SMGA club championship begins; SVGC plays; young McIlroy wins again; tourneys
The Sonoma Men’s Golf Association got its 2012 Club Championship underway with qualifying on Sunday, Aug. 5, at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in American Canyon.
A regular-stroke play event saw players attempt to gain a spot in the Club Championship, which will be held at Windsor Golf Club on Saturday, August 25, and Sunday, August 26.
Leading the way in the Championship (Gross) Flight was Al Rappoport with an 81, followed in second-place by current club president Nick Blonder’s 87, while Nate Reynes grabbed third with an 87.
In the Net flight, Rolf Olness scorched the course with a round of 64, two-shots clear of Bob Jennings’ 66, with Larry Wallace and Kay Groft both carding 70s to take third and fourth, respectively, while Woody Von Lackum’s 71 gave him fifth-place.
In closest-to-the-pin action, players competed in their respective flights, championship (c) or net (n), with Steve Lanning (c) liking the third-hole as his ball stopped 25 feet, 10 inches from the hole, while Myron Donesky (n) took home the prize for his shot to 23-3.
Both Lanning and Donesky drank from the same glass, as they also picked up the awards on the sixth-hole, their shots stopping 9-7 and 7 feet from the hole, respectively.
Steve MacCarthy (c) conquered the tricky downhill 13th, his ball coming to rest 30-7 from the hole, while Tony Enz (n) got in on the act with his shot to 15-4, with “Mr. Closest-To” Rappoport (c) not disappointing by placing his shot from 180-yards to 18-6, and Wallace (n) hitting his to 7-11 from 163 yards.
As for the very difficult 17th, it proved to be no match for Blonder (c), with his putt from 18-9, and Jennings (n) closed out the day with a fine shot to 8-9.
The Club Championship will see defending champion Pat Armitage take on Lanning, while Reynes plays Blonder in the first-round.
Divided into three separate flights, the Net Division consists of Cabernet, Chardonnay and Zinfandel.
In the Cabernet Flight, Wallace will play Mike Lucas, while Von Lackum will take on Ron Sharek.
The Chardonnay Flight has Enz going up against Don Roesch, and Jim Braun battling Eric Biggs.
Finally, the Zinfandel Flight sees Jennings staring-down Paul Groft, with Olness taking on Groft.
Winners of those flights will head to the final on Sunday, Aug. 26, to crown the respective champions in each flight.
The Sonoma Valley Golf Club made the trip to the East Bay and the challenging Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
Often referred to as “the course everyone plays just once,” the Johnny Miller designed course has trouble lurking on every hole and can make even the best players second-guess themselves. The tournament format for this event was a four-man shamble. Leading the way was the team of John Muncy, Steve Griggs, Dan Weber and Peter Charles with a very impressive score of 104. Six-shots back in second-place were Pete Tarantino, Ralph Giancaspro, Ron Macaluso and Wayne Coronel with their 110 total, followed by Ron Sharek, Bud Schuerman, Hugh McNeilly and Dennis Jackson firing a 111 for third-place, while Charles Avery, Jim Honeywell, John Riley and Harry Tistle finished fourth with 116, and Dick Moore, Al Marty, Bob Morgan and Bob Leal were fifth at 117.
Closest-to-the-hole saw the golfers play from both the white (w) and gold (g) tees, and on the fifth-hole, Ray Acio (w) found his ball 31 feet, 2 inches from the hole, while Schuerman (g) stopped his shot just 14-6 away.
The 11th saw John Gibbons (w) sneak out a win with his shot to 42-2, while Ross Martin (g) also walked away a winner with his shot to 17-6.
Big Jim Schnabel’s (w) shot to 11-5 was the best of the day on the lucky-for-some 13th, while Morgan (g) also found that was his lucky number with a shot to 15-6. Bill Seim (w) made the 17th one of his favorites with a shot to 33-7, while no one from the gold tees managed to find the green.
Midway through last week’s PGA Championship, it looked like Tiger Woods would win his first major championship since the 2008 United States Open. But when the third-round got underway, it was Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy who took hold of the tournament and never looked back.
While Woods was making four bogeys through his first eight holes, McIlroy was making five birdies and racing to the top of the leaderboard.
Even a stoppage in play that resulted in the third-round having to be completed early Sunday morning couldn’t slow the 23-year-old McIlroy, as he finished the round at 7-under-par and entered that afternoon’s final-round with a three-shot lead.
England’s Ian Poulter made it interesting early, as he opened with five-straight birdies to get within two-shots of McIlroy. But that was the closest anyone would get to the phenom from Holywood, County Down.
Much like Woods did at Pebble Beach in 2000, McIlroy played the final-round of a major on one of the toughest courses in the country without a bogey, eventually finishing with a 6-under-par 66, and a record setting eight-shot margin of victory.
With the win, McIlroy grabs his second major title at a younger age than even Woods, and has cemented himself as the new world No. 1.
McIlroy is now halfway to the career grand slam, after taking home the U.S. Open in record setting fashion in 2011 at Congressional Country Club.
Judging by the fact that he entered the 2011 Masters with a large lead, only to shoot 80 and give way to Carl Schwartzel, there is no reason to think that McIlroy will not challenge at Augusta in eight months’ time when the 2013 major season gets underway. McIlroy opened the week working hard with putting coach Dave Stockton and the results were easy to see, as he made every clutch putt he needed to coming down the stretch, and with his powerful swing and effortless play, he showed that when he is on his game, no one can touch him.
The Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance and the Kiwanis Club of Sonoma Plaza will co-host the second-annual Golf-A-Thon on Friday, Sept. 7, at the Oakmont Golf Club’s East Course in Santa Rosa, with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
To participate as a golfer or a sponsor, for making a pledge in support of a golfer, for costs and for more details, visit www.sonomagolfathon.org.
Murphy’s Irish Pub’s 16th annual Bottomfeeders Open will take place Friday, Oct. 12, at Oakmont Golf Club’s West Course. For more information, stop by the pub or go to www.vintagehouse.org.