Randy Haag (SCGA Photo)
As Randy Haag
sized up his second shot on the 18th fairway with a one-stroke lead at the 30th California Senior Amateur at Hillcrest Country Club, he watched Tim Hogarth
drain a five-foot downhill putt on the green ahead of him, applying the pressure to earn a tournament-winning birdie.
“We’ve have had many battles, Tim and I, over the years,” Haag said. “You play your whole life for these special moments to be able to perform when it counts most.”
After he saw Hogarth’s putt hit the back of the cup, Haag opted to hit his five-wood instead of laying up with a seven-iron. He avoided a bunker and picked up some extra yardage as his ball rolled down a hill, leaving him a gap wedge shot into the green.
“I sometimes don’t like to know where I stand but, in that case, I knew that I was then tied with (Tim),” Haag said.
He stuck his approach to an almost identical location as Hogarth’s – a five-foot putt going downhill. Haag calmly rolled his championship-sealing birdie into the cup to win his first California Amateur title.
“This is a dream for me,” Haag said. “Golf is pretty much my life and I get to play great venues like this and hang out with my friends. To win a tournament that is a state title, it really is a dream come true for me.”
It took Haag fifteen holes into his third round to lead the field. He was chasing Don Dubois
, who was the first and second-round leader, and Hogarth.
Haag initiated his back-nine with a birdie on Hole No. 11, followed by two more on Nos. 14 and 15 to take sole possession of first place.
“This venue was really well suited for my game,” Haag said.
After a bogey on hole No. 16, Haag saved a pivotal par on the par-four seventeenth. An errant tee shot that hit a tree and kicked back into the fairway left him 250 yards out. Haag’s second shot rolled just short of the fringe.
His ensuing chip went past the hole, leaving him about 12 feet for par.
“I'm thinking ‘You can’t hit this putt too hard because I don’t want four feet coming back’ but you want to get it to the hole so when I hit it, I knew I hit it pretty good and when I watched it trickle into the hole, it was goosebumps.”
Haag finished at three-under 210, posting a 70 in all three rounds. This title marks Haag’s second of the season, as he also emerged victorious
at the 2021 SCGA Senior Amateur Championship.
“I’ve enjoyed some pretty good golf. It seems like Southern California has been really good to me in the two events I’ve played down here this year,” Haag said. “It’s 40+ years of hard work. It’s a culmination of so many things that make this special to be standing here right now. I couldn’t be more humbled and appreciative.”
Hogarth (211) took home runner-up honors. Robert Funk
, the 2020 champion, and Dubois finished tied for third at 215. John O’Donnell
(217) rounded out the top five.
ABOUT THE California Senior Amateur
The California Senior Amateur Championship began
in the fall of 1992, and is the state championship for
players age 55 and over. The first two tournaments
were played at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. In 1994,
the event was moved to Poppy Hills Golf Course in
Pebble Beach, and in 1995, a simultaneous NCGA vs.
SCGA team portion of the championship was added.
Starting in 2010 this 54-hole stroke play
championship will rotate to selected courses
throughout the state. Players must have an index of
7.4 or less and may attempt to qualify at any
location in the state.
View Complete Tournament Information