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Ian Dahl takes NCGA Mid-Amateur Championship title
Ian Dahl (NCGA photo)
Ian Dahl (NCGA photo)

In 2019, Carmel resident Ian Dahl made history by becoming the first NCGA employee to win an NCGA Championship.

The 33-year-old Cal-Berkeley alum, who works in marketing for the NCGA, now has two.

Dahl sank a clutch 18-foot birdie putt on the first hole (par-4 1st) of a sudden-death playoff to defeat tough-luck runner-up Matt Hansen on Sunday at par-71 Poppy Hills. Both players had finished tied after regulation at 6-under 136.

"It was a good line. I just didn't know if it would get there," said Dahl of his winning stroke. "It feels really good to get a win."

Dahl, who finished third in the event last year, had been playing well but hadn't won anything since his 2019 breakthrough. A week ago, he played in the spotlight of a U.S. Open qualifier in Oregon. While he failed to advance, he picked up some valuable experience and left feeling confident.

"Up there I played on a new course, in front of a lot of cameras," Dahl said. "It helped get me in a rhythm of playing a tournament course. I think that helped me here."

Having entered the final round tied with Matt Cohn at 4-under, Dahl first made a push by carding four birdies in a row from holes Nos. 7 through No.10 to get to 8-under. All the while, Cohn, a four-time NCGA champ, hung right with him thanks to three birdies of his own through 10. Meanwhile, Matt Hansen, a former standout at UC Davis who played on the Canadian Tour, also entered the fray by going 2-under through the first 10.

On the par-3 11th, things got shaken up when Dahl made a double-bogey after his ball landed in a footprint in the greenside bunker. Hansen and Cohn made pars on the other hand to close the gap.

Unfortunately for Cohn, he'd play his final seven holes at 2-under after posting bogeys on No.15 and No.16 to fall out of contention.

Hansen, meanwhile, caught Dahl with a birdie on the par-4 12th. On the hole, Dahl saved par after his drive ended up in the hazard on the right.

Later, on the par-3 17th, with Dahl and Hansen still tied, Hansen hit into the hazard leading to a bogey. He'd get the stroke back on the 18th, however, when he made birdie and Dahl had to settle for a par.

For Hansen, the scenario was deja vu. Last year, he also bogeyed the 17th and then made birdie on the 18th to get into a playoff. He'd lose in 2021 to Nick Moore on the first playoff hole when Moore drained a birdie putt.

"I need to just blow up the 17th," Hansen joked. "We all played well. It was a lot of back and forth. Ian made a great birdie to win it. A win would've been nice."

For Dahl, meanwhile, it was a great way to cap what had been a long week. "I'll be back here tomorrow, but in the office," he said.

NCGA Women's Mid-Amateur

Hayward resident Katrina Camitoc won't forget her NCGA Women's Mid-Amateur debut anytime soon.

Camitoc, who played collegiately at San Jose State, shot a final-round 2-under 69 to come from behind and win the title by a shot over her former Spartans teammate Jen Brumbaugh. The 32-year-old Camitoc finished the event with a 36-hole total 3-over 145.

"It's so awesome to get an NCGA win," Camitoc, who last tasted victory in college. "I saw that there was a Mid-Am and thought I'd give it a go."

For Camitoc, who's married and has a 14-months-old son (Lukas) along with a job in Marketing at Mastercard, just getting out on the course can be a challenge. "I really don't get to play much," she said. "When we can bring Lukas to the course, we bring him. It's fun."

A day after shooting 76, Camitoc had a rough start, going 3-over through her first four holes thanks in part to a double-bogey on the 1st. . But she'd bounce back, carding birdies on Nos. 3 and 6 and an eagle on the par-5 9th to get back to even par. After making the turn, Camitoc made all pars, adding birdies on the 16th and closing 18th to seal the win.

Brumbaugh, who opened with a 38 on the front-nine, had a chance to catch her friend but was snakebit by a double-bogey on the par-4 12th.

Third place went to Holly Bare at 148 after a final round 69. First-round leader Sally Krueger, who was looking for her first NCGA win, fell back to sixth place after a 79.

Results: NCGA Mid-Amateur
1CAIan DahlCarmel, CA15067-69=136
2CAMatt HansenLos Osos, CA10068-68=136
3CAMatt CohnSan Francisco, CA5067-71=138
4CAMarc EngellennerRocklin, CA5068-72=140
T5CABrett VibochSacramento, CA5072-69=141

View full results for NCGA Mid-Amateur

ABOUT THE NCGA Mid-Amateur

The NCGA Mid-Amateur Championship began in 1982 as the Master Division Championship, a competitive opportunity for players aged 40-54 who were not yet 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.

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