High school teammates Finn McCall and Luke Brandler win NCGA Four-Ball
Northern California Golf Association Photo
Northern California Golf Association Photo

The NCGA Four-Ball Championship in recent years has had a slew of college teammates emerging as champions. 

Finn McCall and Luke Brandler took that bar and lowered it even further.

McCall and Brandler, a pair of 17-year-old high school juniors, carded a final round 8-under 64 Sunday at Spyglass Hill for a three-day total of 17-under 199, good enough for a three-shot victory over the runner-up tandem of Mike Perchak and Mikey Burkland. It is believed that McCall and Brandler are the youngest champions in the 57-year history of the event.

"This feels really good," said Brandler, who plays at Stevenson School, which is located next door to Spyglass. "It feels good to make history."

"It's been a lot of fun," said McCall, who competes at Clovis North High.  "Spyglass is a special place."

A day after a 69 where they struggled to really get anything going, McCall and Brandler turned on the jets, posting eight birdies with zero bogeys. Included in their birdie barrage was a front-nine 31 and a run of three birdies over their final five holes to break away.

On the nearly 300-yard par-4 17th, Brandler drove it into the heart of the green for an eventual birdie. McCall's drive meanwhile ended about five yards off the green. He'd pitch up and drain the putt for birdie.

And that's how it went. The two over their 54 holes posted 18 birdies to go against just one bogey. Their 199 total was just four shots shy of the championship record of 195, shot by 2016 champs and 2023 Northern California Amateur champion Bobby Bucey and Brett Viboch. Being that Spyglass is the home course of the Stevenson team, Brandler gets to play there three to four times a week during the season.

"Other than some bumps in the third round, everything went well," McCall said. "It was a solid ham and egg effort. We were looking where we stood on the leaderboard and just played against the people who were chasing us."

One of those teams was the tandem of Perchak and Burkland. They'd get to within one shot of Brandler and McCall with a birdie on No.15, but on the ensuing 16th they'd make bogey while Brandler and McCall birdied to quickly make it a quick three-shot lead.

"I have major respect for them," said Perchak of Brandler and McCall afterwards. "They played very well."

Perchak and Burkland shot a final round 67 to come in at 202. Third place went to the team of Ellis Tirado and Mitchell Martin at 203 after a 66.

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The NCGA Four-Ball Championship began in 1967 at Spyglass Hill golf course and has been played the Robert Trent Jones layout ever since. The 54-hole competition consists of two-man teams in which both players play their own ball and the lowest score of the two is counted on each hole.

18 holes qualifying four-ball stroke play. The championship proper will be 54 holes of four-ball stroke play, 18 holes per day. After 36 holes, the field is cut to 40 teams and ties. Both partners must meet eligibility requirements, holding a handicap index of 5.4 or less.

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