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SMGA, SVGC; Lipson aces 17th at Indian Valley; benefit tourneys

By Richard Davison (Special to the Index-Tribune)

A chamber of commerce day greeted the Sonoma Men’s Golf Association last Sunday for its NCGA Fourball Qualifier at the Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in American Canyon.

Leading the way was the team of Jack Harding and Myron Donesky, who combined to shoot a fantastic best-ball 59, Harding carding an impressive even-par 72 on his own ball. Four teams followed with a 62 each, and after a scorecard playoff, Kay Groft and Bob Jennings took home second place, while Mike Lucas and Wood Von Lackum grabbed third, Martin Bajuk and Roger Rannikar took fourth, and Pat Connolley and Mick Burrows were fifth.

The two teams that will now represent the club in the next round of qualifying will be the blended team of Lucas and Harding, and Connolley and Burrows, who will play the next round of qualifying on May 29.

In closest to the pin action, Karl Mayer took it straight at the pin on the third hole, his ball finishing just 7 feet, 11 inches from the cup.

Connie Gustafsson liked the look of the sixth hole as his tee shot stopped just 5-7 from the pin.

The downhill 13th was no match for Ted Carillo, as his ball came to rest 8-2 away, while Tom Martin’s shot to 1-3 on the 15th was easily the best of the day.

Dan Campbell showed up on the 17th hole and walked away a winner with his shot to 23-10.

The SMGA returns to action on May 3, at the ever-popular Aetna Springs Golf Course in Pope Valley.

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A group of 76 Sonoma Valley Golf Club members headed to Santa Rosa and the Fountaingrove Golf Club for a late March, four-man team event.

The overall champions were the group of Bob Ford, Mike Cox, Bob Clair and Wayne Petersen, who combined to shoot a fine score of 114.

In the first flight, Ron Sharek, Bud Schuerman, Hugh McNeilly and Al Rappoport took home first place with their 118 total, with two teams tied at 126, and following a scorecard playoff, the team of Michael Lipson, Ed Cebula, Marc Sylvester and Dick Kingsbury took home second place, while Gregg Warren, Ron Hodges, Bob Selby and Steve Martin were third

The second flight saw Dave Voepel, Bob Jaeger, John Long and Conny Gustafsson fire an impressive 115 for first place, with Kit Wood, Tom Reynolds, Jack Kearney and Dan Weber grabbing second place at 119, and Lou Pignati, Wayne Coronel, Ralph Giancaspro and Roger Sloss finishing third with 121.

The closest to the pin competition had players broken up into two groups split at the white tees and gold tees.

From the white tees, Bob Selby conquered the fifth hole with a shot to 5 feet, 8 inches. Jim Schnabel avoided all the water on No. 9, his ball stopping 31-6 away. Sharek showed why his name was at the top of the leaderoard, hitting his shot to 6-6 on the uphill 12th.

Steve Griggs hit the shot of the day on the spectacular 17th, his ball coming to rest just 2-11 from the hole.

From the gold tees, 3 feet was good enough on No. 5 for Jaeger. Voepel’s shot to 6-7” on the ninth was tops. Warren went flag hunting on the 12th, hitting it to just 3-1. Schuerman blocked out all the water on the 17th with a shot to 3-2.

As if that wasn’t enough golf for the SVGC, it also headed out to its home course of Eagle Vines in Napa on March 26.

Leading the way in the first flight was Jack Powers, who carded an even par 72, with Bob Nolan on his heals with his 73 for second place, while Gary Routt’s 75 was good enough for third.

In the second flight, Lipson jumped into the 60s with his 67 for first place, with Dan Stites’ 69 bringing him second place, and Wayne Coronel was third with a 70.

The third flight saw Dan Weber blitz the field with an incredible 61, followed  by Ernie Loveless’ 68 taking home second, and Bob Jaeger claiming third with a 72.

Playing the white tees, Jerry Van Wallinga’s shot to 2-7 on the sixth hole was the best of the day, while Barry Robertson walked away a winner on No. 8 with his shot to 35-8.  Van Wallinga showed his shot on the sixth was no fluke, backing it up on the 12th with a shot to 22-6. Nolan’s shot to 23 feet was the best on the 15th.

From the gold tees, Stites claimed No. 6 with a shot to 6-3.  Roger Sloss’ shot to 53-2 managed to remain a winner on the eighth, while no one found the green on the 12th. Bob Clair claimed the 15th with a shot to 13-4.

The red tees saw John Fanucchi’s shot to 6-8 be the best on No. 6. Weber showed one reason why he fired 61 with a shot to 7-8 on the eighth. Gerry Orme walked away a winner on the 12th with a shot to 44-6. Meanwhile, Weber’s name showed up again on the 15th, with a shot to 4-8.

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Just a few days prior, Sonoma Valley Golf Club member Michael Lipson was out playing Indian Valley Golf Club in Novato.

Upon reaching the difficult, and blind, par-3, 17th hole, Lipson pulled his 5-iron out of his bag, made his swing, and then watched the ball take off toward the flag.

When Lipson did get down the hill to the green, he found his ball in the hole for an ace.

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The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa-hosted 10th annual Golf Tournament benefitting El Verano Elementary School will tee off at noon on Monday, April 14, at the Sonoma Golf Club, followed by a 6 p.m. dinner, awards ceremony and raffle with its grand prize being an all-inclusive five-night trip for two to Maui.

Cost for the benefit event is $195 and includes golf, lunch and dinner, with dinner only costing $65. Tickets for the raffle are $50 or three for $100. To sign up or for more details, visit elveranoschool.org.

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Friday, April 25, is the date for the annual Presentation School Golf Tournament, which will take place at Eagle Vines Golf Club in Napa, with a 1 p.m. shotgun start.

Registration begins at 11 a.m., with the entry fee $190 a player, or $760 for a foursome, and includes lunch and dinner, along with golf, cart and use of the driving range beforehand. Dinner, along with dancing, will follow the tourney, and the dinner-only cost is $50.

For more information, or to register, go to presentationschool.com or contact Nancy Bei at nbei@presentationschool.com.

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The 18th annual Bottomfeeders Open will take place with a noon tee-off at Oakmont’s West Course on Friday, May 2, with proceeds from the event benefitting the Sonoma Valley Unified School District’s theater program.

Cost for the tournament is $135 and includes golf with cart, a tee-prize, a boxed lunch with beverages on the course, as well as a hosted beer and wine bar and awards dinner immediately following the event.

With foursomes limited, the open organizers recommend signing up early. For more information, visit Murphy’s Irish Pub’s website at sonomapub.com or call 935-0660.