Haag, Padilla to meet in NCGA Senior Match Play final
Tony Padilla (NCGA photo)
Tony Padilla (NCGA photo)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (Aug. 23, 2018) – Sometimes seeding works out exactly as it should. At NCGA Senior Match Play, finalist Randy Haag saw the potential for excitement in that.

“No.1 seed plays the 2 seed for the championship, it’s interesting how that works out sometimes,” Haag said after his semifinal match.

On Friday, Haag, the top seed, will meet No. 2 seed Tony Padilla for a showdown at Spyglass Hill. For Haag, at least, his 3-and-2 victory over John Watson in the semifinals wasn’t all cake. He was 4 up after 10, but had a hard time closing out Watson.

“It wasn’t my best golf, but that’s going to happen. Everyday you’re not going to play your best, so you find a way to win, and that’s kind of what I did today,” Haag told the NCGA.

Despite the slow start, Watson continued to make it tough on Haag throughout the match, highlighted by a 100-foot eagle putt on the 491-yard par-5 eleventh hole. As it turns out, Watson and Haag share some similar history.

“I don’t recall meeting (Watson) before, but we grew up in the same town, and went to the same grammar school, both caddied at Orinda Country Club. So I really enjoyed playing with him today,” Haag said of his semifinal opponent.

Whatever happens, Haag will be teeing it up at the U.S. Senior Amateur on Saturday morning at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club. Already this summer, Haag was runner-up in Senior Amateur Championship, conducted by the R&A.

Padilla, meanwhile, came out firing Thursday with a birdie on the first hole. He kept the lead for the rest of the match, making three birdies in 15 holes.

“I’m just trying to keep it out of the rough as much as I can,” Padilla said. “The rough is penal and the pins were very difficult, so it was hard to fire at pins. I just tried to hit fairways and aim for the middle of the green, trying to make a lot of pars and not make any mistakes.”

Information from the NCGA used in this report

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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