- NCGA photo
Just moments after his birdie-to-win attempt rolled around the cup and out, Mike Rowley went over to his partner Mark Morgan to give him an update.
“I told him, it’s time for you to know. If you don’t make your putt, we’re going to lose,” Rowley said.
Morgan ended up rolling in his 15-footer for a birdie, giving him and Rowley a one-shot victory at the annual NCGA Senior Four-Ball Championship at Poppy Hills. The duo would card a 2-under 69 to come in with a three-day, 54-hole total of 12-under 201, edging the co-runner-up tandems of Andrew Gabelman and Terry Foreman and John Jaramillo and Dean Prince.
“The course really owed him,” said Rowley of Morgan’s clincher. “The biggest thing, Mark was so patient. He had a lot of putts all over the hole during the round that didn’t go in.”
The 61-year-old Morgan, the NCGA’s defending Senior Player of the Year, picked up his fourth NCGA title. For Rowley, 59 and the CEO of Straight Down Clothing in San Luis Obispo, the win marked his second NCGA crown.
The two, who finished in the top 10 playing together a few years ago, had started the final round holding a three-shot lead. At one point, the team of Casey Boyns and Jeff Britton forged a tie atop the leaderboard at 11-under but the two later lost a stroke with a bogey on the par-3 17th. Later, Gabelman and Foreman, who had a final round 66, and Prince and Jaramillo (67) both came in at 11-under. All that was left to see if either Rowley or Morgan could make birdie on 18.
“We think a lot alike out there,” Rowley said. “That makes it easy. Mark makes it easy too. When you’re loose, you hit the ball better.”
Super Senior Championship
Frank Pieper and Rich Gleghorn came out winners in their debut as teammates. The two shot a final round 6-under 65 to come in with a three-day, 54 hole total of 11-under 202. Pieper, who lives in Aptos, and Gleghorn, who resides in Santa Cruz, tied the Super Senior record for 54-hole total score.
“Frank is too hard to beat individually, so I decided to team up with him,” quipped the 69-year-old Gleghorn.
In the final round, the two posted seven birdies to go against just one bogey. For Pieper, the son of California amateur legend Ernie Pieper, the victory marked his fifth NCGA title. Gleghorn, meanwhile, got his first victory in the Golden State. All of his previous wins had come in Missouri.
“It was great to have Rich as a partner,” said Pieper, who is 70. “It’s always nice to get another win. You never know when the next one is going to come. I’m pleased as punch.”
Second place went to the team of Jim Knoll and Kemp Richardson at 206 after a final round 67. The tandem of Dennis Younglove and Herb Jensen was third at 209.
Jensen had the shot of the championship, carding a hole-in-one on the 11th hole using a 7-iron. It was his 8th career ace.
View results for NCGA Senior Four-Ball
ABOUT THE NCGA Senior Four-Ball
First played in 1999, the NCGA Senior Four-Ball
Championship is a two-person, better-ball scratch
for senior (age 55+) and super senior (65+) golfers.
The format is 54
four-ball stroke play (18 holes per day) over three
days. After 36 holes the field will be cut to the low
teams and ties. Max handicap 9.4.
View Complete Tournament Information