The NCGA Player of the Year is contested from Oct 1st thru the end of September each year. This past October I arguably had my best month ever in amateur golf with three wins (Olympic Club Championship, Stocker Cup & NCGA Masters 4 Ball with partner Darryl Donovan) Then came the beginning of the year when I won again twice (Amateur Diablo Valley Amateur and the Scratch Players Mid Am) after finishing second in the California Mid amateur I believe I may have retained the largest lead in points I’ve ever had. BUT….a very big but, all the really big point events were still to come, and when they came, my game was in full retirement mode.

It’s painful to recite all the missed opportunities, but never mind my poor play, how about the spectacular play of both Ben Geyer and Michael Weaver, whom currently lead the points race with 1631 & 1585 respectively. The year I’ve had, even with the early wins doesn’t even come close to what these to young guns have accomplished this year. To just name a few, Geyer has won back to back events shooting -10 in both (Contra Costa Amateur & Antioch City) to go along with his State Amateur runner up and NCGA Stroke Play Championship. Ben is deserving of the title, but so does Michael Weaver who was one nasty lip out from winning the Grand Daddy of them ALL the US Amateur at Cherry Hills. I have never rooted so hard for anyone in my life than when I was watching Michael. He deserved to win, but somehow it just didn’t happen. I know Michael, and have played against him head to head several times (most recently in last years semi finals of the NCGA Amateur) and impressive he was, long and straight off the tee, beautiful iron game and a almost flawless short game. Both Michael and Ben deserve to be the 2012 NCGA Player of the Year.

Even if somehow I win the Valley Amateur, and pass these guys in points, I will still have them well ahead of me. Currently in 3rd an needing to win the Valley Amateur at Riverbend, I am just not well prepared to think I have a realistic chance. I think Danny Paniccia, and Matt Cohn are my two picks. On the senior side we have Mr. Casey Boyns, an amateur golfing legend, who recently went all the way to the quarter finals of the USGA Mid Amateur and is now exempt into next years event. GREAT JOB CASEY!!

This is the Valley Amateur preview courtesy of the NCGA – STAY TUNED FOR RESULTS AND COMMENTS!!

NCGA Valley Amateur Championship Preview

September 14, 2012

2011 Valley Amateur Champion: Logan Goulding

The 9th Annual Valley Amateur Championship will take place this coming Monday and Tuesday at Riverbend GC in Madera for the second year in and a row, and if it’s anything like last year’s event, it should be captivating theatre. Last year Logan Goulding beat Mike Stieler in a sudden-death playoff, but under the most unusual of circumstances. Stieler accidentally kicked his ball on the second playoff hole, adding a penalty stroke to the score of his hole, which would ultimately be the difference.

That incidence is without mentioning other dramatic storylines:

  • Going into the final round there were eight players had at least a one-stroke advantage on Goulding going into the final round.
  • The three first round co-leaders (Nick Moore, Grant Rappleye and Scott Roak), who played spectacularly in the first round for scores of two-under par 70, fizzled in the final round with both Moore and Rappleye shooting north of 80. Moreover, Roak, unknowingly at the time of playing the 18th hole, only needed a bogey to win the championship, a double-bogey to get in a playoff, but instead took a triple-bogey to lose by one.
  • In the senior division Jim Knoll came from five shots back to overtake Gary Vanier for the senior title.

Yes, the Valley Amateur returns, and while it might not live up to last year’s billing, there are some interesting storylines still to consider, even before the first ball is teed up.

  • Double-wave on Monday: Traditionally, the championship has taken place with all the golfers out on the course at once, going off double tees. However, there was such a high demand this year that the championship was changed to a double wave with the championship and senior flights each going out one day in the morning and the other day in the afternoon. However, with the field size having been reduced to withdrawals, the championship will keep the double wave on Monday and have a two-tee start Tuesday.
  • Goulding and Knoll both will defend: Both of last year’s champions will look to defend their titles. Goulding will tee off at 9:00 a.m. off the first tee on Monday, while Knoll will tee off a little more than four hours later at 1:21 p.m.
  • Randy Haag going for title and Player of the Year: In order to win his unprecedented seventh NCGA Player of the Year—not to mention fourth straight—Haag will need to win to overtake the top of the points list and at very least finish in the top-three to get close. The 53-year-old is currently third place on the points list and 393 points behind leader Ben Geyer. Danny Paniccia, who is fourth on the points list is 527 points behind Geyer, and would need a win and extra points elsewhere to grab the top spot. Haag tees off No. 10 at 8:33 a.m. Monday, while Paniccia also tees off at 8:33 a.m. except off of No. 1 tee.



  1. Hi Randy – I noticed your W/D today at the Valley…I hope everything is ok. I was looking forward to following your chase for the POY. I hope you’re doing well. Best regards, Tim

  2. Welcome back! See you Sunday! Good luck! Are in the Senior division now?

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