I knew before we tee off that today was going to be a tough day of golf at the Glass. Cold and windy conditions along with tough pins and back tees, made today the toughest challenge we faced. It’s not worth giving to much insight into our troubled weekend of golf. With my back flaring and a very cool putter it was apparent that the Haag/Donovan team was not going to defend the title we enjoyed holding over the past year. I felt early on that any score in the 60’s today would be a contender, and as it turned out in the last pairing neither lead team was able to break par (72,73).
It is worth noting that the Peterson/Davis team seemed to have the tournament won after a double bogey 5 by the Hardy/Reinsburg team on the 125 yard par three 15th hole that was actually playing very tough. BUT every team has to negotiate “BLACK DOG” the very tough and demanding 16th hole at Spyglass that I would call the signature hole. I’m not sure how they both made 6’s but I’m sure they are still smarting over such a harsh blow with the Roger Val trophy within their grasp.
Despite my horrendous play over the last 36 holes (no birdies and a boat load of bogeys) it was still possible to breath the wonderful fresh sea air, and look at some of the worlds best scenery. The harsh reality now is that for the first time in probably 10 years we have finished outside the top 10, meaning we are headed to the 2012 qualifier to regain entry into one of the best amateur events you’ll find anywhere in the world. But that’s what truly makes this game so challenging as it doesn’t take much for a course like Spyglass to get the best of you. It will expose all of your troubles (physical ailments) and other weaknesses in your game. It is absolutely my favorite match play course I’ve ever played.
Congrats to the winners, and those that finished in the top 10!!
Courtesy of the NCGA
May 22, 2011
PEBBLE BEACH – Sometimes in order to win it takes the least amount of mistakes to come away victorious. For Jason Higton and J.R. Becko that’s exactly what they did to rise above the rest of the field and win the 45thAnnual NCGA Four-Ball Championship.
The duo did not play the most glamorous golf, only recording 12 birdies during the 54-hole event, but they went 41 consecutive holes without a bogey to finish the tournament. Their consistency paid off as they put together three solid rounds of 68-68-69 for a 205 total (11-under).
After an inconspicuous 68 on Friday, as five other teams posted 67s and Orr and Roak fired a tournament record of 62, Higton and Becko replicated Friday’s score on Saturday to put themselves in the second-to-last group for Sunday. Going into the final round the two thought it might take a 66 for them to win, but once the round started they knew it might be a different story.
“When we got to that second shot on number one you realize that ‘oh my goodness, it’s cold and windy today,’” said Higton, “this is going to be a harder day.”
It was tough for the players as neither of the 36-hole leaders Peterson and Davis or Roak and Orr could break par shooting 72 and 73, respectively. Peterson and Davis looked to be in the driver’s seat as the two were at 12-under after a birdie on 15. Then disaster struck as they took a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 16th.
Hardy and Reinsberg (Higton and Becko’s fellow-competitors) also were in great position to add another Four-Ball title to their resumes as they came to the 15th at 12-under par. However both players hit their tee shots into the pond on the short par-3 and ended up with a double-bogey 5.
More importantly, the 15th proved to be a critical hole for the eventual champions. Knowing at the time that they were down one shot to Hardy and Reinsberg, the two saw their fellow-competitors get themselves in trouble after hitting it in the water. That’s when Higton mimicked the other two and did the same. So, after seeing three balls go in the water, Becko got up to his ball and stuck it seven feet away from the hole, leading to a birdie.
Asked after the round if he felt pressure before hitting that shot, he said simply “I just relaxed and trusted my swing.”
This is the first time the two have played in this tournament together and are excited to win the Roger Val Trophy.
“We both grew up in Northern Califronia, so it’s definitely nice,” said Becko.
Added Higton, “the only bad thing though, is that we have to go back to work tomorrow.”