McPherson pulls away on back nine to win the Ojai Senior Cup
Steven McPherson (L) and super senior champ David Ujihara
Steven McPherson (L) and super senior champ David Ujihara

Steven McPherson (Hemet, Calif.) overcame a slow start and pulled away from the field on the back nine at Soule Park Golf Club, winning the 3rd Ojai Senior Cup by four shots over three players.

McPherson, who finished third in the Golfweek Desert Showdown in Las Vegas earlier this month, saw a three-shot lead disappear on the front nine. Bobby Schaeffer (La Quinta, Calif.) trailed by three but birdied four of his first five holes on Sunday to take the lead, which he extended to two when McPherson bogeyed the long par-3 sixth. After players bogeyed the par-4 7th, McPherson started to find his game and began his comeback.

Everything changed in a span of just four holes. McPherson birdied the uphill par-4 8th to pull within one, and when Schaeffer made a disappointing bogey on the short par-4 9th, the two were even. McPherson edged ahead with a birdie at the drop-shot par-3 10th, and then came the pivotal hole of the tournament, the reachable par-5 11th, where McPherson picked up three shots with a birdie to Schaeffer's double-bogey seven. Suddenly Schaeffer was four shots behind.

Meanwhile, Neal Barfield (Dallas, Texas) eagled the 11th to get to four under for the day and pull within one shot of McPherson. But McPherson would make three birdies coming in, including one on the par-4 17th that would prove decisive as Barfield would bogey to fall four shots back.

McPherson closed with a 3-under 69 for a 4-under 210 total. Schaeffer made seven birdies en route to a 70 and an even-par 214, while Barfield had a 69 to tie Schaeffer and Robert Funk (Canyon Lake, Calif.), the 2020 California Senior Amateur champion, who closed with a 68.

Keith McLaughlin (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) shot a 69 to finish solo fifth at 1-over 215.

In the Super Senior division, David Ujihara (Brea, Calif.) shot a final-round 70 to overtake overnight leader Curtis Worley (Coronado, Calif.) and win by five shots at 2-over 216. Worley closed with a 77 to finish at 7 over, with Jim Perry (Santa Barbara, Calif.) third at 10 over par.

Ronald Fernandez
Ronald Fernandez (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) was the winner of the President's Flight.

The 3rd edition of the Ojai Senior Cup represented a significant step forward in establishing the tournament as one of the West Coast’s premier senior amateur championships. The setting in the charming town of Ojai and a pair of classic courses give the tournament a lot of promise. Rounds 1 and 3 were at the beautifully-restored Soule Park Golf Club, while the middle round was played at the historic Ojai Valley Inn.

McPherson joins USGA champion Tim Hogarth and multiple U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinalist Dan Sullivan as Ojai Senior Cup champions.

Results: Ojai Senior Cup
1CASteve McPhersonHemet, CA50070-71-69=210
T2CARobert FunkCanyon Lake, CA30074-72-68=214
T2TXNeal BarfieldDallas, TX30072-73-69=214
T2CABobby SchaefferLa Quinta, CA30071-73-70=214
5CAKeith McLaughlinThousand Oaks, CA20073-73-69=215

View full results for Ojai Senior Cup

ABOUT THE Ojai Senior Cup

Growing event that aims to become one of the top Senior Amateur Championships on the West Coast. Top players such as Tim Hogarth and Dan Sullivan have already put their names on the trophy. Played at a classic golf course located in the beautiful destination location of Ojai, California. 54-hole competition with Senior (55+, 7.4 max index) and Super Senior (65+, 8.0 max index) Divisions. Those aged 65+ may choose to play in the Senior Division.

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