Nick Moore (center) with Matt Hansen (R) and Collin Altamirano (L) (NCGA photo)
NCGA legends Randy Haag and Casey Boyns have some new company when it comes to the NCGA victory columns.
On Sunday, Monterey resident Nick Moore collected his 10th NCGA victory, this one a sudden-death victory over Matt Hansen at the annual Mid-Amateur Championship at Poppy Hills. With the victory, Moore joins Haag and Boyns as the only players in NCGA history to reach double-digit wins. Boyns and Haag, who now compete on the Senior circuit, co-hold the record for most NCGA victories at 16 (not including Senior wins).
As Tiger Woods chased Jack Nicklaus, the 39-year-old Moore firmly has Haag and Boyns in his sights.
“I feel like I still have some time to catch them,” Moore said. “As long as I don’t break a leg or have some serious injury or something.”
For now, Moore can relish in what was yet another clutch win with his 96-year-old grandfather, Vincent Randazzo, watching. “I can’t believe I’ve got 10 wins now. It feels like it was just five last year. I’m very happy and excited. It means a lot to me having my grandfather there,” said Moore, who finished regulation with a two-day score of even-par 142.
Having entered the final round tied with Hansen at 1-under 70, it was Hansen who looked to have things sealed up late. The Walnut Creek resident, who recently regained his amateur status, held a three-shot lead over the field heading to the 16th tee. But then he made bogey on No. 16 and later pulled his tee shot on the par-3 17th way to the left, resulting in a double-bogey. The mistake on No.17 opened the door for not only Moore but also Ian Dahl. Playing in the group ahead, Dahl, a former NCGA Stroke Play champion, had a chance to be the first in the clubhouse at 142 but his birdie try on the 18th slid past the cup, leaving him at 143 with Collin Altamirano and Garrett Wagner.
Moments later on the 18th, both Moore and Hansen were just short of the green in two—Moore off to right and Hansen in the front greenside bunker. Moore hit a brilliant chip to within a few feet of the pin for a birdie. Hansen, hanging tough, would match him with birdie, sinking a clutch 14-footer. But then Hansen got snakebit again. On the first playoff hole (par-4 1st), Hansen’s approach bounded off the edgeof the green down into the rough near the 2nd hole teeing area. He’d be unable to get up-and-down, scoring a bogey. Moore, meanwhile, reached the green in two and two-putted for the win.
Hansen, who was followed by his mother, was playing in his first event since having his amateur status reinstated. Afterwards, he admitted to being nervous.
“I just haven’t played in a tournament in a while,” he said. “On No.17, I felt the pressure, especially playing alongside Nick.”
Moore, meanwhile, remains undefeated (4-0) when it comes to extra hole victories. Something that wasn’t lost him as he and Hansen headed towards the green on the playoff hole.
“I was walking down the first fairway and thought, ‘I’ve never lost a playoff, and I’m not going to lose this one,” Moore said. “The golf wasn’t easy, but I battled to the end. I’m proud of the battle I put up.”
Third place went to Collin Altamirano at 143 following a card-off win over Garrett Wagner and Dahl.
ABOUT THE NCGA Mid-Amateur
The NCGA Mid-Amateur Championship began in
as the Master Division Championship, a competitive
opportunity for players aged 40-54 who were not
eligible for senior tournaments. In 2016, the event
was re-named the Mid-Amateur Championship,
opening up to all players aged 25 and over, with no
upper age restriction. The champagne bucket trophy
was donated by two-time California State Amateur
champion Ernie Pieper.
36 hole stroke play championship with pre-qualifying
required for non-exempt players. Max handicap 5.4.
View Complete Tournament Information