Co-champions Ken Weixel (left) with Rick Doebler
LA JOLLA and RANCHO SANTA FE, California (June 26, 2018) -- For the first time in recent memory, co-champions were declared in the overall gross division of the California Seniors Golf Association Championship. Ken Weixel (Rancho Santa Fe) and Rick Doebler (Fullerton) tied at 8-over 152 and will share the title for the next year.
Played at the gorgeous La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe Country Clubs, the event brought over 170 members of the organization together for the 75th time. (It's said that the solid silver trophy has been appraised for close to $10,000.)
Rick Doebler, 67, brought his smooth swing into town from his home club, Hacienda CC and fired 74 to take the early lead at La Jolla Country Club, tied with John Minteer of San Diego Country Club.
Ken Weixel, 59, had just returned from Ireland the night before. It was, perhaps not the best pre-tournament preparation, but unavoidable due to plans to attend a wedding.
The veteran competitor is known for taking very little time to make a decision and pull the trigger, usually finding fairways and greens. But after playing the first eight holes in 1-under par, his game gave way to exhaustion on the back nine. Time zone changes, and a wrestling match with some trees near the halfway house behind No. 9 green resulted in a round of 81 - nearly out of contention.
"It was kinda comical, really," said the Deloitte managing partner of his effort to find his ball behind the small building. "I went in looking, and scraped my arms and legs up so badly I was bleeding from five different places!"
Determined to be part of the mix on Sunday, Weixel hoped for a round in the 60s, which is well within the reach of the 5-time USGA Mid-Am qualifier. He settled for a 71 on Tuesday, but that was by far the low round of the day at Rancho Santa Fe and allowed him to make up the 7 shots he trailed by.
Doebler, for his part wasn't giving up despite a few errant shots and missed putts at Rancho Santa Fe.
On No. 13, playing hard into the wind with water guarding the right side and front of the green, he pulled his shot well left into some desert-like vegetation that separates the course from the horse riding trails that surround it. (You've got to play here if you get the chance.)
"I made bogey there, after nearly going out-of-bounds," said Doebler. "That was a good turning point to keep my round going."
So there were the two gross champions, dressed along with the entire membership in matching blue blazers, striped CSGA ties, and gold-leaf crests to complete the picture -- holding the trophy. Together.
It's quite a site to see, really, a group of golfers traveling to some great California venues to meet and compete. Age is just a number.
View results for California Seniors Championship
ABOUT THE California Seniors Championship
36-hole stroke play competition for seniors who are
members of the California Seniors' Golf Association.
There are both championship gross and net divisions
along with 12 additional gross and net flights.
View Complete Tournament Information