SMGA, SVGC showdown; Wiener hole-in-one; Adobe reopens; Clarke triumph; Minelli, Hanna Tourneys
The Sonoma Men’s Golf Association and the Sonoma Valley Golf Club were both recently in action on the same golf course, as the first head-to-head match took place between the two local organizations.
In a friendly battle to see who was Sonoma Valley’s best, 12 players each from the SMGA and SVGC competed against one another, with the first match of the two-match series being played at the Sonoma Valley Golf Club’s home course, Eagle Vines in Napa.
The first match saw John Radican (SVGC) take down Ian Tervet (SMGA), while Al Rappoport (SMGA) got the best of Ali Fotouhi (SVGC) 4-and-2, followed in the second match with Martin Bajuk (SMGA) taking care of Jim Schnabel (SVGC) 1-up, with Chuck Lee (SMGA) ousting Hugh McNeilly (SVGC) 2-up.
In the third match of the day, Fred Martin (SVGC) edged out Pat Connolley (SMGA) 2-up, while Ron Sharek, who has the distinction of being a member of both groups, played for the SVGC and beat Woody Von Lackum (SMGA) 3-and-2.
Jim Braun (SMGA) narrowly took down Bill Wesch (SVGC) 1-up, with Karl Mayer (SMGA) edging out Jack Powers (SVGC) by a 5-and-4 margin, while Don Roesh continued the SMGA’s win streak with a 4-and-2 victory over Bud Schuerman (SVGC), before the SVGC got another win with Don Farris nipping Roger Rannikar 1-up in a tight match.
The final matches of the day saw Dan Marioni (SVGC) narrowly beat Tom Meyer (SMGA) 1-up, before Bob Jennings (SMGA) and Kit Wood (SVGC) staged the only tie of the day.
In addition to the individual matches, each two-some from the respective organizations competed within their four-some in a best-ball match.
Tervet and Rappoport battled to a tie with Radican and Fotouhi in the first match, followed by the SMGA team of Bajuk and Lee rolling to a two-shot win in their match against Schnabel and McNeilly, while Martin and Sharek gave the SVGC its first win with a thrashing of Connolley and Von Lackum. Braun and Mayer avenged that loss by taking down Wesch and Powers, while Roesh and Rannikar edged out Schuerman and Farris. In the final match, Jennings and Meyer came up with a tie against Marioni and Wood.
When the points were tallied, the SMGA came out on top 21 points to SVGC’s 15.
Both clubs will lock horns again on Thursday, Aug. 18, at the SMGA’s designated course, Bennett Valley.
Oakmont’s West Course was the scene on Tuesday, July 26, for the most thrilling shot in golf when Sonoman Leslie Wiener had a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth hole.
Playing 122-yards on that particular day, Wiener pulled her Cobra hybrid 6 and teed up her favorite Callaway ball.
While Marie Pierce, Yoshi Smith and Eilean Huff stood by and watched, Wiener’s ball carried the greenside bunker and then rolled toward the flag before it found the hole and disappeared.
This was Weiner’s second hole-in-one of her golf career and was just as thrilling as the first.
Local golfers once again have got another golf course option as Adobe Creek Golf Course in Petaluma is once again open.
The course, which closed due to bankruptcy at the end of 2010, was purchased by Santa Rosa developer Bill Gallaher in April, and small renovations have been taking place since.
Taking over the reins is Bill Carson, general manager of both Windsor Golf Club and Rooster Run Golf Club.
The first thing players will notice is that both the parking lot and cart paths have been repaved and the pro-shop is no longer located in the large clubhouse building. Instead, the shop will be closer to the first tee and driving range, offering golfers the chance to check in, buy range balls and pick up golf balls and snacks. The main clubhouse building will remain unused; although management has indicated that it would be open to someone leasing the building and operating a restaurant.
On the golf course, all the bunkers have been cleaned out and received new sand while an inspection on the sprinkler system showed that 90 sprinkler heads were no longer working correctly. Those have been repaired and now provide better coverage on the fairways and greens and management indicate that they are going to work hard until the golf course is in pristine shape. Many of the greens had fallen into bad shape, since the course was closed for an extended period of time, but with a full crew of maintenance workers once again cutting and watering, most of the greens are coming back strong.
Rob Watson, head golf professional at Rooster Run, will split his time between the two courses.
With construction continuing, management is offering a 25-percent discount on green fees, while walking rates will be $38 on weekdays and $58 on weekends.
In June 2010, Graeme McDowell claimed the United States Open Championship at Pebble Beach, the first player from Northern Ireland to do so.
McDowell seems to have opened the floodgates, as Rory McIlroy took home that prestigious trophy this year, only to be followed up by 42-year-old Darren Clarke playing some of the best golf of his life to win the Open Championship two weeks ago at Royal St. George’s in South England.
Clarke, who has endured a prolonged slump after the death of his wife, Heather, in 2006 due to breast cancer, took the lead after the second round and never looked back.
Making key-putt after key-putt in the final round, Clarke held off a huge charge on the front nine by Phil Mickelson and then by playing companion Dustin Johnson. Mickelson bowed out first, three-putting the 11th hole and eventually shooting 40 on the back nine, while Johnson looked to be making a move until he hit his second shot on the par-5 14th hole out of bounds, which led to a double-bogey.
Clarke walked up the 18th hole with a three-shot lead to a standing ovation. For someone who grew up in Northern Ireland, Graeme’s win was fantastic, Rory’s record setting, but Darren’s was the sweetest of all.
On Friday, Aug. 26, the 20th annual Louis Minelli Memorial Golf Tournament, run by the Sonoma Valley Rotary Club, will be played 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 is right around the corner, with this year’s event returning to the Sonoma Golf Club on Friday, Sept. 19.
The check-in starts at 9:30 a.m. and will include a brunch at the Hanna campus, with a shuttle provided to and from the golf course, and the tourney gets underway with an 11:30 a.m. shotgun start. The festivities afterwards begin 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.