the North Course, and the excitement over the renovation and future of the Commuters tournament is palpable.
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ABOUT THE Alameda Commuters Super Senior
**Moved to the weekend for the 2021 event.
Introduced in 2018, this is the Super Senior division
long running event played over two weekends at the
Golf Complex in Alameda. The Super Senior Division
a 36 hole stroke play event open to all players 65
older with a 9.5 index or lower.
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