PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (April 3, 2012) – “Shocked.” That’s the one word Trent Tessler used to describe how he felt after winning the Public Links Championship on Tuesday. Despite only being two shots off the lead going into the day Tessler couldn’t imagine himself hoisting the Llyod Del Nore Perpetual Trophy. “I was holding my game together with duct tape and bailing wire,” said amateurgolf.com member Tessler. “I didn’t think I’d win. My game really isn’t that sharp, but somehow it happened,” he said with a chuckle.
It happened because of outstanding play around the greens as Tessler didn’t have any three-putts over 36 holes and several up-and-downs. His 1-over 73 was the second best score of the day as the only score lower was a 72 by Dillon Soldwisch. In fact no under-par scores were registered in the Championship Flight either days this year, the first time that has happened in a long time.
Tessler doesn’t compete in many NCGA events, but always makes time for the Public Links and he has some history with it too. Ten years ago in 2002 Tessler finished alone in second after posting a two-day total of 141 (3-under par) coming in one behind champion Logan Goettsch who shot a 140. Tessler is quick to point out that it’s strange how he shot eight strokes better that year yet still didn’t win. He also was on the bag for his good friend Arron Oberholser in 1995 for his Public Links victory. Oberholser, now playing full-time on the PGA Tour, grew up with Tessler in San Mateo and both of them later went on to play at San Jose State together.
“I have been trying to win [an NCGA major] for I can’t tell you how long,” said Tessler. “It’s very cool to win, that’s the best way I would describe it.”
Coming two shots behind Tessler’s 149 total (76-73) were Russell Nygard and first-round leader Ricky Stockton. Nygard playing in the last the group bettered Monday’s score by one-shot shooting a 75 for his 151 total. Stockton, who has held the first-round lead of this tournament twice before once again couldn’t cash-in on an NCGA Public Links title as he followed yesterday’s 74 with a 77.
In the President’s Flight Jim Miller, who finished third at this event last year, had a net under-par score for the second day in a row. “I just played steady golf, I had no double bogeys yesterday or today,” said Miller. “I avoided the big numbers.” His net scores of 70-69 were good enough for a three-shot victory over first round leader Chue Her. Her followed yesterday’s net 67 with a net 75. In a tie for third were Jason Marks and Peter Aroz, who both finished at a 36-hole total 145. Marks, who was alone in second going into the day followed his net 69 with a net 76, while Aroz followed a net 71 with a net 74.
The shot of the tournament also came in the President’s Flight as Rishi Prashad scored an ace on No. 15 at with a 9-iron. He said it felt good when he
hit it and then witnessed it one-hop, hit the pin and find the bottom of the cup. It was Prashad’s second ever hole-in-one, but this one was truly special to him coming at the famed links of Spyglass. “It’s a memory I’ll take with me forever,” he said.
Jerry Minkoff won the Director’s Flight by shooting a net score of 10-under par. Minkoff followed his exceptional 66 from Monday with an impressive net 68 for a 134 total. “I wasn’t trying to do too much, I was just trying to get it near the hole and sink my putts,” he explained of his solid play. This is the third time Minkoff has played in the Public Links Championship in the last eight years and the first time he’s placed. He said it felt good to find the winner’s circle this time around. Finishing in a tiefor second was Rick Gracia and Paul Foxworthy at 143. Gracia followed his first day net score of 71 with a net 72, while Foxworthy posted a 73 after a first round 70.
ABOUT THE NCGA PubLinks
The NCGA Public Links Championship began in 1966
at Spyglass Hill and is the premier event for the
player. The tournament has always included a
championship flight for players with handicap
indexes of 5.4 or less and
two handicap divisions for players with no handicap
must be bona fide public
who do not hold playing privileges in any course
from which the general public is excluded.
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