California Senior Amateur: Déjà vu as Funk wins playoff at Poppy
Robert Funk (NCGA photo)
Two clutch birdies at Poppy Hills Golf Course’s closing par-5 were good enough for Robert Funk to hold off a spectacular final-round performance from Greg Cesario at the California Senior Amateur.
With Cesario in the clubhouse after a six-under par 65, Funk needed to fight off bogeys on 16 and 17 to force a playoff and he did just that. He birdied 18 again on the first playoff hole to capture his second title of the year at the Northern California Golf Association’s home track.“
It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Funk told the NCGA. “It feels outstanding to win again. I’m very grateful and I’m also very excited.”
Prior to Funk’s back-to-back wins at Poppy Hills, the 57-year old from Canyon Lake, Calif. hadn’t won a tournament in more than two years. In September, he won the NCGA Senior Championship after defeating Jeff Wilson on the first playoff hole.
“Playing in and winning that event certainly helped,” Funk said to the NCGA. “The course is in just great condition. It really fits my ball flight.”
The runner-up Cesario began the day seven back of the second-round leader Funk, but quickly found himself back in contention after a blistering-hot start that featured five birdies in his first seven holes.
“On the front-nine, I was in the zone,” Cesario told the NCGA. “My mentality to start the day was to just let things happen. I didn’t go out there trying to force anything.”
Defending champion Casey Boyns birdied three of his closing five holes to post a final-round 69and tie for fourth with the aforementioned Wilson. Third place went to Shingle Springs resident Mark Morgan with steady rounds of 72-73-71.
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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