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SMGA, SVGC; St. Pat’s Day; Bottomfeeders, El Verano tourneys

By Richard Davison (Special to the Index-Tribune)

It was beautiful spring weather that greeted the 36 players from the Sonoma Men’s Golf Association as they travelled to nearby Silverado Country Club last Sunday for a pre-St. Patrick’s Day Tournament.

On Silverado’s South Course, Steve Sangiacomo came away as the champ in the net flight with a fine round of 71, highlighted by a long birdie putt on the 10th that hit the back of the hole, hopped in the air and then dove down to the bottom of the cup. Ron Sharek and Conny Gustafsson both shot 74, with Sharek taking home second place in a scorecard playoff and Gustafsson settled for third, followed by Mike Lucas’ 75 taking fourth, while Steve Lanning was fifth.

In the gross division, Richard Davison survived a triple bogey seven on the eighth hole to fire a 78 for first place, while Dan Campbell made a return after ankle surgery to post an 83 and finish second, and past president Nick Blonder grabbed the final podium spot with his round of 84.

In closest-to-the-pin action, Tony Enz had no trouble with the tricky third hole, hitting his approach to just 2 feet, 11 inches, while the seventh hole proved to be a tough green to hit, with Kay Groft taking home the prize for his shot to 46-3.

The water-guarded 15th was no match for Martin Bajuk, who fired his tee-shot to just 2-4, and Woody Von Lackum came through at the 11th hour in the final group to take home the 17th hole with a shot to 16-1.

For the first time in a long time, the club held a long drive challenge; two divisions were used, those under 55 and those over 55.

Sangiacomo used his strength to take it home on the 11th hole with a 280-yard blast, while Groft showed that he could do more than hit the ball close to the hole, hammering his tee-shot to 265 yards.

The SMGA returns to action April 6, at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in American Canyon.

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Teeing it up at Eagle Vines in Napa recently was the Sonoma Valley Golf Club.

In the first flight, Magnus Carlsson came away with the winners share, firing a 72, with Ron Sharek grabbing second with a 74, while Ron Hodges claimed third with a 75.

Both Bud Schuerman and Gregg Warren fired a 67 each in the second flight, and after a scorecard playoff, Schuerman was given the nod for first place, while Warren settled for second, and Wayne Coronel’s 71 was good enough for third.

The third flight was led by John Fanucchi with a first-place 69, while Tom Reynolds’ 70 earned him second, and Ron Macaluso was third with a 71.

In the closest-to-the-pin competitions, playing from the white tees, Bob Nolan took home the sixth hole with a shot to 24 feet, 6 inches – no one managed to find the green on No. 8.

Sean Wickersham’s shot to 16-11 was the best on the 12th hole, while Gary Routt took dead aim with a shot to 3-10 on No. 15.

The gold tees saw Roger Sloss claim the sixth hole with a shot to 9-10; Mark Sylvester found the eighth green and his ball finished 16 feet from the hole; and Benny Lee avoided the water on the 12th with a shot to 11-4.

John Muncy’s shot to 19-1 led him to the top spot on the 15th, while Don Richards stepped to the red tees and fired his shot to 8-9 on the sixth hole.

Meanwhile, Macaluso showed why he had one of the best scores of the day, taking home the closest on the eighth with a shot to 32-4; Bob Jaeger knock his shot to 15-3 on No. 12; and Jack Kearney took care of the 15th with a shot to 15-5.

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On a warm and sunny St. Patrick’s Day, the merry band of golfers known as the Kelly Tour XXXVIII made their way to Eagle Vines Golf Club in Napa for their annual St. Patrick’s Day tournament.

When the dust settled, and the beer was consumed, the champions for 2014 were Dave Diamond, Tom Alonzo, Milt Wallace and Rich Lachmiller with a scramble score of 59.

As champions, the group got to determine which local charity would receive the $250 prize, and they thoughtfully chose the Sonoma Valley High School Boosters Club, as well as some well-deserved libations at Murphy’s Irish Pub and their name perpetually engraved on the Golfasaurs Leprachaunus Trophy.

Those barely missing out were Kathy Barnett, Winnie Lanning, Diane Boggie and Oy Ataskarian, who combined for 62 shots and second place; and Tim Coll, Colm Elders, Brian Wirick and Dennis Whealon with a 63.

It was also an entertaining day for the team of Martin Smithies, Franc Dusak, Edddy Arnold and Myron Reece, who took home the prize for dead last.

In closest-to-the-pin, Atashkarian took home the women’s division, while Doug McDowell claimed the men’s.

Atashkarian also walked away with the women’s long drive, while John Petricka achieved a rare double of the men’s long drive and shortest drive awards.

The group now has 364 days to recover until they do it all again next year.

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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.

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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.