Jason Anthony wins NCGA Valley Amateur Championship
Courtesy of NCGA
Former NCGA Player of the Year Jason Anthony
is making the best of what has become limited opportunities.
Anthony fired a final-round 5-under 67 at Whitehawk Ranch GC that included a clutch eagle on the closing par-5 18th, and later defeated John McCord and Brett Viboch in a sudden-death playoff to capture the annual NCGA Valley Amateur Championship for a record-tying third time. For Anthony, the win was significant in a number of ways.
It marked his sixth career NCGA title (2019 Mid-Amateur, 2017 and 2020 Valley Amateurs, 2016 and 2018 Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship), moving him in a tie for seventh on the all-time win list. And he also joined Nick Moore as the only three-time winners of the Valley Amateur.
The 38-year-old Green Valley CC member was making only his third appearance in an NCGA event this season. He recently married his wife, Natashia, and the two now have a son, Jackson. Jason also keeps busy running 7 Flags Car Wash Company, which was founded by his grandfather and later operated by his father.
“Life’s just been busy. My priorities are shifting a bit,” Anthony said.
In not competing as much as he used to, Anthony at times has found his game falling into ruts. But he’s shown he still has it. He recently qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur but will bow out to stay closer to home.
“I was really struggling earlier in the year for about three months. I couldn’t break par and was spinning my wheels,” he said. “Utlimately, when I get out on the course and the tourney is on the line, I find a way to get it done. That’s why I love competing.”
On the first playoff hole, McCord, hit his drive into the forest. Viboch, meanwhile hit his approach to within 8 feet of the flagstick, while Anthony got to within 12 feet of the pin. Anthony made his birdie putt, while Viboch’s lipped out.
In getting to the playoff, Anthony closed regulation by sinking a 25-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole. When he won the title in 2020, Anthony made a clutch up-and-down for birdie on the 18th to win by a stroke.
While he finished second, Viboch may have sealed 2020-2021 Player of the Year honors. Viboch had come into the 500-point Valley Am event leading in the race for NCGA Player of the Year honors (1,339 points). The season ends at the end of September.