Jeff Wilson (USGA photo)
Jeff Wilson (USGA photo)

CARMEL, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2018) – It was a great finish to what has been a career season for Green Valley Country Club member Jeff Wilson. For Olympic Club member Randy Haag, it was another kick to the stomach.

Wilson shot a final-round 2-under 70 Wednesday at The Preserve Golf Club thanks in part to a late surge that included a Tiger Woods-esque slow-motion birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the annual California Senior Amateur Championship by two shots over Haag. The 55-year-old Wilson, who finally got the USGA monkey off his back with a win at this year’s U.S. Senior Amateur, was making his California Senior Amateur debut.

“I worked hard this year, harder than I ever have,” said Wilson, who finished the 54-hole event with a total of 4-under 212. “I put the work in.”

Wilson would find himself toiling yet again to shake off Haag. Coming down the stretch in what became a duel, the Fairfield resident made the first big move by carding a birdie on the difficult par-4 15th to take a two-stroke lead. There, it was a 20-foot putt that fell into the cup.

Haag, who last went head-to-head with Wilson (and lost) at the Homestead Mid-Am back in the early 2000’s, cut the lead back to one when he sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the ensuing 16th hole. But Wilson immediately got that shot back on the 17th when he got up-and-down for birdie after his approach shot to the par-5 stopped just off the right side of the green.

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ABOUT THE California Senior Amateur

The California Senior Amateur Championship began in the fall of 1992, and is the state championship for players age 55 and over. The first two tournaments were played at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. In 1994, the event was moved to Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, and in 1995, a simultaneous NCGA vs. SCGA team portion of the championship was added. Starting in 2010 this 54-hole stroke play championship will rotate to selected courses throughout the state. Players must have an index of 7.4 or less and may attempt to qualify at any location in the state.

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