Funk is fabulous in winning NCGA Senior Amateur Match Play
Robert Funk (R) and Casey Boyns (Courtesy of NCGA)
Robert Funk (R) and Casey Boyns (Courtesy of NCGA)

Mission accomplished.

Robert Funk, who lives in Canyon Lake near Riverside but is quickly becoming a regular in NCGA events, captured yet another NCGA title, this time the Senior Amateur Match Play Championship after defeating runner-up Casey Boyns, 3 and 2, in Friday’s 18-hole final at Spyglass Hill.

Last year, Funk, 58, won the NCGA Senior and California Senior Amateur Championship at nearby Poppy Hills. Prior to his win at the Senior, he hadn’t tasted victory in two years.

“I’m proud to get the match play title on top of the Senior and Cal Am Senior titles,” said Funk, an NCGA member through “Casey’s a great competitor and player. I had to play well to win today, and I played well all week.”

Holding a 1-up lead through the first nine, Funk went on a tear to open the back nine—winning holes Nos. 10 through 12 in succession–to build a commanding 4-up lead. Boyns, an NCGA Hall of Famer who had his son Christopher on the bag as caddie, won No, 13 to trim the lead to 3-up but couldn’t get closer from there.

“It was all putting,” said Boyns, who was trying to win a record fourth Senior Amateur Match Play title and extend his record of total NCGA titles (he has 25). “The other days, the putts fell in. When you’re playing good, you’re making putts.”

A signature moment came on the par-3 5th. Funk holed out a chip shot for birdie, which led Boyns, who had an even tougher lie, to state: “Well, thanks for relieving the pressure.” Boyns would go on to pitch in for birdie as well to tie the hole.

“This week was probably the best I’ve played since winning the Cal Senior last year,” Funk said.

NCGA Super Senior Match Play

Back in the spring, good friends Frank Pieper and Rich Cleghorn, who both live in the Santa Cruz area, teamed up to win the NCGA Super Senior Four-Ball Championship.

This time around, they both couldn’t walk away as winners.

Frank Pieper (L) and Rich Cleghorn
The No.5 seeded Pieper yet again was firing on all cylinders, leading to a 4 and 3 win over third-seed Cleghorn in the finals of the NCGA Super Senior Amateur Match Play Championship on Friday at Spyglass Hill. For the 71-year-old Pieper, who resides in Aptos, it marked a record third Super Senior Match Play crown. It was also his sixth career NCGA title.

“It’s been a pretty good run,” said Pieper, who knocked out No.1 seed and defending champion Jeff Burda in the semifinals. “I’ve kept my game in shape and have worked hard at it. You never know how many more of these you can get.”

View results for NCGA Senior Match Play
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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