SMGA, SVGC play; Cohn, Minelli, Hanna tourneys; youth rises at PGA
The Sonoma Men’s Golf Association traveled just north of Sonoma to the Bennett Valley Golf Course on Sunday, Aug. 7, where members not only played the tournament, but had the chance to qualify for this year’s club championship.
Leading the way in the low-gross qualifying for the Championship Flight was Ian Tervet, who fired an impressive round of 78. Tervet was followed closely by Woody Frink, who carded an 80, while Pat Armitage had an 81 to finish third and Jack Harding’s 83 was good for fourth after Myron Donesky matched his score, but lost out on the scorecard playoff.
In the net division, Frink’s 73 was good enough for first-place, one-shot clear of Tony Enz’s 74, with 76 the score for both Franc Dusak and Kay Groft, who took home third- and fourth-place, respectively, while Roger Rannikar’s 77 gave him fifth.
The Club Championship will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27 and 28, at the Windsor Golf Club. Several members had conflicts, and despite qualifying, had to withdraw, so the lineup will see the following players go up against one another.
In the Championship Flight, Nate Reynes will take on Pat Connolley, while Tervet matches up against Armitage.
The Cabernet Flight will see Enz play Dick Munter, while good friends Dusak and Rannikar will take each other on.
In the Chardonnay Flight, Martin Bajuk will lock horns with Don Roesh, while Groft will go up against Steve Lanning.
Finally, in the Zinfandel Flight, Bob Jennings meets Mike Lucas and “Pipeline” John Dennis goes up against Ted Carillo.
For those who either didn’t make the club championship field, or just want to get out for a round, a separate tournament will be held during the club championship finals on Sunday Aug. 28.
The Sonoma Valley Golf Club was also in action recently, with its members playing at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in American Canyon, with the event using a “Chicago” format, which is similar to a Stableford scoring system, meaning the higher the number, the better.
Leading the way was the foursome of John Long, Dave Voepel, Bob Jaeger and Floyd Stephenson, who carded a combined point-total of 242. This was 36 points more than second-place Harold Richards, Jack Kearney, Tom Reynolds and Dennis Jackson and their 206. Ernie Braun, Russ Hurley, Bob Leal and Tom Braun jelled well and had 201 points for third, while Pete LaVault, Peter Charles, Bob Ford and Wayne Petersen took home fourth-place with their 199.
In closest-to-the-pin action, Dan Weber took home the hardware on the tricky third hole, while the long sixth proved to be no match for Petersen.
The spectacular 13th, which plays straight downhill, saw Reynolds hit the shot of the day. No. 15 continued the downhill trend, with Mel McPherson pulling the right club and sticking his shot close to the hole, while the water-guarded 17th didn’t intimidate Don Farris, as he hit the shot of the day there.
The BR Cohn Celebrity Golf Classic returns to the Sonoma Golf Club on Monday, Sept. 26. This year’s event will be held the Monday after the BR Cohn Music Festival and will once again be a scramble format.
Tournament entry is $400 a player and includes a gourmet boxed lunch, a BR Cohn logo golf shirt, limited edition putter, golf and cart, as well as a ticket to Friday’s Charity Auction Dinner. Registration begins at 9, with the tournament teeing off at 11 a.m.
Next Friday, Aug. 26, the 20th annual Louis Minelli Memorial Golf Tournament, run by the Sonoma Valley Rotary Club, will take place at Eagle Vines Golf Club in Napa, with this year’s event being held in memory of longtime member Bob Bohna.
The tourney opens with a noon-shotgun start, and the cost to play is $175 a player, which includes the green fee and cart, a box lunch, on-course beverages, long-drive hole and closest-to-the-pin contests, tee-prizes and the chance to win a new Chevy Camero.
In addition, Festa Sonoma will take place afterward at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building and features a fantastic six-course Tuscan-inspired dinner including wine, beer and dancing to the sound of Sonoma’s own BackTrax.
Entry to Festa Sonoma is included in the golf entry, and the cost for those who want to just attend the dinner is $55 in advance or $65 at the door. For more information visit www.sonomavalleyrotary.org, www.festasonoma.com or call 996-9694.
The 19th annual Hanna Boys Center Golf and Tennis Classic will be held at the Sonoma Golf Club on Friday, Sept. 19, with a 9:30 a.m. check-in and brunch at the Hanna campus – a shuttle will be provided to and from the golf course – and the tourney’s shotgun start is at 11:30 a.m.
Following the tournaments are festivities beginning with a hosted cocktail hour at 5 p.m.
The entry fee of $275 includes green fees, cart, privileges on the driving range, refreshments on the golf course, tee-prizes and the awards ceremony.
Anyone interested can sign-up or get more information at the Hanna Boys Center site at hannacenter.org or by contacting Tamara Stanley at 933-2504.
They might not have been household names, but Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner provided a lot of excitement as the year’s final PGA major championship came to a close last Sunday afternoon.
With big names like Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy out of the hunt, and Tiger Woods missing the cut by six shots, it was up to the new breed of players on the PGA Tour to step up and claim the trophy, and they didn’t disappoint.
Early in the week it looked like it might be Steve Stricker’s time to shine, as the likeable Wisconsin resident had a putt for 62 on Thursday, but settled for a major-tying 63. Stricker slowly slid from contention as the tournament progressed, struggling with his usually spectacular and consistent putting.
When Sunday morning opened, two relative unknowns held the top-spot, Dufner, who has never won a tour event, and Brendan Steele, who has one win to his credit, earlier this year at the Valero Texas Open. Steele quickly faded from contention, with early mistakes, as Dufner, meanwhile, played a game that would have made Ben Hogan proud, hitting fairways and greens and making pars.
Up ahead, several players made a run, most notably Sweden’s Robert Karlson, before he bogeyed the last three holes.
Bradley mounted his own charge, making birdies on three of his first eight holes and then launching a 7-iron to within 5-feet on the 12th hole setting up an eagle. As quickly as he moved up the board however, Bradley dropped back, after a disastrous triple-bogey six on the difficult 15th.
When Dufner stepped to that tee he had a four-shot lead with four holes to go and five shots over Bradley. That was when his round fell apart; his 5-wood approach found the water on the right side of the green, but a gutsy pitch shot set up a bogey putt, which he calmly rolled into the middle of the hole.
Up ahead, Bradley was hitting his approach on the uphill 16th to 6-feet, which he knocked in. Suddenly his lead was cut by two.
After finding the fairway on 16, Dufner’s approach found the bunker right of the green, where he failed to make a par.
Once again, Bradley was up ahead making birdie, this time, a long putt on the par-3 17th. Despite finding the green with his approach shot, Dufner hit his first putt well by the hole and missed the comeback for par, and both players were now tied.
Despite facing one of the toughest finishing holes in championship golf, each player found both the fairway and green on the 18th hole and made matching pars, which sent them to the PGA’s three-hole aggregate playoff.
It looked like Dufner would strike first, with his approach on the first hole of the playoff almost finding the cup for an eagle two; but he missed the putt from about 8-feet and Bradley had stepped up and impressively knocked his approach shot closer to the hole, which he confidently rolled in.
The second hole of the playoff saw Dufner struggle on the 17th green again, three-putting for the second straight time.
Bradley, meanwhile, made a routine par and walked to the final hole of the playoff with a two-shot lead.
It looked like it was going to plain sailing, but Dufner drained a long birdie putt on the 18th green before Bradley managed to get down in two from 18 feet.
Golf had it’s newest major champion, Bradley, one of the younger set had conquered the difficult Atlanta Athletic Club and put his name in the history books.