Champion Nick Moore with Slesinski (L) and Cohn (R) (NCGA photo)
PEBBLE BEACH, CA (July 8, 2018) - When former CSU Monterey Bay standout Robby Salomon won the NCGA Amateur Stroke Play Championship in 2015, he had good friend Nick Moore on the bag as caddie.
This time, the roles were reversed, as Moore knocked off yet another good friend, Matt Cohn, to win his first Amateur Stroke Play crown.
Moore, a 36-year-old caddie at Cypress Point Club, bounced back from a lost chance to win outright, making bogey on the first hole (par-4 10th) of a sudden-death playoff to defeat Cohn on a sunny Sunday at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course.
The win marked Moore’s 7th career NCGA title, tying him with Talbert Smith and Scott Hardy for third on the all-time NCGA win list. The only that made things a bit sour was that the win came over Cohn. Friends since 2012, Moore and Cohn routinely pair up in events such as the NCGA Four-Ball Championship.
“It’s a nice win. Ultimately, I want to see us both play well,” Moore said. “If I’m not going to win, I want Matt to win. If Matt isn’t going to win, I want to win.”
Moore’s previously had two NCGA hat-tricks going. His six earlier NCGA wins were three Valley Amateur titles and three Public Links crowns. In recent years, his fortunes at the Stroke Play Championship hadn’t been nearly as favorable.
“The first time I played in the Stroke Play was 2012, and I finished solo in second. Since then, I hadn’t medaled,” said Moore, who finished with a three-day total of 1-over 214 after a final round 74. “This is one of the tournaments that I had wanted to win.”
Cohn, who earlier this year won the NCGA Mid-Amateur title, was the first in the clubhouse at 214 after a 73. Playing in the group behind, both Moore and St. Mary’s sophomore Michael Slesinski came to the 18th with a win in their sights. Slesinski, who needed an eagle to come in at 214, had to settle for a birdie on the closing hole for a 78 and 215 total. Moore, meanwhile, had a 15-foot birdie putt for the win that lipped out.
“I knew I had that putt to win it. Robby (Salomon) had run up to check the scores,” Moore said. “I thought I made it but it broke a little bit more than I thought.”
In the playoff, Cohn pulled his drive left into the 16th fairway. His second shot went into the hazard on the right side of the 10th fairway. After dropping, he’d land in the greenside bunker. Moore got on the green in three (he layed up short right) and two-putted for the win.
“On my second shot (from the 16th fairway), I had a choice of a hero shot or punch shot. I figured Nick was going to make a 4 so I went for it. It didn’t do what I thought it would,” Cohn said.
Moore and Salomon, who won back-to-back Stroke Play titles in 2015 and 2016 and is now professional, got together after the two played a practice round on Thursday. “I asked him if he wanted to come out and caddie,” Moore said. “I was happy to have him out there.”
Next up for Moore will be a shot at trying to get into this year’s U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach Golf Links. He’ll play in a 36-hole qualifer Wednesday at his home course, Bayonet/Black Horse GC in Seaside.
“Hopefully, this carries over,” Moore said. “It’d be a dream to play in the U.S. Amateur at Pebble.”
ABOUT THE NCGA Stroke Play
First played in 1944, the NCGA Stroke Play
Championship has a special history, as the
tournament has been won
by the likes of Ken Venturi and Johnny Miller. The
perpetual trophy was donated by the San Francisco
Examiner in 1944.
Championship play is 54 holes of
stroke play (18 holes per day). After 36 holes the
field will be cut to 40 players and ties. Pre-qualifying
required for non-
exempt players. Open to players with handicaps of
5.4 or lower.
View Complete Tournament Information