Haag, Padilla lead the way to Senior NCGA's sweet 16
Randy Haag (NCGA photo)
Randy Haag (NCGA photo)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2018) – The top three seeds advanced, but Tuesday’s first round of matches at the NCGA Senior Match Play Championship was not without some upset drama.

Playing at Par-71 Poppy Hills, No.1 seed Randy Haag from Olympic Club defeated No.32 seed Ron Collet by a 7-and-6 margin. Haag, who is a two-time defending champ after winning the Senior Match Play in 2016 and 2017, halved the opening hole with a par. He then went on to win six of the next eight holes and make the turn with a 6-up lead. His opening nine included three birdies and one bogey.

Also advancing is No. 2 seed Tony Padilla of Winchester CC, after he beat No. 28 seed Mike Staskus, 4 and 3. Padilla set the tone for the match with a birdie on the first hole to take a 1-up lead. Staskus bounced back with a par winner on two, but Padilla won the next two holes to take a 2-up lead. After making the turn at 1 up, Padilla won Nos. 12, 13 and 14 to take a 4-up lead, and then closed out the match with a halve on 15.

The upsets began in the No. 4 versus No. 29 match, when David Halvorson from Del Rio G&CC overcame Scott Anderson in 20 holes. Halvorson came out with an opening birdie to take a 1-up lead, and maintained a lead through the 15th hole. Anderson rallied late on 16 with a birdie to square up the match. They then halved the next three holes before Halvorson closed out the match on the par-3 second hole with a birdie.

No. 28 seed John Watson also advanced over No. 5 seed Jim Knoll with a 2-and-1 victory. Knoll had an early lead after a birdie on the first; however, that was his only lead of the day after Watson came back with a win on the second to square up the match. Watson took a 2-up lead through 13 with a birdie on the par 5, and then halved the next four to take the win.

The upsets continued when No. 27 seed Bobby Davis defeated No. 6 seed Steve Donnelly 5 and 3. After initially playing the first two holes in all square, Donnelly discovered he had fifteen clubs in his bag and had to take losses on the opening holes. Davis would hold onto the lead for the rest of the match, closing out with a birdie on the par-3 15th to go 5 up with three holes remaining.

Wednesday will see play move over to Spyglass Hill, with the Round-of-16 matches beginning at 9:40 a.m., followed by the quarterfinal matches in the afternoon at 2:28 p.m.

Super Senior Championship

The top seeds went unscathed in Tuesday’s opening round of 16 at the NCGA Super Senior Match Play Championship.

No.1 seed Mark Miller, the current Player of the Year points list leader, advanced with a 4-and-3 victory over Tom Lyons. Miller took the early lead with a birdie on the first, but Lyons would battle back to all square on four separate occasions on the front nine. Miller then took a 1-up lead on the ninth with a birdie and would not look back, maintaining a lead through the rest of the match.

Also advancing were the No. 2 seed Ron Johnson, No. 3 seed Herb Jensen and No. 4 seed Frank Pieper.

In the only upsets of the day, No.11 seed Bob Cayton and No.12 seed Rob Adolph both will move on to the quarterfinals.

Wednesday’s quarterfinal matches will move over to Spyglass Hill where play will begin at 11:00 a.m.

ABOUT THE NCGA Senior Match Play

The NCGA Senior Match Play Championship was historically an invite-only event in which the top 16 players on the NCGA Senior points list were invited to participate in the Senior Match Play Championship, held concurrently with the NCGA Amateur Match Play at Spyglass Hill, over a three- day period. However, beginning in 2012 the event was modified to a 32-player match play field, still allotting 16 spots to the top 16 of the NCGA Senior points list, while allowing the other half of the field to qualify.

Senior players (ages 55+) must have a handicap index of 7.4 or less. There is no handicap limit for super seniors (ages 65+).

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